Understanding the Verification Process
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Deadline for completing verification:
The Key: The sooner you provide the required documentation, the sooner the financial aid office can complete your FAFSA Verification and make any required updates to your financial aid package. With that said, the only true deadline is that this be completed before the end of the academic/financial aid year.
We encourage you to submit the required verification documents as soon as possible so that:
- you will know your final financial aid package (need-based aid can change if your FAFSA EFC changes as a result of FAFSA Verification).
- you can record your decision on whether you want to 'accept' or 'reject' the various loan options as part of your payment plan.
- Please allow 15 business days for the completion of your FAFSA verification once the financial aid office has received all of your required verification documents.
- If you do not complete the FAFSA Verification process, you forfeit eligibility for federal student aid and other need-based aid. Also review Question 7 below as well as myfinancialaid.
1. What is FAFSA Verification?
FAFSA Verification is the process of reviewing a student’s FAFSA for accuracy. In this review, the financial aid staff compares the student’s FAFSA with information provided on the required verification documents (including IRS tax data). If there is discrepant information, Cedarville will correct the FAFSA and re-submit it to the FAFSA CPS (the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA Central Processing System) for reprocessing. Cedarville will then recalculate the financial aid awards using the corrected FAFSA and its EFC (Expected Family Contribution) calculation.
Note: Students selected for verification cannot receive any federal aid or other need-based aid until they have completed the verification process.
2. How are FAFSA records chosen for verification?
A student's FAFSA record is selected for verification by:
- The FAFSA CPS when the FAFSA is processed. If 'selected for verification' by FAFSA CPS, the selected FAFSA has already been assigned to a verification group when it is received by Cedarville. The student is notified of FAFSA CPS selection in their SAR (Student Aid Report).
- Cedarville's financial aid office when a student/family submits a Special Circumstance Appeal.
- Cedarville's financial aid office when irregularities of FAFSA data are identified.
3. What happens if my FAFSA is selected for verification?
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be notified in your SAR (Student Aid Report received from FAFSA CPS) and you will also receive an email from Cedarville listing the documents required to complete FAFSA Verification. The list of required documents to complete verification is also available at MyFinancialAid as part of the 'Verification' information block. As Cedarville receives each required document, your information will be updated, and you can visit MyFinancialAid to track your verification progress.
Once all the required documents are received, the financial aid office will complete your FAFSA Verification review within 15 business days. If any discrepant information is found, your FAFSA will be corrected and re-submitted to FAFSA CPS for reprocessing. Your need-based aid awards will also be recalculated using the corrected FAFSA and EFC calculation.
4. What documentation is required to complete FAFSA Verification?
A verification worksheet and documentation of IRS tax information is required. The specific listing of required verification documents is available at MyFinancialAid.
Note: Due to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool being deactivated by the IRS and FAFSA, the following documentation is acceptable for tax year information:
- A signed copy of the IRS 1040 form which was submitted to the IRS; or
- A Federal Tax Return Transcript (see MyFinancialAid for information and instructions on obtaining this verification document).
5. Why should I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)?
Note: Due to security concerns, the IRS DRT has been deactivated by the IRS and FAFSA. An improved and secure IRS DRT should be available in October 2017.
The IRS data retrieval tool within the online FAFSA simplifies and expedites the verification process. It eliminates the need to request and submit a federal tax return transcript. For additional information, please visit the Instructions for FAFSA/IRS Data Retrieval Tool webpage.
6. How can I submit the required verification documents?
Verification documents can be submitted using either of the following options:
- Email: email@example.com [scan the document(s), save as a PDF, and send as an email attachment]
- Mail: Financial Aid, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, OH 45314
7. Can I elect to NOT complete the verification process?
Yes, however making this decision means that you forfeit access to all federal aid, need-based state aid, and Cedarville's institutional need-based aid. All financial aid in these categories will be placed on hold. You will continue receiving monthly reminders unless you notify financial aid of your decision not to complete verification.
Should this decision be reversed at a later time in the same academic year, then the verification review process would need to be completed. Once the verification review is successfully completed, all aid for which the student is still eligible would be reinstated.
8. What if I have questions about this process?
Contact the Financial Aid office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-937-766-7866.