FAFSA Verification Process
Students may be selected by the Central Processing System (CPS) or CVCC to review their documentation submitted to FAFSA. If selected, the student will go through a verification process.
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.
Why was I selected for verification?
Many students selected for verification are chosen randomly. However, you are more likely to be selected for verification if the data you provided on the FAFSA was inconsistent, if the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, or if your FAFSA contained estimated information.
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.
Should I send documentation even if my application has not been selected for verification?
Students should not send any financial documentation unless requested to do so. CVCC only verifies the FAFSA information of selected students or in special cases when inconsistent information is found. Sending in information that is not required could result in unnecessary delays in the disbursement of your financial aid.
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.
If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before federal and state aid is disbursed. Students must submit the required documentation. 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. 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 US Department of Education has received and processed 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?
- The IRS tax transcript is required for anyone who filed a tax return but did not complete the IRS Data Retrieval. We are unable to accept copies of a tax forms. You must order an official IRS Tax Return Transcript.
- A verification worksheet
- W-2's showing wages (parent and student if the student is dependent)
- Statement of child support paid
- other documentation as needed
Students and parents should ensure that all documents are signed and the student's name and ID Number is noted on all pages.
What is an IRS Tax Return Transcript? Is this the same as a copy of a tax return?
An IRS Tax Return Transcript is NOT the same as a copy of the 1040 Federal income tax return. Federal aid regulations prohibit the use of a copy of a signed tax return as part of the verification process, with a few, rare exceptions. If you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval function within the FAFSA, and must supply income and tax information for verification, you can obtain a free Federal Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS by visiting Welcome to Get Transcripts online request, by calling 1 (800) 908-9946, or by completing and mailing Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, selecting the “Return Transcript” option. Further information about IRS tax return transcripts can be found on the IRS website.
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 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 DRT within the online FAFSA website or provide an official IRS Tax Return Transcript. The IRS DRT 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 DRT when initially filing a FAFSA. They also may file the FAFSA with estimated data, later utilizing IRS DRT to update the FAFSA after their Federal tax return has been processed. For assistance with the IRS DRT 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 (PDF). 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 DRT 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.
Are there filers who should not attempt to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) if selected for verification?
There are certain circumstances in which filers cannot or should not attempt use of IRS Data Retrieval and should request the IRS Tax Return Transcript instead if documentation of income/tax info is required for verification. These are:
- Any tax filer whose marital status has changed from the time s/he has filed the FAFSA to present. Use of the IRS DRT will not supply enough information in these cases to accurately complete verification.
- Filers who were married the previous calendar year but now are separated/divorced should also submit all W-2 forms if selected for verification
- Filers whose tax filing and marital statuses are inconsistent with reported household information on the FAFSA may be required to send additional documentation.
- Biological/adoptive parents of a dependent student who are unmarried, but live together
- Married tax filers who:
- file Married-Separately
- file Head of Household (meeting the special requirements regarding timing and maintenance of a separate household from their spouse). Additional documentation of these circumstances will be requested.
- Filers who have performed a direct rollover of their IRAs in the previous calendar year. Use of the IRS DRT may make it appear that they have a large amount of untaxed income at their disposal. Filers in these circumstances should submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript with the word “Rollover” next to the “Total IRA Distributions” field and a 1099R or other supplemental documentation from the companies verifying the transaction.
- Filers who have accomplished a conversion to a Roth IRA in the previous calendar year. Use of the IRS DRT may make it appear that they have more accessible taxable income. Filers in these circumstances should submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript with the word “Rollover” next to the “Total IRA Distributions” field and a 1099R or other supplemental documentation from the companies verifying the transaction.
What happens if an amended tax returns needs to be filed?
If an amended tax return is filed, the following documents are needed:
- A signed copy of the original tax return that was submitted to the IRS
- A Tax Return Transcript from IRS
- A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was submitted to IRS.
What should I do if I have been selected for verification but have an extension to file my tax return?
Students and/or parents who are required to submit income and tax information for the purposes of verification will only be able to access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) or IRS Tax Return Transcript once their Federal income tax returns have been processed by the IRS. If you have been selected for verification and if a tax-filing extension has been completed, you should provide the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid a copy of the IRS Form 4868, Unexpired IRS approval of extension beyond the automatic 6-month approval, IRS Verification of Non-Filing letter dated after October 1, 2017 and all W-2 forms for the tax year. W-2 forms will be used to estimate the filer’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) figure for the purposes of verification. If W-2 forms are unavailable or are not a valid estimate of AGI for the given tax year, a written statement of estimated Adjusted Gross Income may be accepted.
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 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.
