You are probably wondering what FAFSA verification means if you have landed on this page. We will try to explain the verification process in the easiest way possible. To combat fraud and waste in the college financial aid system all schools must have a certain percentage of students go through the verification process.
All this means is that you have to verify the information you entered on your application to ensure that what your entered is the same as what is on your tax forms. The largest percentages of students who are selected for verification are students who are receiving a large amount of grants or free money. If you are just eligible for student loans, then most likely you will not be selected for verification.
The school is required by federal regulations to verify a certain percentage of all students who apply for financial aid. In our experience, that number is around 15% and mostly people getting the Pell grant.
Verification is a very easy process to complete and you will not be able to get any financial aid if you do not complete the process. Most schools are going to ask for the following items:
- A copy of all tax returns from the previous year
- A household worksheet with the names and social security numbers of all the people living in your household.
- Copies of bank statements.
- Any other information that is connected with the information that you entered on your application.
FAFSA verification is a very easy process because if you lied on your initial application to try and get more free money, then you do not deserve to get any financial aid at all. Please remember that when you file your application you are stating and signing it saying that everything on the application is true.
Once you get all of your verification paperwork into the school’s financial aid office, they will review and verify it.
FAFSA Verification Process
You will know if you have been selected for verification when you get your Student Aid Report (SAR). You should get this report within a week of submitting your FAFSA. Look for the “EFC” in the right-hand corner of the page. If there is an asterisk next to it, you have been chosen for verification.
You will also receive an extra verification form that asks for the information you need to verify. Be sure to include everything it asks for to expedite the financial aid process. Delaying the verification will only hurt your chances of getting free government money. If you do not send in the worksheet, you might even lose your financial aid.
Here is how to make sure the verification process goes smoothly:
Get the necessary documents and make copies of everything. Send in the copies, not the originals! You will need, at the very least, last year’s tax forms and possibly W-2 forms.
Fill out the verification worksheet that was included with your SAR.
Make sure the tax forms you submit are signed by the taxpayer. For example, if you are sending in your parents’ taxes from last year, make sure their signatures are on them. Everything should be dated and signed.
Check to see that all required signatures are on the worksheets and forms. Even one missing signature can delay your scholarship money.
Fill out every box. If it is not applicable, put “0” or “NA,” depending on the question.
Make copies of the verification worksheet and file it away in a safe location in case it gets lost in the mail.
Mail (or bring) the documents, along with the verification worksheet, to your school’s financial aid office. They will handle everything from there. Do not mail it to the Department of Education or the IRS!