Verification for Federal Student Aid Eligibility
The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled. A subset of financial aid applications are randomly selected by the US Department of Education for verification. If a student is selected for verification, there is an asterisk next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR may be viewed online at www.fafsa.gov under Step 3: “View and Print Your Student Aid Report".
Applications selected for verification are placed into Verification Tracking Groups (V1 – V5). The SAR indicates with a tracking flag for which group the student has been selected. Items to be verified are based on the specific Verification Tracking Group. If a student is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office notifies the student of required documentation. The student (and parent(s) of dependent students), are required to provide appropriate and legible supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office. Depending on the category selected, one or more of the following documents may be requested:
- IRS Tax Return Transcript or use of IRS Data Retrieval Process;
- Documentation of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if applicable;
- Documentation of child support paid, if applicable;
- Documentation of other untaxed income, if applicable;
- Verification of high school completion (or equivalent), if applicable; and,
- Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose, if applicable.
Please note that additional documents may be requested at the Financial Aid Office’s discretion.
Participation in the verification process is not optional. Students with verification categories of V1 – V3, and V6, who do not submit the required documentation within 30 days of request may experience financial aid processing delays, and may be administratively withdrawn until all supporting verification documents have been received by the University’s Financial Aid Office. New online students who are selected for the customized verification categories of V4 or V5 must submit the required Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose documentation prior to progressing beyond conditional admission status or they will be administratively withdrawn prior to attending week four of their first course. Any other required documentation must be completed within 30 days of request. Continuing online students who are selected for the customized verification categories of V4 or V5 must submit the Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose within 14 days of notification and any other requested documentation within 30 days.
If clarification is needed on a verification document or the Student Aid Report, an advisor from the Financial Aid Office will contact the student for additional information. Possible corrections may be required on the SAR. If a student’s financial aid award in any way changes as a result of verification, a new award letter is generated and will be available via the portal to view or print. Verification Worksheets can be obtained from the Financial Aid Office or on the Student Portal. Financial aid will not be processed or disbursed if an applicant fails to provide the appropriate and legible verification documentation.