Did you submit a free application form for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) 2021–22? Wondering what happens next? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Review your FAFSA® confirmation page

After completing the FAFSA form online and selecting “SUBMIT”, a confirmation page like the one below will appear. This is not your offer of financial help. You get this separately from the schools you are applying to and entering. Your school (s) will calculate your help.

2021-22 FAFSA confirmation page

The confirmation page offers federal aid Estimates based on the information you provided on your FAFSA form. It is important to understand that these numbers are really estimates and to assume that the information provided on the FAFSA form is correct. Your school will take other factors into account when calculating the actual amount of allowance you are entitled to, such as: B. the cost of attending school. Additionally, these estimates only take into account government grants, and not external grants or government and institutional funding that you may also be eligible for.

TIP: Each school that you have been admitted to that you include on your FAFSA form will send you a grant offer. Until you receive this notification, it may be difficult to know exactly how much help you might get from a particular school. Visit CollegeScorecard.ed.gov and enter the school (s) you want to look up to get an idea of ​​how much help schools can do based on your family’s income.

College scorecard sample

2. Review your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

FAFSA - What to Expect After Submitting the Infographic

Infographic: What to Expect After Submitting Your FAFSA Form

The information you provide on your FAFSA form will be used to calculate your EFC. It is very important to note that the EFC is not the amount of money your family has to pay for college. Instead, the EFC is an index number used by grant agencies to calculate your financial needs. The formula they use is:

Participation costs
– Expected family contribution
Your financial “need”

Each school will do its best to meet your financial needs. Some schools may cover 100 percent of your financial needs, others only 10 percent – it just depends on the school and the financial support available to them that year. You should fill out the FAFSA form annually as many factors can change from year to year.

NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, the EFC formula takes into account more than just income. Factors like addiction status, family size, and the number of family members attending college are just some of the additional factors that are taken into account.

3. Apply for as many scholarships as possible

As mentioned earlier, many schools cannot meet all of your financial needs. Hence, you need to find a way to pay the difference between the financial assistance your school offers and the school’s cost. Scholarships are a great way to fill that void. (Who doesn’t like free money?)

However, don’t wait to start applying for a scholarship after receiving your grant offer. There are thousands of scholarships, but many have early deadlines. Set a goal; For example, you might want to apply for a weekly scholarship. There is tons of free money out there but you can’t get it if you don’t apply. Focus on grant applications while you wait for your grant offer. Applications can take some time, but the potential payout makes it all worth it.

If after financial support and scholarships, you still don’t have enough money to pay for school, these options should be considered.

How do I find scholarships?

4. Look out for your offers of help

The FAFSA Form 2021-22 was made available on October 1, 2020. Even if you submit it early, it doesn’t mean you will receive an offer of help right away. Each school has a different grant allocation and payment schedule.

Remember, your school is paying off your help. Not the “FAFSA people” (Federal Student Aid). Contact your school’s financial assistance office to see when offers of assistance will be sent. For an estimate of your school’s average annual cost, visit CollegeScorecard.ed.gov. If you would like to report any significant changes in your family or financial situation, contact your school’s financial assistance office.

TIP: After your FAFSA form has been successfully processed, you should make sure that the schools you listed on your FAFSA form have received everything they need. You should find out if your school needs additional applications or documents and submit all required documents within the appropriate deadlines.

5. Make FAFSA® corrections if necessary

After your FAFSA form has been processed (which will take approximately three days) you can go back and submit a correction for specific fields. This includes correcting a typo or adding another school to preserve your FAFSA information. Log in to fafsa.gov with your FSA ID and then select “Make FAFSA Corrections”. You can add up to 10 schools at a time. If you are applying to more than 10 schools, follow these steps.

NOTE: Parents of dependent students cannot initiate FAFSA correction. Students must begin the correction process by logging into fafsa.gov with their FSA ID, selecting “Make FAFSA Corrections” and creating a storage key that they can share with their parents.

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