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Home Ask Student Aid FAQ How long does it take for FAFSA to process?

How long does it take for FAFSA to process?

Edvisors-2020-2021-Guide to Filing the FAFSA
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Depending on whether you completed the FAFSA online at, have a valid email on file, and signed the online application using the FSA ID, it can take 3 to 5 days to process your FAFSA and send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR summarizes the information you provided on your FAFSA. The process could be longer if the FAFSA was not electronically signed with an FSA ID.

One day after your FAFSA is processed, the schools listed on your FAFSA will receive the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) in electronic format. The ISIR contains the same information as the SAR, including your expected family contribution (EFC).

This table shows the time it typically takes to receive your SAR, based on whether you filed the FAFSA online, whether you signed the FAFSA electronically with an FSA ID, and whether you provided a valid email address on the FAFSA. If you didn’t provide an email address on the FAFSA or the email bounces (undelivered), a paper SAR will be mailed to the home address listed on your FAFSA.

Time To Receive Student Aid Report
Filed the FAFSA Online? Signed the FAFSA with FSA IDs? Provided Valid Email Address on the FAFSA? Time to Receive SAR Type of SAR
Yes Yes Yes 3-5 days Link by email
Yes Yes No 7-10 days Paper SAR Acknowledgement by mail
Yes No Yes 2 weeks Link by email
Yes No No 2 weeks Paper by mail
No No Yes 2 weeks Link by email
No No No 3 weeks Paper by mail

SAR Acknowledgement

Students who file the FAFSA online but do not provide an email address (or provided an invalid email address) will receive a paper SAR Acknowledgment instead of a paper SAR. Like the SAR, a SAR Acknowledgment lists the student's FAFSA data. But any corrections to the SAR Acknowledgment can be made online (at, instead of on paper.

College FAFSA Deadlines

Some colleges base the deadlines for their own financial aid funds on the date the ISIR is received, not the date the FAFSA is filed. So it’s best to file the FAFSA early (at least two weeks before the school's published FAFSA deadline), to ensure that the school receives the FAFSA data by the published deadline.

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What To Do If You Haven’t Received Your SAR

If you haven’t received the SAR, you can check on the status by logging in at with your FSA ID, name, Social Security Number, and date of birth, or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

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