Policy Table of Contents
What is verification?
Verification is a process used to evaluate the accuracy of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Documentation you provide our office will be checked against the information on your FAFSA, and corrections made where necessary by the College for Creative Studies’ (CCS) Financial Aid Office.
March 1 – Priority deadline to complete FAFSA. If possible, all students should complete their FAFSA by March 1st each year to ensure they will qualify for all available financial aid programs
July 15 – Recommended deadline for fall students to submit verification documents to ensure all aid can be processed/applied in time for fall payment and avoid late payment fees
November 1 – Deadline to submit completed verification documents for students not returning for fall semester
November 15 – Recommended deadline for students enrolled in winter semester only to submit verification documents to ensure all aid can be processed/applied in time for winter payment and avoid late payment fees
April 1 – Deadline to submit completed verification documents for students enrolled in winter
Why are students selected?
- 30% of applications are randomly selected by the U.S. Department of Education.
- The submitted FAFSA has either incomplete data and/or contains contradictory information.
- CCS reserves the right to institutionally select a student file for verification to review and resolve conflicting information.
How will I be notified if I am selected?
Many students will be notified via their FAFSA’s Student Aid Report (SAR), which may provide a comment stating they have been selected for verification and that their school’s financial aid office will be in contact with them.
Students are also notified through a series of communications sent from the CCS Financial Aid Office via regular mail (to the preferred mailing address you provided) and email (to the email provided on your FAFSA and your CCS student email).
What will I need to provide?
The Verification Request Notification sent to you by the CCS Financial Aid Office will provide a detailed list of the specific documents required for you and where to submit them. Some commonly requested documents are:
- Federal IRS Tax Return Transcript for students and/or parent
- Verification Worksheet
How long will the verification process take?
Once all requested documentation is received verification it takes approximately 2 weeks for our office to review the documentation and make required corrections to the FAFSA. Additional time may be required during high volume period like late spring and early summer.
Since you will not receive an official calculation of your available financial aid funding until all documentation is received and processed, it’s strongly recommended that documentation be submitted as soon as possible to ensure you have a clear idea of what will be owed out of pocket before the school year begins and allow you to make decisions and plan effectively.
What happens next?
We are required to resolve any conflicting information, so in some cases we may need to ask follow up questions and/or request additional documentation to clarify discrepancies.
Once the all required verification is completed and any necessary corrections to your FAFSA are submitted electronically by CCS Financial Aid Office, you will receive a notice from the Department of Education that a new Student Aid Report (SAR) is available for you to review. The SAR will provide detail of the items that were updated and, if applicable, any update to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
CCS will use your updated EFC to calculate the federal, state and institutional aid you qualify for. New/incoming students will receive an Official Financial Aid Notification via regular mail. Returning students will receive an email notice that their aid has been calculated and can be viewed on WebAdvisor.
What happens if I do not provide the requested documentation?
No federal or state aid can be applied to your account until all requested documentation is received and verification is complete. Failing to provide the requested documentation in a timely manner can have minor consequences, such as late fees charged to your student account. It also leaves you with an unclear picture of how much you are eligible for in financial aid and what your out-of-pocket expenses will be, making it difficult to make clear financial decisions. In the most severe circumstances not completing verification can result in the loss or cancellation of federal and state financial aid funds.
What happens if the school suspects fraud?
Most errors are treated as a misunderstanding and are simply corrected on the FAFSA or with a verification document submitted to resolve the error. However, per federal regulation, individuals who are suspected of purposely providing false or misleading information to obtain federal financial aid funds will be reported to U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General for review.