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Q. What is verification?
Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of student reported data on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Because students sometimes make errors on their application, colleges have procedures for verifying the reported information. The verification process is required by law (for selected student records), and compares FAFSA data with the information supplied on the verification worksheet and with the signed copies of needed financial and other documents. Dependent students must submit signed copies of required documents for themselves and parents; independent students must submit signed copies of required documents for themselves and spouse (if applicable).
Q. How are students selected?
The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately one third of all FAFSA filers to undergo this process. In addition, financial aid administrators may select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition that is unusual and warrants investigation. If a student is selected for verification, eligibility for federal financial assistance for the award year cannot be determined until this process has been completed.
Q. How are students notified?
If an application is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student via their Pathway account. The Pathway account will specify what documents and procedures are required for verification and link them directly to any forms needed.
Q. How long does it take to complete verification?
Once all necessary verification documents are received, PTC estimates a two week turn around. This includes making any corrections with the Federal processor and receiving/loading the updated ISIR into our system.
Q. What are Verification Documents?
A student may be required to submit one or more of the following verification forms. If you are selected for verification, your individual requirements will be specified in Pathway.
- Verification Worksheet
- IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed copy of Federal Tax Return for the student, parent(s) or spouse as applicable
- W2(s) for the student, parent(s) or spouse as applicable
- Other documents needed to verify any inconsistent or conflicting information
If you are selected for verification, your individual requirements will be specified in Pathway.
Q. How does the college make corrections?
Financial Aid administrators make corrections to a student’s record from completed forms and documentation submitted by the student. The corrections are sent electronically to CPS, which in turn sends the college a new ISIR (Institutional Student Information Report).
Q. Is there a deadline for submitting verification documents?
The Financial Aid Office will accept verification documents through the end of the academic awarding period. However, no applicant selected for verification will be awarded Federal or State aid (other than LIFE scholarship) until verification is complete. Students who fail to submit verification documents will never be awarded aid.
Q. Could corrections made during the Verification Process change my award eligibility?
Yes, changes made during the verification process could increase or decrease the amount of aid a student is eligible for. If a change occurs in a student’s award, they will be sent an email each time there is an award change and the award will also update on the student’s Pathway account.