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Understanding the Verification Process

If you have been notified by the FAFSA CPS (Central Processing System) that your FAFSA was selected for verification: Please wait for email communication from Cedarville regarding whether or not you need to complete verification with us. For further explanation of why this is important, see Question 4 below.

Deadline for completing verification: There is no formal deadline; however, we encourage you to submit the required verification documents as soon as reasonably possible (see myfinancialaid; also see  Question 9 below).

NOTE: If you do not complete the FAFSA Verification process, you forfeit eligibility for federal student aid and other need-based aid.

** Changes coming to FAFSA Verification for year 2017-18 **

Cedarville University participated in the U.S. Department of Education's Quality Assurance Program (QA) from 2004-05 through the current 2016-17 academic year. Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA and academic year, the QA Program has been eliminated and Cedarville will now process all FAFSA Verifications under the 'Standard Verification' regulations.

Key Change: If you are selected for verification, a signed copy of your IRS tax return will no longer be accepted as valid documentation. The student's MyFinancialAid webpage information provides specific guidance on which documents are required to complete FAFSA Verification.

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 (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 can be selected based on:

  • 2017-18 year: FAFSAs are selected as they are processed at CPS (the U.S. Department of Education’s FAFSA Central Processing System). If 'selected for verification' by CPS, the selected FAFSA has already been assigned to a verification group when received by Cedarville.
  • 2016-17 year: Verification selection criteria determined by Cedarville's participation in the U.S. Department of Education's Quality Assurance Program.
  • Any year: Irregularities of FAFSA data.

3. What happens if my FAFSA is selected for verification?

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will receive an email listing the documents required to complete FAFSA Verification with Cedarville. This verification document list is also available at MyFinancialAid as part of the "Verification" information block. As we receive the required documents, we will update your information and you can visit MyFinancialAid to track your progress. Once we receive all the required documents, we will complete your FAFSA Verification review. If any discrepant information is found, we will correct your FAFSA and re-submit it to the CPS  for reprocessing. We will then recalculate your financial aid awards using the corrected FAFSA and its EFC calculation

4. How will I be notified if my FAFSA record has been selected for verification?

Cedarville’s Financial Aid Office will notify students by email when their FAFSA is selected for verification. This information is also communicated as part of the student’s MyFinancialAid information. It is important to check the MyFinancialAid website for accurate verification updates and comments.

5. What documentation is required to complete FAFSA Verification?

Generally, a verification worksheet and documentation of IRS tax information is required. The specific listing of required verification documents is available at MyFinancialAid.

6. Why should I use the IRS data retrieval tool?

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.

7. How can I submit the required verification documents?

Verification documents can be submitted using any of the following options:

  1. Email: finaid@cedarville.edu (scan the document(s), save as a PDF, and send as an email attachment.
  2. Mail: Financial Aid, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, OH 45314

8. Is there a deadline for submitting and completing verification?

While there is not a fixed deadline, it is in the student's best interest to complete FAFSA Verification as soon as possible. We encourage those selected for FAFSA Verification to submit their documentation within 15 days after notification of your verification selection.

Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, tax year related data is requested for ‘prior prior year.’ Therefore, most FAFSA applicants can immediately use the IRS data retrieval tool to provide their tax year related information.

Note: If a student or their parents have a unique tax situation which requires filing for a tax extension, please notify our financial aid office.

9. Can I elect NOT to complete the verification process?

Yes, you can elect to NOT complete the FAFSA Verification process. 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.

Should this decision be reversed at a later time in the same academic year, then the verification review process would proceed. Once the verification review is successfully completed, all aid for which the student is still eligible would be reinstated.

10. What if I have questions about this process?

Contact the Financial Aid office by email at finaid@cedarville.edu or by phone at 1-937-766-7866.