So you finished applying for financial aid, huh? Congratulations. Now it's waiting time. You're eager to find out what financial aid you will receive for school, and if you were eligible for specific aid types. Luckily, students may often check on their financial aid status of applications while they wait for the official student aid report (SAR) to come in from FAFSA. Most of this can be done online, by logging on to various websites. Let's do a short run-down of the ways to find your financial aid status.
- Check your FAFSA status. To do this, navigate to the application status check page of the FAFSA website. A short table should appear where applicants must enter personal information. Enter your Social Security Number, last name, first name and date of birth (DOB) with the secure onscreen keyboard. Once all information is entered accurately, press "Submit." Should any additional information be required, follow the provided instructions (this is unknown because this author does not have a current FAFSA to check on). Information you may encounter includes whether or not the application has been processed, if your SAR has been sent, etc.
- Check Stafford Loan Status. One way to check up on the Stafford is to access the Stafford Loan site. Personal FAFSA information should be on-hand before sitting down to do this. Borrowers are required to log-in with both a FAFSA PIN number and Social Security Number. If you lost your PIN, don't panic! People have all sorts of things to keep track of in life, so there is a sort of forgiveness in place here. On the site, simply request a duplicate number by entering Social Security Number, first two letters of last name and DOB. As with the FAFSA, follow any additional instructions given for the status check.
- Check Private Loans. To retrieve information on these kinds of loans, you must go through your bank. The process should be relatively easy, and can also be done online. Citi Bank, for example, has set up a website for their loans called studentloans.com. The Financial Aid Status check is pretty simple, and all that's needed is date of birth, last name and application ID. Ta-Da! Be sure to verify this process with your personal bank.
- Check Pell Grant Status. To know this, you must have received the FAFSA SAR already. If you have it nearby, get it out now and we'll take care of this together. Look for anything on the report that talks about the Pell Grant. Do you see it? At the very least the SAR should indicate your eligibility for this grant, and will often have an estimated amount (i.e. "Up to X amount") if you did qualify.
Keep in mind that all of these resources lead students to basic financial aid status information, or what's available shortly after submission of forms. For specifics on final aid amounts, wait until your school has awarded your financial aid and discuss this with the financial aid office. And if you need more help filling in the blanks on the road to gaining college money, hire a financial aid consultant! Go Financial Aid will be glad to help!