After you fill out your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will evaluate your situation to determine what you or your family is able to contribute to your graduate school tuition expenses. To calculate your Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, the USDE takes into account your income, assets, and other basic financial information.

You’ll receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR, after the government receives your FAFSA. Your SAR will typically come within five days of an electronic submission or within two to three weeks of a paper submission. Read over your SAR to make any necessary corrections and to understand your eligibility commitments.

Meanwhile, the graduate schools that you provided in your financial aid application will receive your FAFSA and will decide how much aid you are eligible for. The financial aid office of your chosen graduate program or programs will then send you a financial aid award notification.

Keep reading: Understanding Graduate School Scholarships