Are there Special Cases in which other documentation may be accepted in lieu of an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
If a student and/or parent is able to obtain alternate official documentation (such as the “Return Transcript for Tax Payer”) directly from the IRS that includes all income and tax information for the tax year to be verified, AND if the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) judges this alternate documentation to be official and complete, such documentation may be used in rare circumstances to complete the verification process in lieu of the IRS Tax Return Transcript. The OSFA is aware of only the following circumstances in which students and parents who have filed returns cannot use IRS Data Retrieval, nor can they submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript:
- Cases of Identity Theft: The student and/or parent should submit:
- Statement signed and dated by tax filer indicating they were a victim of IRS-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware and
- An IRS Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) transcript
- Filing of Tax Returns Outside the US: When students/ parents are not obligated to file US income tax returns and ONLY file abroad:
- Citizens of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam should submit a signed copy of their commonwealth’s/ territory’s tax return (e.g. the Planilla de Contribución Sobre for residents of PR).
- Citizens of the Freely Associated States should submit signed copies of Wage and Tax Statements from each employer - and - a signed statement identifying all income and taxes for the tax year.
- Citizens of foreign countries should submit:
- A signed and dated copy of the foreign tax return with an English translation of all pertinent fields - and - a monetary conversion of foreign currency to US dollars at the exchange rate in effect when you originally filed your FAFSA, or
- A signed statement identifying all income and taxes paid for the tax year (for foreign citizens not obligated to file a foreign tax return).
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:
- you are 24 years old;
- you are enrolled in a graduate degree program;
- you are married;
- you have children or other dependents who receive more than half of their support from you;
- both of your parents are deceased;
- you are (or were until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court; or
- you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
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?
YES! 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 US Department of Education must receive and accept changes to the original FAFSA information prior to disbursement.
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 5–7 days. The student will be directed to log into "MYCVCC Portal" to review their award and other notifications.
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 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 US 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, ext. 4860 or to the Office of Inspector General at (404) 974-9430.
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HOW TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID
Applying for financial aid is simple. Just follow the steps below!
IMPORTANT FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) INFORMATION
CVCC School Code: 005318
The most important step in applying for financial aid is completing the FAFSA. Students should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1 each year.
To complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA, students should use their and/or their parents' 2019 tax information. To complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA, students should use their and/or their parent's 2020 tax information.
Note: There is NO charge associated with submitting the FAFSA. It is a FREE application. If students have questions, contact The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid or the Federal Student Aid Agency at (800) 433-3243.
FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO APPLY FOR FINANCIAL AID AT CVCC:
- Go to the CVCC Apply Now page and follow the application steps.
- Create a FSA ID. Students, parents, and borrowers are required to use a FSA ID, made up of a username and password, to access certain US Department of Education websites. The FSA ID is used to confirm identity when accessing financial aid information and electronically signing the federal student aid documents.
- Submit the FAFSA - CVCC School Code: 005318
If assistance is needed with submitting the student's FAFSA, please use the online tutorial “7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA.” For assistance with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for the FAFSA, visit FAFSA Help and click on “IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL.”
- Once the student's FAFSA has been submitted, they will receive a confirmation page and email notification that their FAFSA has been received and processed. If no email address is provided, they will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail. Check the SAR for accuracy and make sure CVCC is listed as a recipient of your information.
- Upon receipt of the student's FAFSA data from the Department of Education, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will contact the student via their CVCC student email account, requesting documents needed to complete the student's file. Submit all requested documentation promptly to complete the financial aid application.
- Financial Aid award letters are emailed to students once the FAFSA is received by the school, all documents are processed and the file is complete. The email will give students information on how to view their award letter using Self Service Financial Aid in “MYCVCC Portal.” For assistance with MYCVCC Portal, please visit MyCVCC Portal Help page.
Note: The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid cannot provide students with an estimated award until they have been admitted to the College and have chosen an eligible program of study.
FINANCIAL AID FORMS
The following aid financial aid forms available by academic year.
Forms must be completed using black or blue ink only. Please print clearly.
Computer generated signatures are not acceptable.
» 2022-2023 Financial Aid Forms
The Year-Round Pell Grant allows eligible students to take courses in the summer and complete their degrees faster.
An eligible student may now receive a full Federal Pell Grant for the summer semester even if they received a full Federal Pell Grant during the fall and spring semesters. Year-round Pell allows students to receive up to 150 percent of a regular grant award over the course of the academic year so that they can continue taking classes in the summer and finish their degrees faster than they would otherwise. With careful planning, Pell Grant recipients may take advantage of this new regulation to earn their degree faster. However, students should keep in mind that the summer term is shorter (8-10 weeks) than fall and spring semesters (16 weeks). Students should consult with their academic advisor to develop a manageable course load for the shorter summer term. Just because students may be eligible for full-time Pell Grant funds does not mean students are required to carry a full-time load.
