The U.S. Department of Education mandates schools to use the verification process to check the accuracy and completeness of data provided on the selected applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The verification process is meant to ensure that federal student financial aid is disbursed equitably and according to Federal law and program regulation. The U.S. Department of Education or the school selects applications for verification.
It is the student's responsibility to provide requested information so that the verification process can be completed by the school's published deadline. The school is unable to disburse federal student financial aid until the verification process is complete. 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. Failure to pay for classes by published deadlines may result in the student being dropped from registered classes and/or a late penalty fee assessed.
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
- Taxes Paid
- Tax Filing Status
- Income Earned from Work
- Untaxed Income and Benefits
- Household Size
- Number in College
- Receipt of SNAP (food stamps) Benefit
- Child Support Paid and Received
- Citizenship or Eligible Non-Citizenship Status, Veteran Status, and Social Security Number
- High School Diploma / GED
- Selective Service Registration
- Default Laon / Bankruptcy Documentation
- In addition, the verification process is used to resolve inconsistent or conflicting information.
Important Note: 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.
In most instances, the Office of Financial Aid submits FAFSA corrections that it has determined to be inaccurate or incomplete, to the Central Processor (CPS). Occasionally the student will be asked to correct the FAFSA data by going to the FAFSA on the Web. If changes made to the FAFSA impact the student's Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), the new Student Aid Report sent by the CPS as a result of those changes will reflect the new EFC.
The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for checking all other eligibility criteria before packaging financial aid for the student. The Office of Financial Aid is also responsible for notifying the student of any changes made to an existing financial aid award package as a result of verification.
Savannah State University is required to notify the U.S. Office of Inspector General if it suspects that a student, employee or another individual has misreported information or altered documentation submitted in order for a student to fraudulently obtain federal funds.
The verification process takes 5 days during non-peak time, 15 days during peak time, to process once all documents are received. In cases where a correction had to be made, the timing of the process starts over when the correction results return. Therefore it is important that all documents are received early.
To submit documents for Verification, please visit the FAFSA Verification Portal. Note: First time users will need to create an account.