Verification is a process used to ensure that certain FAFSA information is accurate.
Either the U.S. Department of Education or your school may randomly select students whose information needs to be validated.
The federal government mandates that colleges verify approximately 30% of the student aid applications submitted each year.
Don’t panic if you were chosen for verification. It is a normal part of the process.
Colleges can choose to verify more than 30% of the FAFSA applications they receive, while some choose to verify every application.
Why would my FAFSA be selected for verification?
Here are some other reasons you may have been chosen:
- You were selected randomly.
- You elect not to use the automatic IRS Data Retrieval Process.
- Your FAFSA is incomplete.
- Your FAFSA contains inconsistent data.
- Your FAFSA contains estimated information.
What do I do if I am selected for FAFSA verification?
If you were selected for verification, you should:
- Review your SAR for messages from the U.S. Department of Education.
If you’ve been selected, an asterisk ( * ) will appear after your EFC number on your Student Aid Report (SAR). Read the instructions in the SAR on what to do next.
- Gather the requested documents.
Provide only the requested information and be sure that all documents have the appropriate signatures.
- Complete a verification worksheet, if required.
If you are selected for verification, many schools may require that you to complete a verification worksheet.
- Return all verification materials as soon as possible.
The sooner you verify your information, the sooner you’ll be able to receive financial aid if you’re eligible.
FAFSA verification is an important process used to ensure that the information you have submitted is accurate.
This verification helps prevent ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensure that only eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified.
Therefore, the best way to reduce the likelihood of having your FAFSA flagged for verification is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to retrieve your income tax data from the IRS and have it transferred straight into your FAFSA.