Hello All! We told you recently in our last post that FAFSA season is now upon us. Hopefully, many of you have acted on this info and filed that application. If so, good for you. You’ll be some of the first students in line to receive maximum financial aid awards. Now that the hard part is over and that FAFSA has been sent in, you might wonder what happens next. So, let’s take a few minutes and talk about that.
I’ve submitted my FAFSA…Now what?
Once your FAFSA has been completed as thoroughly and accurately as possible and you’ve sent it in (electronically, via snail mail, whatever your preference), you wait. The next part is, quite literally, out of your hands. The FAFSA waiting game lasts a few weeks.
After wards, FAFSA will send out your Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR contains a large amount of information, including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The FAFSA itself doesn’t tell you what specific aid you will receive, which is important to know ahead of time. The EFC, however, is what the federal government determines that your family can contribute towards the cost of college before financial aid is applied. The document you will get also has what is called a Data Release Number (DRN), which is a code to enter if you decide to let your chosen school to both view and change certain info on your FAFSA.
The SAR is also important because it displays what you’ve put on your FAFSA and allows you to make corrections if errors are spotted. The provided EFC also helps to give families an idea of the percentage of total school costs they will likely be responsible for themselves.
So what about the actual money I’ll get?
We thought you might be curious about this. The money you eventually get as part of your financial aid award is actually determined by you college. The financial aid office at your school will look at your EFC information and compare that to the total cost of attendance (COA) at the institution. The difference between these two figures will present your financial need, or how much aid you actually require to afford school. From here, they look at need-based aid options for you and non-need based options.
Need-based aid includes:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Direct Subsidized Loan
- Federal Perkins Loan
- Federal Work-Study
Non-need based aid looks at your COA and the need-based aid you’ve already been approved for, and includes:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loan
- Federal PLUS Loan
- Teacher Education Access for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
Once your school has made its decision on what aid options to award you and in what amount, they will send a letter with the breakdown of all of this information. Now it’s just up to you to sign and approve it! Financial aid it is there to help students and families, so take full advantage of it.
For more financial aid solutions, get in touch with Go Financial Aid today!