Verification

Explore the data which must be confirmed if you are selected for Verification.

Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

The Department of Education or Student Financial Services may, at any time, select your application for verification based upon the information you provided. PA College is required to make sure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

It is the student’s responsibility to provide requested information so that the verification process can be completed in a timely manner.  Failure to complete the verification process may result in a student not being eligible for federal aid and will need other means to pay for classes.

Notification to the Student

A student whose FAFSA information is selected for verification will be notified of his/her selected status as follows:

  1. the Department of Education will notify the student on his/her Student Aid Report (SAR). Next to the EFC will be an asterisk (*) referring to a comment in the student section of the SAR that tells the applicant that he/she will be asked by PA College to provide documentation for verification; and
  2. Student Financial Services will send email notifications on a weekly basis to a student selected for verification. Notifications to the student will begin as soon as a FAFSA selected for verification is received by Student Financial Services. Notifications will continue until either the student has submitted all documents required for verification or 64 days has lapsed, whichever occurs first.

PA College email notifications sent to a student whose FAFSA information is selected for verification will include a link to Self-Service to view any required documentation.

Deadlines and Failure to Submit Documentation

For federal aid programs, excluding the Federal Pell Grant Program: A student enrolled in the fall semester must submit required verification documentation by November 1.  A student who begins enrollment in the spring semester must submit required verification documentation by April 1.  If the student does not provide the verification documentation by the deadline, PA College will cancel his/her subsidized federal aid (excluding the Federal Pell Grant) for the award year.  If the student then provides the documentation after the deadline, PA College will reevaluate the student’s eligibility for federal financial aid and will award aid based on the availability of federal funds at the time of documentation submission.

For the Federal Pell Grant Program: A Pell Grant applicant selected for verification must complete the verification process by the deadline published in the Federal Register.  The deadline is the October 1, or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment, whichever is earlier.  The verification process is complete when the College has received all requested documentation and a valid processed FAFSA report is on file including any necessary corrections to the report.  If the student does not provide the verification documentation or the Institute does not receive the valid processed FAFSA report (ISIR) by the deadline, the student forfeits his/her Federal Pell Grant for the award year.

Information to be Verified

Verification may include (but is not limited to) a review of the following data for a student, a student’s spouse, or parents of a dependent student:

  • Adjusted gross income
  • U.S. income taxes paid
  • Untaxed portions of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) distributions
  • Untaxed portions of pensions
  • IRA deductions and payments
  • Tax-exempt interest income
  • Education tax credits (American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit)
  • Household size
  • Number in college
  • Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizenship Status, Veteran Status, and Social Security Number
  • In addition, the verification process is used to resolve inconsistent or conflicting information

If an applicant uses the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer federal income tax return data to the FAFSA without changing the transferred data, the applicant is generally not required to verify that information.