Helpful tips: FAFSA


Helpful tips: FAFSA

Save Key

As you begin the FAFSA application, you’ll create a “save key.” You can use this feature to stop and continue filling out the FAFSA at a later time. This can be helpful if students and parents need to fill out areas of the document from separate locations.

Biographical & Eligibility Notes

Your name and Social Security number must match those on your Social Security card. If you’re concerned about providing your personal information on the login page, choose the virtual keyboard option for additional security.

Most male students, especially between the ages of 18 and 25, must be registered with Selective Service to receive federal and state student aid.

If you have a past drug-related conviction, your eligibility for federal aid might be suspended depending on when the offense occurred. However, you may be eligible to receive institutional and state aid, so you should still fill out the FAFSA.

College Codes

While completing the FAFSA, you will designate which schools will receive your financial information. There is a search feature to assist in looking up the school codes for colleges you are interested in sending your FAFSA information. You can compare information like tuition and fee amounts and graduation rates for up to 10 colleges at a time.

Tip: If you do not want your FAFSA information sent to a particular college, do not choose that school to be included on your FAFSA.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC, a number that will help determine how much financial aid you would receive from a specific school. Use this guide to see exactly how the EFC is calculated.

What happens after I apply?

After you submit your application, you will immediately receive your calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your confirmation page. Your information will then be sent to the colleges on your list and you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) or a SAR Acknowledgement approximately two weeks later. If you have a valid email address on file, you will receive an email that provides you with a link to view and print your SAR data online. If there are any issues with your application, you will receive a paper Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail.

For more information, below is a video from the U.S. Department of Education.

What if I am selected for verification?

You might see a note on your Student Aid Report or your school might contact you to inform you that you’ve been selected for verification. This is the process your school uses to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. Your school has the authority to contact you for documentation that supports the information you reported.

How do I receive my financial aid?

Financial aid is typically paid to the school you are attending and will be applied to your cost of attendance (COA). Your COA includes not only tuition but room and board and other fees associated with attendance at that particular school. It is important to meet financial aid deadlines each year so that your school will not ask you to pay for your college costs and then reimburse you when your financial aid is processed.

Once all of your expenses are paid, most colleges reimburse any additional financial aid to the student.

Source: Federal Student Aid