Post FAFSA & Award Notifications

FAFSA Submitted. Now What?

The following resources may be used to guide student through the post FAFSA process and comparing financial aid packages. For more information about the post FAFSA process, including sample award notification letters, download the Advisor Training Module – Chapter 7.


FY15 FAFSA Follow Up Sign: This document walks through what happens after you file the FAFSA. It also includes screenshots of aid descriptions.

Financial Aid Offices – Responsibilities and Red Flags: This document is meant to help students be informed, conscientious consumers of information, particularly as it relates to the financial aid office. It seeks to empower students so they are aware of what the financial aid offices’ responsibilities are—and what things might be worrisome (these we hope students do not encounter!).

Institutional Documentation (IDOC) Instructions for CSS Profile: This presentation, provided by College Board, walks through the institutional documentation ervice process. IDOC is only available to students that participating colleges and programs select and the College Board notifies for participation. Visit 

Student Aid Report (SAR): Once a student has submitted a FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will send a Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student via email or US mail depending if a valid email address was provided on the original application.

Tax Transcript Download: This document provides screenshots of the process to download a tax transcript online through the IRS.

Award Letter Comparison Tools

Big Futures: Students can compare aid awards through Big Futures, a resource provided by The College Board. Students can sign in to save or retrieve their information.

College Abacus: A free website where students planning for college can easily compare their projected financial aid packages across schools and identify schools within their budgets, before applying to college or filling out the FAFSA. This Award Letter Comparison Tool helps students compare and contrast the financial aid packages from the colleges that have admitted the student. In particular, it highlights differences in the cost of attending each school.