The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) selects Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAs) for verification. In addition, DOE or South Texas College may select a student for verification if the information submitted appears to be incorrect or fraudulent. If you have been selected for a process called verification, South Texas College will be comparing information from your FAFSA with your (and your spouse's, if you are married) and/or your parents' Income Tax Return Transcript, or with W-2 forms or other financial documents. Federal Regulations state we have the right to ask you for this information before awarding Federal aid.
How do I complete Verification?
We encourage those selected for verification to submit the required documents as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment of tuition/fees and delays on receiving book allowance (if eligible) before the term starts. Students are mailed Missing Information Letters, (MIL's) that explain why their financial aid file is incomplete and what documents they need to submit or what actions need to be taken to complete their financial aid file.
Students who are selected for verification must submit the required documentation to the South Texas College Student Financial Services Office (SFS) thirty days before they expect to have the verification resolved and their account cleared for disbursement. The South Texas College SFS will work to review verifications sooner than 30 days after submission, but during peak times this may not always be possible. The South Texas College SFS will continue to accept and review verification information until the Department of Education's published correction deadlines for each award year. If the student does not submit documentation in time for any changes to be confirmed by DOE, South Texas College is not responsible for any eligibility lost. It is the student's responsibility to provide documentation in a timely manner so that deadlines can be met.
Below is a list all acceptable documentation and forms used:
- Verification Worksheets. These forms are available online at http://studentservices.southtexascollege.edu/finaid/financial-aid-forms.html
- Federal Income Tax Return Transcript for all people whose income information is required by the U.S. Department of Education.
- In cases where a conflict is perceived, South Texas College SFS Office may request additional proof of untaxed income and benefits beyond what is shown on tax return transcripts and verification worksheets from the student.
This proof will vary by agency. For example:
- Untaxed Income Sources
- Unemployment Benefits- A statement from the agency which provided the benefits.
- Signature requirements:
- Verification Worksheets
- Dependent Students -must be signed by the student and one parent.
- Independent Students -must be signed by the student.
Correcting FAFSA data
If there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, the Office of Student Financial Services will need to make corrections electronically. Since corrections may take some time to process, we encourage all students to submit the appropriate documents in a timely manner. If you submit the appropriate verification form and required documentation in person, we will let you know of any changes that may affect your eligibility amount at that moment. While your correction is being processed your file is considered incomplete and funds will not be awarded.
Notification of Completion of Verification
The South Texas College SFS Office relies on the U.S. Department of Education to notify students via email that verification changes are complete; in this email DOE advises students that a corrected Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), is available for review on the FAFSA on the Web website. If the student wishes, he or she may check with the SFS Office and see how verification affected his/her Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The change will be reflected in the award amounts (if any) on the award letter. Paper award letters are sent via regular mail to students, after all issues related to verification and any other eligibility issues are resolved.