Now that you’ve submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “What happens next?” Have no fear, here are the next steps:
Expect your Student Aid Report
Once your FAFSA has been submitted, it will go to the federal processor and you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) via email (if supplied) or by mail. Remember to review your SAR to make sure it is all correct. If you have to make corrections, visit our How to Update Your FAFSA for more details. There are some scholarships, like the Susan Buffett Scholarship, that will ask for your SAR, so be mindful of deadlines.
Check for Verification Notification
Your college might ask for additional paperwork to verify that the information on your FAFSA is correct—but there’s no need to panic. This process is called verification, and many students go through it. Colleges will contact you via email, mail, or your college-based student account. It is important for you to submit all the required items to the financial aid office at the colleges you are considering. Otherwise, you will not receive your award package.
Show Me the Money
Colleges will use your FAFSA results to determine what type and amount of financial aid you’re eligible to obtain. You will receive an award letter from all the colleges listed on your FAFSA—if you were accepted for admission. When reviewing your award letter, it’s important to accept or reject each type of aid offered to you. It potentially could include scholarships, grants, work-study and student loans. Tip, always accept the types of financial aid you do not have to pay back like scholarships, grants, and work-study.
If you need to borrow student loans, do not fret! You’ll have to go to studentloans.gov website, using your FSA ID to log in. On that website, you’ll complete entrance loan counseling and sign a Master Promissory Note. Of course, you have to pay your student loans back (plus interest), so only borrow what you need.
Continue Searching for Scholarships
It’s important to continue to search and apply for scholarships in the spring and beyond. You never know you might have awards in the summer, so keep applying! For additional help, check out ScholarshipQuest for Nebraska-based scholarships!
If you have friends and family starting the financial aid process, here is a list of blogs that can assist!