Verification uses documentation to confirm that the information provided on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the federal financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid for which they do not qualify.
The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information, or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they qualify
The items being reviewed include:
- Household size
- Number in college
- Adjusted gross income
- Untaxed income
- Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Benefits (often called Food stamps)
- Child support paid
How do I know if my application is selected for verification by the US Department of Education?
You may be selected for verification either by the federal processor or by the Office of Financial Aid. If you are selected for verification by the federal processor, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR Acknowledgement letter, which will be included with your SAR documents. You can view your SAR online at www.fafsa.ed.gov under Step 3, View and Print Your Student Aid Report. You should also receive a copy of your SAR at the email address you provided on your FAFSA application approximately 3 to 4 days after you submit your FAFSA application.
How will I know if my application is selected for verification by the Office of Financial Aid?
If you are selected for verification by the Office of Financial Aid, the office will inform you of this selection in writing and instruct you of any additional documentation that is required.
How will I know what additional documentation is required for verification?
If your SAR indicates you were selected for verification, or if the Office of Financial Aid determines that your application needs to be verified, you and your parent(s) will be required to provide supporting documents to the Office of Financial Aid:
- Copies of student’s and parent(s)’ federal income tax return transcripts. Tax transcripts can be ordered directly from the IRS web site. We cannot accept copies of tax returns from a tax preparer; you must request a transcript from the IRS.
- Student and parent(s) W-2 statements. Copies of W2s are acceptable.
- 2016-2017 Verification Worksheet
- The Office of Financial Aid will send new students a letter outlining additional documentation that may need to be submitted. Current students should check their student email and myDESU accounts for required documentation.
What do I do if I have been selected for verification but I have not yet filed my taxes?
If you completed your FAFSA before submitting your federal income tax returns, you will need to file your taxes with the IRS and request a copy of your transcript before the Office of Financial Aid can complete verification.
What is the deadline for submitted verification documents?
If the US Department of Education selects your application for verification, do not wait for the Office of Financial Aid to request additional documentation from you. It is your responsibility to review your SAR to determine if you are selected for verification. You should submit additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid within ten days of the date of notification.
The Office of Financial Aid cannot guarantee a student’s financial aid will be awarded in time to satisfy his or her fall bill by the due date if verification documents are submitted after April 30th.
Even if the US Department of Education does not select your FAFSA for verification, federal law gives a financial aid officer the ability to select your FAFSA for verification if he or she has reason to believe the data is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete. If the Office of Financial Aid selects your application for verification, the office will contact you to let you know that you have been selected and what additional documentation is required. Please be sure to respond to requests for documentation within 10 days to avoid delays in processing your financial aid.
Please remember, participation in the verification process is not optional! If you are selected, you must comply to be eligible for financial aid of any sort.
If applicable, please note that additional documents* may be requested at the Office of Financial Aid’s discretion including:
- 2016-2017 Non-Filers Verification Form
- 2016-2017 Standard Verification Form
*Please do not submit any of the above documentation unless the Office of Financial Aid specifically requests you do so.
How soon after I submit my documents will verification be completed?
Normal processing time is 20- 25 business days, but can be as much as 40 business days during peak processing periods (late spring and summer).
You should submit all of your documentation together and ensure that the information is complete and accurate. If the Office of Financial Aid reviews your file and then asks for missing or incomplete information, you will be subject to another processing time cycle upon receipt of the new documents.
I still have additional questions about verification and financial aid. How can I get answers to my questions?
For a comprehensive overview of the financial aid process at Delaware State University, please familiarize yourself with our New Student Checklist or “Important Things You Must Know As You Go” checklist. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with this information before contacting the financial aid office.