A student’s application for federal financial aid may be selected for review by the U.S. Department of Education in a process called “Verification.” Financial aid regulations say that schools have the right to ask for financial information and other information, as it applies to your application, before awarding federal aid.
The verification process requires that a student’s application be reviewed based on specific pre-determined criteria set by the Department of Education. The federal verification process is a random selection process. It is usually a more in-depth review of the student’s application data, as set according to the Department of Education’s Student Aid Handbook.
The verification process requires that information from the student’s application be compared with copies of the student’s, spouse’s (if married) and parents’ (if dependent) federal tax forms or financial documents. Other documentation may be required as it applies to the information on the application. Notification to students is sent via email stating that there are outstanding requirements. The student’s Genisys account will also list the document requirements and the status.
Each year about 18 percent of students’ financial aid applications nationwide are chosen for verification. The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified.
If you are selected for verification, the Student Financial Aid Office is required to verify the accuracy of some or all of the following items found on the FAFSA:
- Adjusted gross income
- U.S. income taxes paid
- Untaxed portions of IRS distributions
- Untaxed portions of pensions
- IRS deductions and payments
- Tax-exempt interest income
- Education credits
- Household size
- Number in college
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits
- Child support paid
- High school completion status
- Identity/statement of educational purpose
Students who are not tax filers must verify the following:
- Income earned from work
- Household size
- Number in college
- SNAP benefits
- Child support paid
To assist in the verification of the items above, the following documents may be required. You should only provide documents if we request them. Applicants selected for verification will receive a customized list of document requirements.
- Current year Verification Worksheet
- Federal Income Tax Return Transcript for prior prior tax year, if filed
- Student W2s for prior prior tax year
- Spouse’s Federal Income Tax Return Transcript for prior prior tax (if married)
- Spouse W2s for prior prior tax year (if married)
- Parent federal Income Tax Return Transcripts for prior prior tax year (if dependent student), if filed
- Parent W2s for prior prior tax year (if dependent student)
- Schedule C/CEZ for prior prior tax year (if self-employed)
- High school diploma
TIME OF VERIFICATION
It is the student’s responsibility to provide the required verification items to the school in a timely manner. Students are encouraged to review the tuition payment deadline for the semester and submit all required verification documents well in advance of the deadline to avoid late payment fees and potential interruption of their enrollment. Verification documents must be received by the institution no later than 120 days after the student’s last date of enrollment for the award year or by the deadline published in the Federal Register for the award year (whichever is earlier). The Federal Register deadline for 2021-2022 is September 17, 2022.
Additionally, students can only receive a late disbursement of a Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, or Parent PLUS loan if CPS (the Student Processing System) processed the SAR or an ISIR with an official EFC and the loan was originated prior to the date the student ceased half-time enrollment for the period. Late TEACH Grant funds may be disbursed only if the CPS processed the SAR or an ISIR with an official EFC and the grant was originated prior to the date the student ceased enrollment for the award year. A student can receive a late disbursement of a Federal Pell Grant only if the CPS processed a SAR or an ISIR with an official EFC prior to the date the student ceased enrollment for the award year.
CORRECTIONS & AWARD ADJUSTMENTS
If the Student Financial Aid Office finds that your FAFSA information must be updated as a result of verification the corrections will be automatically sent to the Department of Education. Student’s will receive an updated student aid report (SAR) listed the corrected FAFSA information. If adjustments are made to a student’s awards as a result of the correction the changes will be reflected in Genisys under the Award Overview page.
Students selected for Identity and Educational Purpose verification are required to complete the Statement of Educational Purpose form. The student must complete this on campus while meeting with a Financial Aid Officer, or in the presence of a Notary Public. A valid government issued photo ID must be shown and (if a notary is used) the student must mail the original notarized form to the Student Financial Aid Office with a clear photocopy of the government issued ID verified by the Notary Public. The Educational Purpose Form is aid year specific and must be completed for each individual aid year when selected by the Department of Education.