Parent Question:  My son applied for the FAFSA at the beginning of October. He has applied to and been accepted to a few colleges too. What information should we expect to receive about financial aid? Will individual schools send info about how much aid he would receive at their school? Or is all the info accessible when he looks into the FAFSA?
Thanks,  Parent of a senior


Reply from Katie Wornek, StepUp Utah Paying for College Expert:
Hello and thank you for your question!

You are correct – the colleges your son listed on the FAFSA and has been accepted to will take care of the next step. They will either:

  • Select your student’s FAFSA for verification (this is a process where the college will ask for additional documents if anything on the FAFSA is missing, incorrect, or if they just need to confirm information reported). Or, if they don’t need to verify the FAFSA, the colleges will;
  • Send a financial aid award letter (physically, via email, or to his student portal if the college has set him up with one). This will outline:
    • The cost of attendance
    • Any federal financial aid your student will qualify for
    • Any state grants or scholarships your student will qualify for
    • Any institutional grants and scholarships the college can offer your student from their own budget

Some colleges send award letters pretty quickly after a student submits a FAFSA, but others wait until late Spring to send them.

In the meantime, your son can view his FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR) by logging into or checking for an email from Federal Student Aid (should have been sent shortly after he submitted the FAFSA). However, the SAR only gives an estimate of the federal aid your student may qualify for. It won’t outline state or institutional money.


Katie Wornek, StepUp Utah

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