Okay Seniors…it’s time to sort out this “verification” thing once and for all. I can see it now: You’re moving right along with the whole college process…you’ve been researching colleges, you and your parents have completed the FAFSA, you’ve applied for Scholarships, and you’ve had some meetings with your school counselor. All that’s left is to get this financial aid train moving and start planning your exodus from high school…and your genesis into college. BUT, out of the blue, the train makes an abrupt stop at the Verification Station…now what do you do?
You’re not in trouble. Verification is simply the process of a college requesting more information from a student and/or the parents, to ensure that the college is awarding the right amount of financial aid under the right circumstances. The process is actually quite simple: The Financial Aid office of the college will send YOU (not your parents) an email to your online student portal account, indicating exactly what they need, and when they need it.
Is There Anything That Could Increase My Chance of Getting Selected for Verification?
Here are some situations that might increase the likelihood of getting verified:
- Your FAFSA had conflicting information or was incomplete
- Your FAFSA had estimated information (e.g., tax information was entered manually versus using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool)
- You qualify for a Federal Pell Grant
- Your family qualifies for and obtains SNAP/food stamp benefits
- Your parent has paid child support
- You filed the FAFSA as an independent student.
How Much Time Do I Have?
The college will usually give you plenty of time to obtain the requested information and respond, but it’s best to address those questions right away so that the deadline doesn’t sneak up on you (if you miss a deadline, it could affect your chances of getting any financial aid). So stay on top of those email accounts!
What Should I Do If I’m Confused About Verification?
You have several different ways of getting assistance with verification: through your high school counselor, the college’s Financial Aid office, or your friends here at EducationQuest. We are always happy to help!