"Verification" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 25th July 2011

The procedure by which a college checks the information reported on the FAFSA, usually by requesting a copy of your (and/or your parents’) signed tax return and other documentation. The Financial Aid Office is required by the U.S. Department of Education to verify files for applicants selected for verification by the Processor. In addition, the Financial Aid Office reserves the right to request verification of additional applicants with questionable or conflicting information. The verification process requires the following:

All documentation must be received before awards can be finalized. Document tracking letters are sent requesting all necessary verification documents be submitted to the Financial Aid Office within two weeks.

The federal government randomly selects about one in three FAFSAs each year for verification. If your FAFSA is selected (there’ll be an asterisk after your EFC on your SAR), your college will ask you to verify your financial information, usually by requesting a copy of your most recent federal tax return, W-2 forms or other financial documents, and a completed Verification Worksheet. Your college may independently ask for your financial records to verify your eligibility for student aid; some colleges choose to verify every student’s eligibility.

If your financial situation changes after you submit your FAFSA, contact your financial aid office. Ask if your college has a formal process to handle appeals and be prepared to provide supporting documentation. Don’t be shy - it’s your future!

Special Circumstances: If the student and/or family have unusual or extenuating circumstances that are not reflected on the FAFSA, he or she should contact the Financial Aid Office. Supporting documentation is required.