What is Financial Aid Verification?
Verification uses documentation to confirm that the information provided on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the federal financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid for which they do not qualify.
How will I know if I am selected for verification?
You may be selected for verification either by the federal processor or by the SU Financial Aid Office. Either way, you’ll receive an email letting you know. 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). View a Sample SAR
What do I need to submit, and when?
If selected for verification, our office will send you an email listing the required documentation. Submit all documentation as soon as possible, as your financial aid award cannot be finalized until we’ve received this information. Listed below are the items required by all students flagged for verification; our office will let you know if we need additional information.
Copy of Parent and Student 2011 Tax Return Transcripts
This requirement can be satisfied in one of two ways. If you filed electronically, you can request a tax return transcript directly from the IRS. When received, forward a copy to us via fax, email or U.S. Mail. View a Sample Transcript
Go back to your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to pull your electronically filed tax information directly into the FAFSA using the Correct My FAFSA option. Here’s a great step-by-step tutorial.
Copy of 2011 Parent and Student W2 forms
If you didn’t have W2’s, this information will be picked up elsewhere. If you did, submit a copy of each 2011 W2 you received. View a Sample W2
2012-13 Verification Worksheet
This form is available on our website. Complete and sign this form and submit with your other documentation. Keep an eye on your SU student email for requests for additional documentation.
Why was I selected for verification?
The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information, or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they qualify.
If I am selected for verification, am I required to send additional documentation?
Yes. Participation in the verification process is not optional. If a student who is selected does not submit the required documentation by the established deadline, the student will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid as a Southwestern University student. Should the verified financial information differ significantly from the original information provided on the FAFSA, your aid may be adjusted. If adjusted, you will receive notification via a revised financial aid award letter within two weeks of the change.