Checking your FAFSA status online

To check your FAFSA status, log on to FAFSA.ed.gov using your FSA ID, the username and password you used to complete the application. You can check your status online even if you submitted it via snail mail. When you log in, you’ll see one of six statuses, according to the office of Federal Student Aid:

  • Not Submitted: If you still haven’t completed the FAFSA, do so as soon as possible because some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Processing: It takes three to five days for the Department of Education to process your FAFSA if you submitted it online and seven to 10 days if you mailed it in.

  • On Hold – Missing Signatures: Forgetting to sign the FAFSA is the most common FAFSA mistake, according to the Federal Student Aid office. If your FAFSA is on hold for this reason, colleges can’t accept your FAFSA and you won’t be considered for aid. Go back to your FAFSA and provide a signature to correct it.

  • Processed – Missing Signatures: Some FAFSAs are processed even if they’re missing a signature. Still, go back to your FAFSA and provide a signature. After your FAFSA is processed, you’ll be able to view your Student Aid Report, which is a summary of the information you provided on your FAFSA. The Student Aid Report includes your Expected Family Contribution, or the amount the Department of Education determines your family can afford to pay out-of-pocket toward college this year. Schools use this figure to determine how much aid you’re eligible for.

  • Processed – Action Required: You’ll get this status if your application is processed but incomplete because of an issue other than a missing signature, according to the office of Federal Student Aid. If your FAFSA is incomplete, your Student Aid Report won’t include your Expected Family Contribution. If you get this status, you’ll also see a message explaining what the issue is and how to fix it. A common problem is the information applicants provide on the FAFSA doesn’t match the Social Security Administration’s records.

 

  • Processed Successfully: Even if your FAFSA is processed successfully, you should still review your Student Aid Report to ensure you didn’t miss questions or provide incorrect information. There will be asterisks next to the questions you left blank, says Kevin Fudge, government relations and community affairs manager at American Student Assistance, a nonprofit focused on college financing issues. If you didn’t mean to leave them blank, or if you made another mistake, go back and update your FAFSA.