financial aid verification answers
Verification is an important and necessary part of the financial aid process.
- Applicants who are chosen for verification must provide supporting documents to ensure that the information on their FAFSA is accurate
- The supporting documentation is used by the financial aid office to double check the FAFSA information and make corrections if needed
Verification is an important process used to ensure that the right amount of financial aid is provided to the right students at the right time. Not everyone’s FAFSA is verified, but being selected doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong in the application process—going through the process could actually increase your financial aid award.
- You may have been randomly selected for verification
- The FAFSA you submitted may have been incomplete
- Your FAFSA may have contained estimated information
- Some of the data you provided on the FAFSA may have been inconsistent
You may be selected for verification either by the federal processor or by Cheyney University. If you are selected for verification by the federal processor, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR acknowledgement letter, which will be included with your SAR documents.
The set of data elements potentially subject to verification include
- Household size
- Number in college
- Receipt of food stamps
- Child support paid
- Adjusted gross income
- Taxes paid
- Several untaxed income items (untaxed IRA distributions, untaxed pensions, education credits, IRA deductions, and tax exempt interest)
Verification is a federal regulation. Cheyney University’s financial aid office cannot process requests for professional judgment or disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished. Verification
- Prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information
- Ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified
CU prospective and current students selected for verification
- Receive an email from CU
- Receive an email from Financial Aid Services (the outsourced student servicing center CU secured to help students and their parents navigate the system) with contact information that you can use to talk to someone who will provide you with the necessary steps you'll need to take to complete the process
Dependent Students will need to supply a copy of the student's and parent's federal income tax transcript (for the tax year prior to the current aid year).
Independent Students will need to furnish their (and spouse's, if applicable) federal income tax transcript.
The best action you can take to help finish verification is to use the IRS data retrieval process to automatically populate your and your parents’ tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFS. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents access to the IRS tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA form. Both students and parents are able to transfer tax data directly into the FAFSA. This is highly recommended for three good reasons:
- It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data
- It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information
- You won’t need to provide tax documents the school
Now that the IRS tax filing deadline has passed, you and your parents (if you are a dependent student) should log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make a correction to use the IRS data retrieval. This will allow you to link to the IRS from the FAFSA and retrieve the tax information to populate the FAFSA tax questions. When you use the IRS data retrieval, the tax information is considered to be already verified so you will not have to submit any documentation, like tax transcripts, to the School Service Center which supports CU’s Financial Aid Office.
Some students and/or parents will be ineligible or will choose not to use the IRS data retrieval. In these cases, only the signed tax return transcript will be accepted as documentation to verify tax information. The tax return transcript must be requested directly from the IRS by calling 1-800-9946 or visiting the IRS website.
If you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information, and CU requests a copy of your tax return or your parents’ tax return, you will be required to obtain an official Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.
Here is the website www.sscwp.org and contact number 1-855-328-4400.
Participation in the verification process is not optional if your FAFSA form is pulled for verification. If you do not submit the requested documentation, you will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional need-based financial aid and your parents will not be eligible to borrow a federal PLUS loan.
A financial aid offer cannot be made until the verification process is completed. Once the verification and/or correction process is completed, the student will be awarded within 5-10 business days. An e-mail notifying the student of the award will be sent to their email account.