Mapping Your Future: Six things you should check on your FAFSA Submission Summary

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Six things you should check on your FAFSA Submission Summary

By Catherine Mueller

February 26, 2024

It may be a few weeks before you see your 2024-25 FAFSA Submission Summary, but it’s not too early to learn a little more about this important financial aid document.

In mid-March or later, the U.S. Department of Education will begin notifying students who’ve submitted a 2024-25 FAFSA (and provided a valid email address) that they have a FAFSA Submission Summary to review. After you receive the email, you can log into your account at StudentAid.gov to review the Summary. If you didn’t receive (or missed) the email, but have submitted a 2024-25 FAFSA, you may want to just log into your account to see if you do have the summary.

The FAFSA Submission Summary has four tabs:

  • Eligibility Overview
  • FAFSA Form Answers
  • School Information
  • Next Steps

When you are reviewing those tabs, here’s six things you should do when you get your FAFSA Submission Summary, and remember, you may need to act on some things:

  1. Find out your eligibility for federal financial aid. The “Eligibility Overview” tab will have the dates your application was received and processed as well as the Data Release Number (DRN), which you can use to add colleges to your application (by contacting the Federal Student Aid Information Center or the college). The tab will also have your estimated federal student aid and your Student Aid Index. This amount won’t be final until you receive a financial aid offer from your college, but knowing your federal financial aid eligibility may help better plan and select a college that is affordable to attend.
  2. Determine if you need to act for your FAFSA to be fully processed. Also, under the “Eligibility Overview” tab, you could receive a notice that you need to provide some additional information for FAFSA to be fully processed and your eligibility for federal aid determined. You’ll want to respond quickly so that you can receive any financial aid for which you’re eligible.
  3. Check to see if you are selected for verification. With the new 2024-25 FAFSA form, there should be less need for verification, but if you are selected, you’ll see an asterisk by your Student Aid Index (SAI). Being selected for verification doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything wrong. You may have just been selected at random and some colleges verify the FAFSA information of all students. Your college will contact you and ask for additional information. Be sure to respond quickly to receive all the financial aid for which you are eligible.
  4. Review and correct any mistakes. Under the “FAFSA Form Answers” tab, you will see the information you provided and, if applicable, any information provided by your contributors. Federal tax information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) won’t display. Review the information and correct or update any of the information.
  5. Compare the colleges listed on your FAFSA and, if needed, add or remove colleges. Under the “School Information” tab, you’ll see those colleges you selected to receive your FAFSA information. If any colleges are missing, if you’ve decided you want to consider another college, or if you want or remove a college from your list, you can do so now. Also, this part of the FAFSA Submission Summary will have more information about each college, such as graduation rate, retention rate, average annual cost, so you can compare them and decide which is the best fit for you.
  6. Determine if you are required to take some next steps for your FASFA to be processed. Under the “Next Steps” tab, you’ll see any comments that pertain to your FAFSA. Those comments may just be informational or could require you to submit a correction or send additional documentation to the college you plan to attend.

If you take any action on your FAFSA Submission Summary, such as adding another college, changing information, or correcting a mistake, make sure you hit “submit” so the Department of Education will process the FAFSA again and the colleges you listed on the FAFSA will also receive the updates.