Federal verification is a process whereby institutions are required by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to verify the accuracy of information provided on a student’s FAFSA in an effort to assure federal aid is awarded to those who are eligible. The federal government reserves the right to randomly select financial aid applications for verification. It is advised that all students planning on receiving financial aid apply far enough in advance in order to avoid delay of an award disbursement due to the verification process. Verification requires that all students who have been selected provide the Financial Aid Office with income and citizenship documentation.

For the upcoming award year the FAFSA information selected by ED that an institution, applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant’s parent(s) or spouse may be required to verify are:

  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • U.S. Income Tax Paid
  • Untaxed Portions of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Distributions
  • Untaxed Portions of Pensions
  • IRA Deductions and Payments
  • Tax Exempt Interest Income
  • Education Credits
  • Income Earned from Work
  • Number of Household Members
  • Number of Household Members in College
  • High School Completion Status
  • Identity/Statement of Education Purpose

Please note that AAMI may select FAFSA items for verification beyond the items required by ED. Students will receive notification that they have been selected for verification which will specify the actions required by the applicant and the documents (if any) required for verification that must be submitted to AAMI to complete the verification process. The applicant also receives a FAFSA processing email notification from ED. This email states that their FAFSA was processed and a Student Aid Report (SAR) was generated that indicates their eligibility status and notifies them if they were selected for verification. If the ED or AAMI selects an applicant for verification under this policy, the applicant must complete the required actions specified or provide the requested documents or information. The Federal deadline for verification completion is the earlier of 120 days from the applicant’s last date of attendance or the federal deadline. This includes making any necessary corrections, submitting those corrections to the Central Processing System, and submitting the new corrected Student Aid Report (SAR) to AAMI.

The following consequences occur for applicants who fail to complete verification in a timely manner:

  • Applicants who do not complete verification within the required deadlines will not qualify for federal financial aid.
  • No federal grant or loan funds will be disbursed.
  • No federal financial aid loan will be originated.
  • If a loan was originated prior to the notice of verification, any undisbursed monies will be returned to the ED.
  • If federal grant funds were disbursed prior to being selected for verification and there was an overpayment, the monies must be returned to the appropriate federal grant programs.
  • Federal financial aid will not be disbursed, and refunds, if any, will not be available until verification is completed and corrections (if necessary) have been processed and received by AAMI from the ED.