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If you are new to Financial Aid or a student who was just notified by their school that they were selected for Verification, you might be asking yourself WHAT is this?
What Is Verification?
To put Verification in layman’s terms, it is the process of reviewing the information a student provided on their FAFSA.
“When a student is selected for Verification, it is an opportunity to verify that the information they provided on their FAFSA is true and accurate” – Kathy Hunt, Managing Director at FAS.
A student may be selected for Verification by the Department of Education or by the school. There are 3 different types of Verification flags that a student may be selected for, each with their own requirements set forth by the Department of Education.
Why Is Verification Important?
Verification ensures that the school is awarding the correct amount of Title IV funds to each of its students, which assists in keeping schools in compliance with the Department of Education.
Kathy Hunt, Managing Director and Verification expert at FAS says,
“One thing that is really important that our clients know is that we are doing this service to keep them compliant. While keeping them compliant, we are also providing the student with everything that they can possibly receive.”
We know Verification can be frustrating but Financial Aid Services is here to help you through the process!
What Can the Verification Team at Financial Aid Services (FAS) Do?
When a school sends a student’s Verification file to FAS, an actual human looks at each individual document that was uploaded and compares that document to the most recent ISIR transaction on file.
“Our job is to verify the accuracy of the information on the students FAFSA so that the school is accurately awarding the correct amount of Title IV funds and can therefore be in compliance with the Department of Education.” – Kathy Hunt
FAS works with schools on what documents are needed to verify the accuracy of the student’s information. We individually train schools on how to go through the Verification process, and when a school comes up against an unusual situation, we are there to offer advice.
“A lot of what we do is go through people’s taxes.” Says Mary Boyden, Verification Specialist. “The reason for this is that we need to certify that the information the student or family provided is correct. A lot of people prefer to put all the information down themselves, but sometimes they aren’t sure how to read their federal tax return information or what exactly the FAFSA is asking for.”
FAS also has robust software called Student File Direct that assists schools with the Verification process. Our software is designed to show schools every student that the Department of Education selected for Verification without having to read all the pages of a student’s ISIR.
Tips Regarding Verification Files:
Verification can often seem like a daunting process, but our team is here to help!
“If you don’t know, call us before you upload!” – Mary Boyden
- Don’t worry if your student is selected for Verification. The federal government uses a variety of different methods when choosing students for Verification and one of them is entirely random!
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to avoid mistakes with Verification. This free available online tool will carefully transfer the student or student’s parents federal tax return information onto the FAFSA. Any tax information transferred directly by the IRS is deemed “verified.” This translates into a much FASTER review and less documents to collect!
“If you are married or filed jointly you will have the option to use the DRT. If you do, all that verifiable information comes directly from the IRS.” – Mary Boyden
- Resolve Verification issues as soon as possible. The financial aid available for students at your institution might be first come first serve. So once the available funding is awarded it is gone! Students should work with their financial aid administrator to get any issues with your FAFSA’s Verification resolved as soon as possible as a result.
For more information about Verification – the Federal Student Aid Training Center is an excellent online tool for training that comes directly from the Department of Education. You can sign up for training by visiting their website here: https://fsatraining.ed.gov/. In addition, the Department of Education provides an electronic version of the 2022-2023 Federal Student Aid Handbook, a valuable resource for information.
Alternatively, if you need Verification training that is personalized to your needs, call us today or sign up for training through our website by visiting our Training Page! There is no scenario that our dedicated team of Verification Specialists can’t assist with!