student standing in front of chalkboard with arrows drawn in chalkOnce you have submitted your FAFSA, your information will be sent electronically to the schools you indicated on the application.

Your information is also sent to the Missouri Department of Higher Education to determine eligibility for most state financial aid programs.

Student Aid Report

Once your FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. The SAR does not tell you how much financial aid you will receive. It is a summary of the data you submitted. Review your SAR for accuracy as soon as possible and make any corrections needed. If there are no corrections or requests for additional information, your SAR will indicate your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC.

Expected Family Contribution

Your EFC is used to determine your eligibility for financial aid. It is not the amount you must pay your school. The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by federal law. The EFC formula considers a number of factors including your family’s income, assets, and the number of family members attending college during the year.

You may be asked to verify and confirm information you submitted on your FAFSA. Financial aid officers at your college may ask for income tax records, W-2 statements, 1099 forms, verification of the number of people in your household, and other documents. Students selected for verification cannot receive financial aid until their data has been verified.

Award letter

If you have applied for admission to a college or career school and have been accepted, that school — if you listed it on your FAFSA — will calculate your financial aid and send you an electronic or paper financial aid offer, or award letter. Your award letter indicates how much financial aid you are eligible to receive at that particular school.

Award letters include financial aid from the school, state and federal scholarships and grants, and federal student loans for which you qualify. You will need to respond to the award letter and indicate the financial aid you would like to receive.

Remember, accept the free money — most grants and scholarships — first. You do not have to accept the student loans offered. You also can return all or a portion of a student loan to the financial aid office during the semester if you decide you do not need it.

Corrections and updates

If you need to make corrections to your FAFSA after you have submitted it, log in to fafsa.gov with your FSA ID. You can update the schools you want to receive your information or make corrections related to income or changing circumstances. Make corrections as soon as possible after you file.