After Completing the FAFSA

How long does FAFSA take to issue funds after a student is accepted? This is a common question asked by students interested in knowing the FAFSA processing time in order for financial aid payments to be made.

Understanding follow-up steps to receiving federal student aid is a critical component of filling out the FAFSA. After a FASFA application is completed and submitted, a student will have options in terms of whether or not corrections can be made or the form can be updated.

Any changes that need to be made will need to be done per the guidelines of the program. Additionally, knowing what to do during the FAFSA verification process is critical for students who are applying for the very first time. To find out more, continue reading below.

FAFSA Student Aid Report

Once the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is submitted, a student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The FAFSA SAR is received either in paper form or electronically, and provides a basic summary about the information that was provided on the application. A student will need to receive the FAFSA student aid summary to ensure that the application is complete and correct. Some of the information that will be provided on the SAR includes:

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
  • Four-digit Data Release Number (DRN).
  • Any important information regarding verification.

When a student receives the aid report, he or she will need to review it carefully to verify that everything documented on the report is correct. The school that a student chooses will use the information provided from the FASFA to determine eligibility for aid. If there are no changes to be made once a FAFSA student aid report is submitted, then a student should keep the report for his or her records.

How to Correct or Update a FAFSA Form

After the application is submitted, there are certain FAFSA corrections that can be completed if mistakes have been made. The FAFSA form will ask questions regarding a student’s situation the day the application is signed, however, things may change with time, which will need to be reported on the form. The changes that can be made to update FAFSA documents, including:

  • Corrections – If a student made a mistake.
  • Corrections – If a student submitted an incorrect Social Security Number.
  • Updates – If a student’s situation has changed.
  • Changes – Adding or deleting schools from consideration.

There are a few ways in which applicants can make corrections to a FAFSA — online, by mail and through the school a student wishes to attend. Each correction, update and change to a FAFSA form will have specific steps to be followed in order to amend the application.

FAFSA Verification Process

When a student receives his or her Student Aid Report, there will be a notification regarding whether or not he or she has been selected for verification. FAFSA verification is the process in which a school listed on the application confirms the information reported is accurate and up-to-date. Each school listed on a student’s application will have the authority to contact the student regarding the FASFA verification process and request any necessary supporting documentation that can corroborate the application.

When a student is selected to verify the FAFSA, this does not mean he or she has done something wrong. Some schools verify every student FAFSA form that is submitted, while other students may simply be selected at random. All that a student will need to do is make sure to submit the necessary documentation supporting the application by the deadline in which the school is requesting.

Types of Federal Student Aid

There are different types of FAFSA disbursement that will be offered to qualifying students. It will be up to the student to determine which type of federal aid he or she would like. For instance, it is recommended that the FAFSA aid that should be accepted first are the funds that a student does not need to repay. Students should be very careful when selecting the type of financial aid they wish to receive. Scholarships and grants will provide free money for tuition where repayment is not necessary.

Related Article: Receiving Your Federal Student Aid

The next option offered will include earned money, which is part of a work-study financial opportunity. Borrowed money will also be offered, which come in the form of federal student loans which will need to be repaid. State loans and private loans can also be offered, which will offer repayment opportunities with interest. Students should consider all options and understand the conditions of each type of financial assistance before accepting federal student aid.

FAFSA Disbursement

One of the most common questions asked regarding financial aid is “when does my FAFSA money come in?” Understanding how FASFA disbursement works and when the aid will be provided is extremely important for students. Typically the FASFA disbursement dates will be chosen by the school in which the student has chosen to attend.

Disbursement for FAFSA is likely to be divided into payments, split by term or at least twice per academic year, for example, at the beginning or the middle of an academic year. There are different ways in which FAFSA funds can be received by the student, which can include the following:

  • Applied directly to the college for tuition, fees and room and board
  • Payments made directly to a student’s bank account
  • Applied to tuition then what is leftover is deposited into a bank account

Students who receive a FAFSA payment but determine that the funds are no longer needed can cancel the loan within 120 days of disbursement in order to avoid any interest or fees.

FAFSA Renewal

A student must submit a FAFSA application every school year in order to be considered for financial aid. The FAFSA renewal process makes submitting the application much simpler for students. For those who have submitted an application previously, he or she should be able to start a renewal FAFSA by using the provided federal student aid ID number that has been provided. Students will be responsible for updating any information that has changed since the previous year and ensuring that the application is correct.

Related Article: FAFSA Information for Parents

It might also interest you: