After you apply

You’ve filed your FAFSA—now what?

To make sure you get your financial aid on time, you’ll want to follow the steps on this page after filing your FAFSA each year. Making sure you check off these tasks will help ensure your success at IU East.

Review the status of your FAFSA 3–5 days after you submit it. Make any necessary corrections as soon as possible to make sure your financial aid is processed quickly and accurately.

Be sure to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Switching two numbers (for example, “$1,200” instead of “$2,100”)
  • Adding too many or too few zeroes to a number
  • Listing your parents’ income as yours (and the other way around)
  • Forgetting to have your parent electronically sign the application with their FSA ID

Your FAFSA will be processed with the information you provide, so make sure everything is correct.

In some cases, you may need to make specific changes to your FAFSA to meet eligibility requirements for awards from the state. Check ScholarTrack for details.

Once your FAFSA is verified and processed, you'll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Dept. of Education.

You may be asked to verify the information you provided on your FAFSA before you can be declared eligible to receive financial aid. If you’re selected for verification, we’ll contact you by mail or email and notify you in your To Do List.

Be sure to complete verification as quickly as you can and turn in all required documents at the same time to avoid delays with your financial aid. Requested information must be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the end of the enrollment period for which you are seeking financial aid. We’ll typically process your file within 7-10 business days after we have all of your documentation.

Verification tutorial

Upload documentation securely

You can also fax documentation to 765-973-8288 or mail it to:

Indiana University East
Whitewater Hall 112
2325 Chester Boulevard
Richmond, IN 47374-1289

Keep watching your IU email account and your To Do List for updates about the verification process. Learn more about your To Do List in the IU Knowledgebase.

Don’t wait too long. If you submit your documentation at the end of the semester, there is no guarantee that your verification will be completed before the last day of classes. This could affect your financial aid eligibility, and we may be required to cancel any existing awards you received.

Email is our primary way of communicating with you. Make a habit of checking your university email on a regular basis—if you miss a crucial message, it could delay your aid.

Learn more about your email

Once your FAFSA eligibility has been reviewed by IU East, you’ll get a financial aid award notification (FAN) from us.  For incoming freshman packaged with aid before June we will mail a paper financial aid award notification. Returning students and freshman packaged after June will receive an email notification at their IU East e-mail account once financial aid eligibility has been determined. Students should review their information on One.IU (, under Self-Service.

Take time to review your FAN with your family. It gives the details about your financial eligibility, expected costs, and other important information.

Please note: If you receive more funding after your award package has been put together, and that funding causes your aid total to exceed your cost of attendance (COA), your award package may change. In some cases, your aid can change even if it doesn’t exceed your COA.

Order that awards are applied

Financial aid awards are added to students’ accounts in a predetermined sequence; it is most beneficial to students that gift aid (that is, aid that does not have to be earned or repaid) is sequenced above self-help aid (that is, work-study or loans).  In this way, we ensure that self-help aid is not preventing a student’s receipt of grants, scholarships, and fee remissions.


Cost of Attendance (COA)

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships uses estimated information to create a standard cost of attendance, or budget, for all students. This information varies depending on undergraduate or graduate status as well as residency, enrollment status (half-time, full-time etc), and living arrangements.

Your COA appears on your Student Aid Report (SAR) and your Financial Aid Award Notification (FAN), and helps to determine your estimated family contribution and need (grants, loans, etc).


Need is calculated based on a student’s Student Aid Index (SAI), as determined by your FAFSA application, and as listed on your Student Aid Report. Most financial aid that we award is need-based.

Need-based programs include the following (but are not limited to):

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana (SSACI) Grants
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Stafford Subsidized Loan

Typically scholarships and fee remissions are not awarded based upon a student's SAI or need. However, it should be noted that fee remissions, IU awarded scholarships and those awarded by private donors, are all included when totaling the amount of aid counted towards need.

Understanding the Student Aid Index (SAI)

Using a formula set by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education uses the information you reported on the FAFSA to calculate the Student Aid Index (SAI). This number appears on your Student Aid Report (SAR) and represents the amount the federal government expects you should have available to pay towards your Cost of Attendance (COA). Your SAI and COA are key factors to determine your financial aid eligibility. However, many factors determine financial aid eligibility, so sometimes a student pays more than their SAI and sometimes they may pay less.

What is my SAI used for? Your SAI, along with your COA, is a tool which helps us to determine the type of aid for which a student is eligible and enables us to create a student's financial aid package. The eligibility for some awards is based on the SAI; other aid options require need to qualify.

Monitor your To Do List regularly to keep track of issues related to your financial aid. Anything that shows up on your list must be completed in order for you to receive your awards. Be sure to check the list regularly and turn in all requested documents as soon as possible—most forms take at least 10 business days to process.

Grants and scholarships are automatically accepted on your behalf since they represent money that you don’t have to earn or pay back. You must manually accept, reduce, or decline all other awards—otherwise, they won’t be applied to your bursar bill.

Learn more about managing your aid

If you're a first-time Federal Direct Loan borrower, or it's been 10+ years since your last Federal Direct Loan, you’ll need to go through entrance counseling and sign a master promissory note (MPN). See the 'First time borrower?' section to learn more on the following page:

Learn about counseling and the MPN for Federal Direct Loans

Signing a Title IV authorization allows your Title IV financial aid such as Federal Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans to go toward charges other than tuition and fees (for example, your parking permit). We strongly recommend that you complete this authorization.

Learn more about Title IV authorization

If your financial aid is greater than your bursar bill, you’ll be sent a refund for the difference. With direct deposit, you’ll get that money faster.

Learn more about direct deposit

If you want to let a parent, spouse, sponsor, or other person to be able to check on your financial aid, you can grant them access.

Learn about third-party access

Start your financial wellness journey

IU’s MoneySmarts website helps you protect yourself from debt. See how much college will cost with the online calculator, read up on your credit score, check out money podcasts, and much, much more.

You can also take online courses through MoneySmarts U to learn about money at every stage of your college career. You’ll discover how to sort through credit card offers, plan for living expenses, decide what to do with work income, and figure out how to prepare for your financial future.