High school seniors: You’ve done your FAFSA. You’ve applied for Admission to one or multiple colleges. You’re looking for scholarships. You’re doing everything right when suddenly, out of nowhere, BAM!
The financial aid office emails you, saying you have been selected for Verification.
What does it mean? Have no fear. The financial aid office is simply requiring some additional information to finish processing their offer of Financial Aid. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
“Am I in trouble?”
No, you’re not. By law, college financial aid offices are required to do this. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is simply the college making sure they are awarding the correct amount of aid to their students. Some colleges may have a random process of verifying students, such as one out of every three students. Other colleges may verify everyone. It really depends on the Financial Aid office at that school, as well as the information that you placed on your FAFSA.
Here are some potential circumstances that may increase your likelihood of getting verified:
- Your FAFSA was incomplete or had conflicting information
- Your FAFSA had estimated information (such as not doing IRS Data Retrieval for parent and/or student taxes)
- You’re eligible for Federal Pell Grant
- Your family qualifies for SNAP / Food Stamp benefits
- Your parent paid child support
“How do I know if I’m selected for Verification?”
Students, you’ll need to stay on top of any communication from your college(s). Check your email and your online student portal account (from the college) to know if you’re selected, and what information you will need to send to the Financial Aid office(s).
“I’m a parent, how do I know if my kid gets selected for Verification?”
The financial aid offices will communicate with the students only. Due to Federal privacy laws, the college cannot communicate with anyone else but the student (not even parents) unless the student grants the college special permission to communicate with a parent. Check with the college ’Financial Aid office if you have questions.
“Is there a deadline for this Verification process?”
You will want to take care of this in a timely manner; your financial aid office will let you know of any deadline. You will be given a significant amount of time to take care of this; however, don’t blow this off because if enough time passes, and you (the student) don’t respond to your financial aid office, then they might have to retract (or take away) the financial aid offer you would’ve otherwise qualified for. Stay on top of things!
“I’m confused. Where can I find help?”
Seniors, you can seek out information from your college’s financial aid office, your high school counselor, or your friends at EducationQuest.