Verification is the process the U.S. DOE and colleges use to ensure federal student financial aid funding is based on accurate information. After completion of the FAFSA, students may be selected for verification and required to verify some of the information provided on the FAFSA. All applications selected by the federal CPS for verification are subject to the verification procedure which includes completion of the appropriate verification worksheet (Dependent/Independent) and submitting any required supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office at the home college campus. Students selected for verification are notified via their Student Aid Report (SAR) and in their HSU Colleague Student Self Service account. All applicants selected for verification must complete the process prior to having federal aid awarded/disbursed. HSU will not make any interim disbursements of any Title IV funds before verification is complete.
HSU Financial Aid has the authority to verify additional students and may require an applicant to verify any specified information on the FAFSA [34 CFR 668.54(a)(3)]. Institutions must verify any application information they have reason to believe is incorrect [34 CFR 668.54 (a)(2). All verification requirements, such as deadlines, allowable tolerances, and interim disbursement rules, apply equally to all students who are being verified.
Acceptable Documentation and Forms
HSU Financial Aid utilizes Campus Logic StudentForms to streamline the verification process and create digital workflows. Campus Logic worksheets includes instruction for completion and what, if any, additional documentation is required. Refer to https://hsutx.verifymyfafsa.com/#/studentworkflow for the appropriate verification worksheet documentation and verification requirements for both tax and non-tax items such as household size and number in college, student and/or parent tax information, and the opportunity to review and electronically sign the document.
For verification of tax items, the DOE encourages students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) as the fastest, simplest, and most secure way of meeting verification requirements. The DRT is used to import data from tax returns. If DRT is not offered, students may upload IRS Tax Returns, Tax Transcripts, and other documentation as may be requested by the Financial Aid Office. The financial aid office will determine what documents are need based on the type of verification for which the student was selected (V1, V4, or V5). Any unsolicited tax documentation received by our office will be destroyed.
Students selected for verification must provide the required documentation and a dependent/independent verification worksheet via the Campus Logic System. Paper Worksheets and documentation may be accepted as approved by the Director of Financial Aid and only in special situations.
Data Elements to be Verified
The Secretary of the DOE publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the information that institutions and students may have to verify along with the documentation acceptable for verifying this information. Verification items that must be verified could vary based on which tracking group students are assigned to and could include:
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
- U.S. Income Tax Paid
- Education credits
- Untaxed Pensions
- Untaxed portions of IRA distributions
- Tax Exempt Interest
- Income Earned from Work
- Household Size
- Number in College
- High School Completion Status
- Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose
Colleges may choose to verify additional items in order to resolve conflicting information.
A verification flag of “Y” and an asterisk beside the EFC will refer to a comment in the student section of the SAR telling selected applicants that their school will ask for documentation.
Conflicting and Inaccurate Information
To ensure the integrity of all financial aid applicant data received at Hardin-Simmons University (HSU), the Student Financial Aid Office must resolve any conflicting information in a student’s file. Any HSU office may hold information or documentation that could create a conflict. The Financial Aid Office will work with all sources to collect documentation for the purpose of clarification and accuracy.
Examples of Conflicting Information
- Social Security number
- Date of Birth
- Name change
- Dependency status
- Marital status (student and/or parent)
- Admissions status regarding prior institutions
- Income and taxes paid
- Number in household
- Number in college
- NSLDS Data
A student may be asked to submit written documentation and/or additional information to clarify or correct conflicting information. This action may be in conjunction with the Verification Process normally processed by HSU or by a separate request for information.
Student Notification of Verification Changes
Students are notified via an automated email process of any new ISIR/SAR due to verification. They will also be notified of changes made to their financial aid package via automated email directing them to view their Colleague self-service account.