Federal Student Aid: Verification
Definition and Purpose
- Verification is a process used to check the accuracy of the information that a student has given when applying for federal financial aid.
- Verification is used to ensure that the student is providing accurate information about his or her need for financial aid, since inaccurate information may result in the student receiving less (or more) money than he or she should.
- Federal Pell grant and TEACH grant
- Federal Stafford loans;
- Campus-based programs:
- federal Perkins
- federal work study
- federal supplemental education opportunity grant (FSEOG)
The Department of Education has developed a series of manual and electronic edits used in need analysis to determine who is triggered for verification:
- pre-established criteria based on the particular system's edits
- error-phone modeling uses applicant characteristics to predict which applicants are likely to make errors
- gross year comparison utilizes a comparison of past- and current-year information
- independent student overrides
- random selection
- conflicting information in student's file
- student with questionable income or asset information
- students who choose not to accept downloaded IRS tax information on their FAFSA
- students who edit the downloaded IRS information on their FAFSA.
Federal regulations have customized the verification process. Not all students selected for verification will be required to verify the same data. Our office will notify students which data must be verified.
- Students selected for verification are notified by the federal processor immediately upon submission of the FAFSA on the student aid report and by the financial aid office once FAFSA information has been received.
- Students will be instructed to send in specific materials to verify their information based on federal requirements. Some of these materials may include, but are not limited to, a verification form, an official IRS federal tax return transcript, W-2 wage statements, a statement of education purpose or verification of identity, and declaration of untaxed income.
- Until all verification requirements are completed, no funds will be awarded nor disbursed to the student.
Students should note the deadline date for submitting verification materials on verification forms.