What Happens Next
Filing the FAFSA is only the first step toward financing your college education. To help make sure you receive all the financial aid you qualify for, follow these additional steps.
Student Aid Report
You should get this form from the U.S. Department of Education in a couple of weeks.
Check it over carefully to make sure all your information is correct. If you need to make changes, follow the instructions on the form or visit www.fafsa.gov to make changes using your electronic personal identification number (PIN).
You might be chosen for verification. It’s quite common to receive a verification request from one or more of the schools you listed on your FAFSA. Simply return the requested paperwork as soon as possible to avoid delay of your financial aid processing.
Compare Award Letters
You’ll receive an award letter from each college you’ve been admitted to and that has received your FAFSA results. The letter is part of the school’s financial aid package, which may also include loan documents. Specific awards you’re eligible for if you attend the college are outlined in the letter. Focus on grants, scholarships and work-study opportunities first, these types of financial aid do not need to be repaid and should be exhausted before you consider loans.
You should never have to pay for scholarship assistance. Review the enclosed list of free resources available for scholarship searches.
If you do find that you need to borrow some money, choose wisely. Carefully consider how much your education will cost from now until graduation and how much you can offset with savings, earnings and forms of aid that don’t need to be repaid. In general, you should choose federally guaranteed student loans over any private loans. Federal loans have rates and fees set by the federal government that will usually cost less over the long run than those of private loans.
Get More Information
If you need additional help, contact your college’s financial aid or admissions office.
You can also visit the ICAN at one of ten Student Success Centers across the state for assistance. Centers are located in Ankeny, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Hiawatha, Orange City, Sheldon, Sioux City, and Waterloo. Visit the ICAN website at www.ICANsucceed.org, e-mail ICAN@ICANsucceed.org or call (877) 272-4692.