What Happens Next?
After you complete the FAFSA, you'll get a Student Aid Report (SAR) summarizing your FAFSA and including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Review it and make any corrections.
The colleges you indicated on your FAFSA will receive this information to determine your eligibility.
College Award Letter
The colleges where you have been accepted and you have indicated on your FAFSA will send you an award letter which will detail the financial aid you can expect if you attend that school.
Consider the offer outlined in each college award letter, which may include grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs. Make sure you know what is a grant award and what is a loan. Examine each award to determine if it applies for more than the first year and if there are conditions to receiving or continuing the award - such as maintaining a certain GPA, declaring a certain major, or living on campus.
Compare financial aid packages offered by each school. Use the Financial Award Packages Comparison Tool as a guide. Or use The College Board's comparison worksheet.
When you have chosen a school, tell the financial aid office that you accept or reject all or part of the financial aid package. Complete any other forms required by the school.
Apply for Aid Each Year You're in College
Never assume that the aid — or lack of aid — offered your first year will be the same each subsequent year. Your circumstances may change. Income loss or gain and the number of family members in college are some examples of change that can affect your financial aid. Review each program's application procedures carefully and reapply each year when necessary.
If you filled out a FAFSA the year before, you can probably use the shorter Renewal FAFSA.