Each year, the U.S. Department of Education selects certain applicants for a process called verification. Verification simply means information provided on the student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office for accuracy and completeness. The verification process ensures that eligible students are offered the financial aid they are entitled to receive and also prevents students from receiving aid they do not qualify for.
NOTE: Federal law restricts the way in which documents are submitted to the Financial Aid Office. For your safety and security, Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should never be sent via email. Documents attached to an email are no longer accepted to protect the privacy of student information. The most secure methods to submit documents to the Financial Aid Office are by fax, postal mail or in person.
Typically, students can expect to receive notification that they have been selected for verification within 2-3 business days after the Financial Aid Office receives the student’s FAFSA results from the federal processor. The Financial Aid Office will mail requests to incoming students and email requests to returning students who have been selected for verification. These requests will list the necessary documents the student must submit for review.
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, immediately submit all requested documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Failure to provide required documentation by stated deadlines may negatively impact your financial aid award package.
The Financial Aid Office will not disburse federal, state, or need-based institutional aid until the verification process has been completed. Thus, it is very important for students to submit required documentation as soon as possible. For students whose applications are selected for verification, financial aid awards are considered estimated until the required evaluation related to the verification process is completed.
Please note that during verification review, additional information may be required from the family in order to clarify inconsistencies. The Financial Aid Office will contact you via University email if additional clarification is needed. It is important to respond to any requests for additional information immediately.
Participation in the verification process is not optional. If the student does not submit the requested documentation, the student will not be eligible to receive federal, state or institutional need-based financial aid and the parents of a dependent student will not be eligible to receive a PLUS loan.
Financial aid change due to verification
During the verification process, information is compared to the original data on the FAFSA and corrections may be necessary. These corrections may lower or raise the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure. Because financial need is determined by the EFC, aid eligibility may be impacted when changes occur during the verification process. If verification is completed after a student is initially awarded financial aid, changes to the original aid package may occur. The Financial Aid Office will notify you of any changes to your aid package via mail to incoming students and via University email accounts to returning students. In some cases, when financial aid has already been disbursed but the EFC increases after a late verification review, certain forms of aid may need to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education.