What is verification?
Verification is a process in which information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to check the accuracy and completeness of the data supplied by the student and/or parent(s). Federal guidelines require that verification be performed on applicants selected by the Central Processing System (CPS) or by the school. At CVCC, federal verification is performed on all applicants selected by the CPS and any other application selected by the college. If selected for verification, the student should immediately submit all requested documentation to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for review.
How will I know if I am selected for verification?
If selected for verification, there will be an asterisk (*) next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR). Students selected for verification will also receive an email from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid identifying what documentation will be required before a financial aid award is made. Students may also be selected for verification by the Office of Scholarships Financial Aid.
Where do I send my documents?
All forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Failure to submit the requested documents will result in a delay of your financial aid. Questions regarding the verification process should be directed to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (828) 327-7000 extension 4860.
If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is selected for verification, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before most federal and state aid is disbursed. Students must submit the required documentation. Documents are generally viewed within 24 – 72 hours of receipt. Please note that during the process of verification, new or additional information may be required in order to clarify inconsistencies. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will contact you via your CVCC student email if additional clarification or documentation is needed. You can also check your status in “MYCVCC Portal.” It is important to respond to any information requests immediately.
Verification will be completed when all required information is received by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Financial aid will not be awarded until all submitted documentation has been verified by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Office, and the U.S. Department of Education has received and process any changes to the latest FAFSA data. If the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid makes corrections to your FAFSA, you will be notified by email.
What documents are required to complete the verification process?
Students and parents should ensure that all documents are signed and the student’s name and student ID is noted on all pages.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) and why should I use it?
Per federal regulations, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Office cannot accept copies of tax returns for verification purposes, except in rare, special circumstances. Therefore, if tax and income data are requested, students should either update the FAFSA application by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the online FAFSA website or provide an official IRS Tax Return Transcript. IRS Data Retrieval is an option within the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This function may be used to import processed income tax information already within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) database directly into the FAFSA. Students and parents may elect to use IRS Data Retrieval when initially filing a FAFSA. They also may file the FAFSA with estimated data, later utilizing IRS Data Retrieval to update the FAFSA after their Federal tax returns have been processed. For assistance with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the FAFSA, visit the FAFSA HELP webpage and click on “IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL.”
A free IRS Tax Return Transcript may be obtained directly from the IRS by online request or by mail, calling 1-800-908-9946, or by completing and mailing Form 4506-T. Visit the IRS Get Transcript Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
When is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) available for use?
The IRS DRT is only available once a Federal income tax return has been filed and processed by the IRS. In general, income and tax information will be available for import by the IRS Data Retrieval tool within 3-4 weeks if a Federal return is filed electronically. Federal income tax returns submitted by regular mail may need to wait 8-11 weeks for tax information to be available via the IRS DRT. Filers who owe taxes may experience longer wait times before they may access the IRS DRT in the FAFSA, particularly during peak tax filing season.
When do I need to submit the verification documents?
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will not disburse Federal Title IV or need-based institutional aid until the verification process has been completed. Thus, it is very important for students to submit required documentation as soon as possible.
Will my financial aid change due to verification?
During the verification process, information is compared to the original data on the FAFSA and corrections may be made. Once the corrections are made, the corrected data is submitted electronically to the Department of Education. Processing may take 3–5 business days after a corrected FAFSA is received. These corrections may lower or raise the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure. Financial need is determined by the EFC, therefore a change to the EFC could impact aid eligibility. If the verification process is completed after a student is initially awarded financial aid, changes to the original aid package may occur. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will notify you of any changes to aid via your CVCC student email account. You may also view your financial information via “MYCVCC Portal” online. In some cases, when financial aid has already been disbursed and the EFC increases after a late verification process, certain forms of aid may have to be returned to the Department of Education.
What happens if an amended tax returns needs to be filed?
If an amended tax return is filed, the following documents are needed:
If my parents do not claim me on their taxes, why am I still considered dependent? For federal and state financial aid purposes, a student is only considered independent if one or more of the following are true:
If none of these statements applies, you must provide parent information on your FAFSA and other financial aid documents. Extenuating circumstances may be reviewed by on a case by case basis to determine whether or not professional judgment may be granted.
Will being selected for verification prevent my aid from disbursing?
Your financial aid will not be disbursed until you have submitted all requested documents and the information has been verified by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education must receive and accept changes to the original FAFSA information prior to disbursement.
What if I am selected for verification but will not file a Federal Income Tax Return?
Whether or not you are required to file a Federal income tax return depends on many factors, including your filing status, citizenship, income amount, income sources, age, etc. The main IRS website may be used to obtain directions, forms, and answers to frequently asked questions or a qualified tax professional. Students and/or parents whose income falls below the minimum filing threshold for a given tax year should complete the required Verification Worksheet and submit all W-2 forms and/or other statements of income. If evidence suggests that a student or parent should have filed, but did not, this represents conflicting information and must be resolved.
When is the Verification Process Complete?
The verification process is complete when all requested documents have been submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid and necessary corrections have been made with the Department of Education. Once the verification process is complete, students will be notified of their award package generally within one week to two weeks. The student will be directed to log into “MYCVCC Portal” to review their award and other notifications.
What if I do not want to complete the verification process?
Students and parents are under no obligation to complete the verification process; however, you are not eligible for federal or state financial assistance. If you do not wish to complete the verification process, you should notify the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid via email or letter. We will stop the communication process.
What if Fraud is suspected?
CVCC is required to notify the U.S. Office of Inspector General if it is suspected or reported that a student, employee or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation submitted in order for a student to fraudulently obtain federal funds. Knowledge of fraudulent information should be reported to the director in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (828) 327-7000 extension 4860 or to the Office of Inspector General at (404) 974-9430.
If further assistance is needed, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (828) 327-7000 extension 4680.