Policy: Verification (Financial Aid)
Document Number: 2.016
Title: Verification Policy and Procedure
Revised Dated: 10/3/18; 10/12/18
Once students complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Central Processing System (CPS), there is a possibility that the application will be selected for a process called “Verification.” This is an audit/review process in which the student’s school of choice will be required to conduct the review in order to determine the student’s eligibility.
Generally, CPS will select the application for verification based on conflicting data, a change from the prior year or due to random selection process. If the application is selected, and asterisk will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR), next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). However, the school’s Office of Financial Aid also is authorized to “Institutionally” select applications for this review process in cases of conflicting information.
Although the school has the option of processing one Pell payment with verifying the application, this school does not take that option due to the risk of financial liability. River Parishes Community College verifies those applicants who are selected by the federal processor for Verification and those who are found to have submitted conflicting information.
Students who are selected for verification by the processor or institutionally selected by the Office of Financial Aid must submit the signed and completed verification forms and documents, along with the supporting documentation such as IRS Tax Return Transcripts, W-2 forms, etc. It is the policy of this school to verify all selected applicants (Institutionally selected and/or those selected by CPS).
Students are notified in a timely manner, via their LoLA account, of all documents required to be submitted to the school. The verification process cannot begin and/or be completed until all required documents are submitted. The list below includes the verification items used when reviewing a student’s verification process:
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
U.S. Income Tax Paid
Untaxed IRA Distributions
IRA Deductions and Payments
Income Earned from Work
Number in College
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
(SNAP, formerly food stamps)
Child Support Paid
High School Completion Status
Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose
Other Untaxed Income
Verification Tracking Groups:
V1, V4, & V5
V1: Standard Verification Group ~ Tracking Flag V1:
- Students in this group must verify the following if they are tax filers: AGI, U.S. Income Tax Paid, Untaxed portions of IRA distributions, Untaxed portions of pensions, IRA deductions and payments, tax-exempt interest income, education credits, household size, number in college,
- Students who are non-tax filers must verify the following: Income earned from work, household size, number in college, SNAP benefits, child support paid.
V4: Custom Verification Group ~ Tracking Flag V4:
- Students must verify high school completion status and identify/statement of educational purpose.
- Identify Verification – Students are asked to appear in person to present their valid governmental issued photo ID (ex. Driver’s License, State ID or Passport).
- In the event the student is unable to appear in person, then he/she must appear before a notary with all required IDs and documents to have his/her identity or educational purpose confirmed.
V5: Aggregate Verification Group ~ Tracking Flag V5:
- Students must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose in addition to the items in the Standard Verification Group.
Consequences for failing to submit documents in a timely manner:
Documents not submitted timely could result in:
- The student being responsible for paying his/her fees out of pocket.
- The student cannot be processed for a Financial Aid award.
- The semester and/or academic year ending with the student having an outstanding balance with the college. This could result in the student’s account being turned over to a collection agency.
- The student’s outstanding balance will prohibit him/her from registering for a future semester.
Making corrections to the FAFSA data:
Once the student receives their SAR, they should review it for accuracy. If changes are needed, the student (and/or parents) should submit changes/corrections to the FAFSA online by using their FSA ID.
Once all verification documents are received by the Office of Financial Aid, the file will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness. Often times, corrections are required if the information indicated on the submitted documents does not match the FAFSA data. The Office of Student Financial Aid will submit corrections on the student’s behalf. The corrections will be sent to the CPS via EdConnect. Generally, the corrected data is processed and received back in our office within 72 hours after corrected data is submitted.
An email is sent by CPS to the student informing him/her once the corrections have been processed. If no additional corrections are needed (pending the student has not also submitted corrections), and the student meets all necessary eligibility requirements, then an award will be processed.
If the student’s EFC and Title IV aid amounts change:
- In the event your EFC changes on an initial ISIR, prior to the student being awarded, the award will be based on the last valid ISIR transaction.
- If the EFC changes after the student has been awarded, the award must be cancelled. The file will be re-evaluated, and additional documentation may be requested from the student. Once that process is completed and pending the student meets all eligibility criteria, the student will be re-awarded based on the last valid ISIR transaction and EFC.
- If the EFC changes occurred which caused a change to the Financial Aid award, the student will receive an e-mail advising the student to check their LOLA account because their award amount has changed.