Online FAFSA Help: After You File

You’ve filed your FAFSA but you’re not done yet!

Here’s What Happens Next

Your FAFSA will be processed by the Federal Processing Center, typically within three days. You will not be able to make updates or corrections to your FAFSA during this time. Once processed, your FAFSA information will be sent to all of the schools listed on your FAFSA.

Review Your Student Aid Report

  • Your Student Aid Report (SAR) is a summary of the information you provided on your FAFSA.
  • If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, you will be sent an email with a link to your SAR once your FAFSA has been processed. Your SAR can also be found by logging in at
  • Review your SAR carefully. If there is an asterisk next to your EFC (see the box at the top of the first page), that means you have been selected for verification. See below for more information.
  • If corrections are needed, log in to using your FSA ID (username and password), make the corrections and resubmit your FAFSA.  Make sure you and a parent (if required), sign the FAFSA again using your FSA ID.
  • If information has changed or the FAFSA data no longer reflects your current situation, contact your school

You May be Selected for Verification

Verification is a process that requires schools to collect additional income and household information from some students. It does not mean that you did anything wrong!

Your school will let you know what documents are required sending a letter or email addressed to you (not your parents).

Below are some common requests (which reflect recent changes by the U.S. Department of Education that allow schools more flexibility regarding acceptable documentation). Students should not send information that has not been requested:

  • Verification Form (each school has their own form): collects information about the household and lets the student know what else is required.
  • For Federal Tax Filers: the verification of tax filing status, taxable income, and taxes paid can be provided by:
    • using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA (this options is available even after the initial submission of the FAFSA);
    • submitting a signed copy of the Federal Tax Return (new as of 1/9/19); or
    • submitting a copy of Federal Tax Return Transcript (if a copy of the original tax return is not available). A Federal Tax Return Transcript can be obtained by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or at
  • For Non-Tax Filers: independent students and parents of dependent students (but not dependent students) are required to submit an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter (VNF). The VNF can be requested by mailing or faxing a Form 4506-T (also available from the school or at to the IRS at the address on the back of the 4506-T form.
    • New as of 1/9/19: If an individual is unable to obtain VNF from the IRS or other tax authorities even after a good-faith effort, the institution may accept a signed statement certifying that the individual has;
    • attempted but was unable to obtain documentation; and
    • not filed and is not required to file an income tax return, and a listing of the sources and amount of income earned by the individual from work.
    • To implement this new guidance we anticipate that financial aid offices will collect this certification via a new form or by incorporating the certification info their verification form. If individuals are unable to obtain a Verification of Non-Filing Letter, we recommend they contact the student’s school (s).
  • W-2s are also required to verify wage information (even for non-tax filers), if applicable.

Make copies of required documents and send them to your school. Be sure to keep a copy of the original for your records.

Financial Aid Offer

You’ll receive a financial aid offer from the schools you’ve been accepted to after you have provided the required information. Be sure you understand and compare your financial aid offers carefully.

This video will help you learn about financial aid offers and how to compare them.

Financial Aid Appeals

If your family’s financial circumstances are different than what is on your FAFSA or you or your parents have significant non-discretionary expenses that aren’t even asked about on the FAFSA and the situation is impacting the ability to pay for college, we recommend discussing your situation with the financial aid office. FAME’s Step’s to Appeal Financial Aid Offers will help you get prepared and understand the process of appealing.

Paying Your Bill

Bills are typically sent in late June or early July with due date usually in August. For tips on reviewing your bill, check our “Reviewing Your Tuition Bill” video.