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How to Check Your FAFSA Status

September 30, 2016
Loans, Student Loans
How and Why to Check Your FAFSA Status
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So you submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as the FAFSA. You’re on your way to qualifying for federal student loans, grants and work-study programs, plus aid from your state and college.

While you wait to receive your financial aid award packages, check your FAFSA status to make sure your application was processed correctly. You can check the status of an online FAFSA immediately after you submit it, and a paper FAFSA about seven to 10 days after you mail it in. Here’s how:

  1. Log on to FAFSA.ed.gov using your FSA ID. You’ll see your status under “My FAFSA.”
  2. Complete and submit your FAFSA if your status indicates that your application is missing information, such as a signature.
  3. Follow the directions listed on your “My FAFSA” page to resolve any other issues with your application.

Next steps

The colleges you list on your FAFSA will have access to your application within a few days after you submit the form, but it may take weeks or months for them to review your application and offer you a financial aid package. If the colleges you applied to have online portals for applicants and accepted students, check there for your financial aid status at each school.

In the meantime, review your Student Aid Report for errors and correct any mistakes you find. Your report may indicate that you’ve been selected for verification, a process university financial aid offices use to double-check that the information you provided on your FAFSA is correct. Don’t worry if you’re selected; it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Some schools select students randomly, and some schools verify all applicants. If you’re selected, the school will ask you to submit extra paperwork that they can use to verify your application. As long as you do that, you’ll still be eligible for aid.

Teddy Nykiel is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: teddy@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @teddynykiel.

Updated Sept. 30, 2016.

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