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Financial Aid

Word of the Day Wednesday: Financial Aid Application Verification

Each Wednesday, MEFA features a Word of the Day, where we highlight a word (or sometimes a phrase) related to the college planning process. This month, we’re focusing on vocabulary related to the financial aid process.

Today’s Word of the Day is: Financial Aid Application Verification.

As colleges review each financial aid application, they may request documentation from a family that supports the information reported on the application, a process called Verification. Students may be selected for Verification by the Department of Education (Federal Verification) or by the college (Institutional Verification). In either case, the financial aid office at the college will need to confirm that the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and other aid applications matches federal tax data and is accurate and complete.

Students will know if they have been selected for Federal Verification via a notification on the Student Aid Report (SAR). In addition, the college financial aid office will notify them, usually via email, about both Federal Verification and Institutional Verification if they are selected.

The financial aid office will let the student know what information is being verified. Common items that are verified are Adjusted Gross Income and federal tax liability. In addition, items such as untaxed income, household size, number of students in college, and child support paid may require verification.

Why does this matter to you?

If a student’s financial aid application is selected for Verification, it is considered incomplete until the student submits the necessary documentation being requested. It is important, therefore, that the student forward any required information to the college as quickly as possible.

To get more detailed information on the Verification process, please review our Verification page.


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