Before each new school year begins, students attending college are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the amount of financial aid they are qualified for. If you are still a dependent, the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number is important in figuring out how much grants and federal student loans you will receive. Once you have filled out your FAFSA online, it may take several weeks for your application to be processed and your EFC to be determined.

Visit the FAFSA website and click on the "Start Here" button to log into your account with your first and last name, social security number and date of birth. Once you logged into your FAFSA account, click on the "Check Status of FAFSA" link.

Click on "View Processed Information" and enter your PIN number on the next page. Click the "Next" button after you enter your PIN number to view the status regarding your completed FAFSA.

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Review the information about your estimated family contribution under the "EFC" section of the page. Your EFC should be in a 5-digit number consisting of numerical values only with no commas. For example, if your EFC for the upcoming school year is $3561, your EFC will appear as 03561 on the FAFSA.

About the Author

Chang Lin has been writing professionally since 2010. He has written scripts for the National Science Foundation and short films that have won awards at film festivals. Lin holds a Bachelor of Arts in scriptwriting from the University of North Texas.