two girsl with computerThe FAFSA Process

When a student submits the FAFSA, it is sent to the Federal Student Aid's Central Processing System (CPS). While at the CPS, the student’s FAFSA goes through a series of edits to check for inconsistencies in the application. In addition, the CPS initiates several database matches with:

  • Social Security Administration (SSA)
  • Department of Homeland Security (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Service)
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
  • Selective Service System
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs


If a discrepancy arises as the CPS processes the student's application and performs data matches, the student’s FAFSA is flagged and the student may not be eligible for federal student aid until s/he resolves the discrepancy. It is important that the student understands that some discrepancies will prevent the CPS from calculating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

After the student submits a completed FAFSA and signature to the CPS (a parent signature is also required if the student is a dependent) it takes about 72 hours for the record to be available for Concordia to download.

For more tips about filing the FAFSA, download Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Student Aid (PDF).

This page was last updated on Oct. 10, 2011.
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