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Senior Families: What to Do After the FAFSA

You have filed your FAFSA/ WASFA... now what? 

We have summarized a few simple steps here, but we suggest you see 8 Things to Do After Filing Your FAFSA or download Six Things to do After Filing the FAFSA 

Spanish: Las 6 cosas que debe hacer


The FAFSA or WASFA is a major step, but you are not finished yet:  

First and most important, watch your email and pay attention to messages from FAFSA (or WASFA if you filled that out) and from colleges' financial aid offices. 

Watch for an email saying that your FAFSA has been successfully processed. Or, you might receive a message saying that your FAFSA has errors. If you have an error, figure out what the problem is, log back in and fix it. 

When you get a copy of your Student Aid Report, go over it carefully. Check everything to make sure it is correct. If you find anything incorrect, log back in and make changes.  

Look for your EFC, your Expected Family Contribution. It is essentially what you might be expected to pay, but it is not the final cost of college. You will find that out through the individual colleges. Warning:  your EFC may be higher than you expect! 

If you are selected for verification--lots of families are!--promptly provide the requested information to the college financial aid offices. 

When you receive award letters from the college financial aid offices, go over them carefully. They may be in different formats and use different language. 


Resources on this website



FAFSA & CSS Profile Help 

Financial Aid Awards 

FAFSA/ Financial Aid Presentation by Kimberly Shephard, Seattle U 


Recommended:  FAFSA Next Steps on

for answers to frequently asked questions like

  • How can I check to see if my FAFSA has been processed? 
  • How do I correct errors on my FAFSA? 
  • What do I do if I am selected for verification? 
  • Can I update my FAFSA if my situation has changed?
  • and many other practical questions