FREQUENT QUESTIONS

Proving My FAFSA Information is True

Why am I being asked to prove that my FAFSA information is accurate?

This is a process called “verification,” and it’s common—up to 30 percent of FAFSA forms get verified every year. The U.S. Department of Education and the colleges select certain students to verify the information they provided on their FAFSA forms. Sometimes applicants are chosen at random. Sometimes it is because the information on the FAFSA form is inconsistent or incomplete. Colleges are responsible for doing the verification.

What does verification involve?

The college financial aid office will contact you. It is usually just a routine request for more information, often about your family income. You should be in good shape if you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you didn’t, you will probably need to provide an IRS transcript of your family’s tax returns (you can request this from the IRS) or income statements from employers. The college’s financial aid office will compare your FAFSA form with the information you provide. If there are differences, you will need to correct your FAFSA form.

What other questions may be asked?

The financial aid office may want to confirm the number of people in your family, and how many others are currently in college. You may be asked about other family income (like child support) or government aid (like food stamps). You may also be asked to provide legal identification or proof that you are graduating from high school.

Can I send the same information to all of the colleges?

You will have to respond separately to each college. Each will send a form by email or regular mail, indicating what they need. Be sure to meet each college’s deadline. If there is no deadline, provide the information as quickly as possible.

If I get a verification form, that means the college has accepted me, right?

Not necessarily. Some colleges ask to verify your financial information before they have made a decision about admitting you. This is why you need to do this quickly. Stay in close touch with the colleges you hope to attend—and give them everything they ask for.

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