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My FAFSA Got Flagged For Verification? What Should I Do?

Last updated February 27, 2021

What is FAFSA verification?

Verification is a process a college or university uses to confirm the data reported in your FAFSA is accurate.

Why do people get selected for verification?

Don’t worry! Being selected for verification does not mean you are suspected of doing something wrong. There are a variety of reasons students have their FAFSA flagged for verification, including random selection, applying to a college that verifies all students, or most commonly, there was a mistake on your FAFSA.

The five main reasons for verification are:

1. To verify tax and financial information

2. To verify household size or proof that someone else from the home is enrolled in college

3. Receipt of SNAP benefits

4. Receipt of child support

5. To verify high school completion status.

How to complete FAFSA verification

The US Department of Education and your college will provide you with instructions on what additional documents you need to submit. You will need to gather those documents and submit them before the college’s financial aid deadline. Usually, you will be asked to submit one or more of the following: a verification worksheet, tax information (using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in the FAFSA is the best way, but an IRS Tax Return Transcript can be requested through the IRS website), or a verification of non-filing letter from IRS if you are an independent student or parent of a dependent student who did not file a federal tax return.

How long do I have to fix a verification flag?

The time when you are asked to submit additional documents for verification will vary based on the college and/or the reason for verification. Be sure to keep track of deadlines, which will be clearly stipulated on your notice of verification, since a college won’t be able to offer you financial aid if you miss their deadline!

After the financial aid office reviews the documents you submitted and verification is complete, be sure to check your financial aid package to see if there are any changes as a result of verification.

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