How Long FAFSA Takes to Process and When You’ll Get Student Aid Report

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  • The government will process your FAFSA within three to five days if you applied online.
  • Submitting your FAFSA creates your Student Aid Report, which summarizes the information you entered.
  • If you complete the FAFSA online, you will receive a SAR in your email.

If you need financial assistance to go to school, you must complete the Free Student Aid Application each year that you are enrolled. After submitting the form, you should track the submitted documents to ensure they have arrived at the right place. Here is the expected schedule.

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What is the FAFSA?

The FAFSA is a form that determines what types of student aid you qualify for — such as grants, scholarships, work studies, and loans. You will need to provide various documents to determine how much help you will receive.

Most colleges and universities use the information you provide to the FAFSA to create your financial aid package, which includes support from both the government and your school.

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How long does the FAFSA process take?

The Department of Education will process your application within three to five days if you applied online, or within seven to 10 days if you submitted your application by mail.

After the government processes your application, you’ll receive a copy of your Student Aid Report, or SAR, which essentially summarizes all of the information you enter on your FAFSA form. Please take a moment to review your information and ensure everything you have submitted is correct. If errors occur, correct your form as soon as possible.

How do you access your Student Aid Report?

If you complete the FAFSA online, you will receive a SAR via email from [email protected] When you submit your FAFSA, you will receive a paper confirmation in the mail.

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Your SAR includes information such as your expected family contribution, or EFC, which is used to determine the amount of financial aid you will receive for school. The SAR also includes a summary of your state student loans, details you enter on the FAFSA form, and your approximate eligibility for state student loans and a state Pell grant on the Grant History tab.

Here are the estimated arrival times if you submit them to the Federal Student Aid website via fafsa.gov:

Screenshot of the student help report

If you submit your FAFSA without an email address, it may take up to 2 weeks to receive your SAR.

Federal study grant



If you need to make corrections, it takes this long to show up on your SAR:

FAFSA corrects SAR

Changes to your SAR should be reflected fairly quickly.

Federal study grant



The schools you create on your FAFSA will have electronic access to your SAR data within 1 day of processing.

If you can’t find the SAR in your inbox after the estimated time of arrival, you should be able to access it by logging into the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID. On the My FAFSA page, click View SAR.

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