Note: The provisions of the new law state that any Pell Grant received will be included in determining the student’s Pell Grant duration of eligibility and Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU). To be eligible for additional Pell Grant funds:
- student must be otherwise eligible to receive Pell Grant funds for the payment period
- student must be enrolled at least half-time in the payment period(s) (6 credit hours) during the summer term
- student must be maintaining satisfactory academic progress
HOW MUCH MAY I RECEIVE IN YEAR-ROUND PELL?
Student A has a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and is eligible for a full Federal Pell Grant for the academic year. Student A was enrolled full-time for the fall and spring semesters and received full Pell disbursements. With the new implementation of Year Round Pell, the student will now be eligible to receive a full-time disbursement in Summer if enrolled in twelve credit hours.
|Scenario 1||Fall Semester
|Enrollment||12 credit hour||12 credit hours||12 credit hours|
Student B has a zero EFC and is eligible for a full Federal Pell Grant for the academic year. Student B was enrolled full-time for the fall and spring semesters and received full Pell disbursements. With the new implementation of Year Round Pell, the student will now be eligible to receive a half-time disbursement in Summer if enrolled in six credit hours.
|Scenario 2||Fall Semester
|Enrollment||12 credit hours||12 credit hours||6 credit hours|
Student C has a zero EFC and is eligible for a full Federal Pell Grant for the academic year. Student C was enrolled full-time for the fall semester and received a full disbursement and was enrolled three-quarter time for the spring semester and received a three-quarter time disbursement. With the new implementation of Year Round Pell, the student will now be eligible to receive a full disbursement in Summer if enrolled in twelve credit hours.
|Scenario 3||Fall Semester
|Enrollment||12 credit hours||9 credit hours||12 credit hours|
Student D has a zero EFC and is eligible for a full Federal Pell Grant for the academic year. Student D was enrolled full-time for the fall and spring semesters but only enrolls for four credit hours during the summer semester. Student D is not enrolled at least half-time and therefore is not eligible for additional Pell Grant funds for Summer.
|Scenario 4||Fall Semester
(Less than Half-Time)
|Enrollment||12 credit hours||12 credit hours||4 credit hours|
For more information, please contact the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
Professional Judgment refers to the school's authority to make adjustments, on a case-by-case basis, to information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that the Department of Education can recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the number that the school uses to determine if a student is eligible for need based financial aid.
Please Note: The school does not have the authority to make direct adjustments to the EFC or to the formula used to calculate the EFC, just data elements on the FAFSA which may change the EFC.
The professional judgment process is an extensive process that requires a thorough review by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to determine what, if any changes, may be appropriate based on your FAFSA application. It is a time intensive process that includes the following steps:
- If a Professional Judgment request is submitted, the student will be institutionally selected for Verification (if not previously selected). Be aware that during the Verification process, corrections to your FAFSA may be required which can result in a change to a student's aid eligibility.
- The file will then be reviewed to determine if all required documentation has been submitted. If additional documentation is required, the student will be notified by email.
- The Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid will determine if a student's Professional Judgment request meets the criteria to make data element changes to their FAFSA.
- If approved, appropriate changes will be made to the student's FAFSA and submitted to the Department of Education. The Department of Education will then recalculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the student's eligibility for need based aid. The student will be notified by email.
- If denied, the student will be notified by email.
In many cases, an adjustment does not increase the student's eligibility for grants or the total amount of aid awarded. Be aware that if a student receives Federal Pell Grant or a North Carolina Grant, it may be reduced or lost because it is based on the original EFC. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid reserves the right to deny any appeals that would not increase a student's eligibility for aid. The decision of the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid is final and cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.
Special circumstances are anything that differentiates the family's finances from those of other families. Below are examples to include, but not limited to, reasons to submit a professional judgment request:
- unusually high childcare or dependent care expenses
- changes to dependency status
- unusually high medical or dental expenses
- parent(s) enrolled in college at least half-time in a degree seeking program
- changes in a family's reported income
- death or disability of a wage earner
- separation/divorce of the student's parents
- one-time taxable income
Please note: Use of professional judgment is neither limited to nor required for the situations mentioned.
Situations that are not considered special circumstances:
- vacation expenses
- tithing expenses
- standard living expenses (e.g. utilities, credit card expenses, children's allowances, etc.)
- mortgage payments
- car payments
- lawn care
- credit card or other personal debt problems
- all other discretionary expenses
If a student would like to request consideration of special circumstances, please submit a Professional Judgment Request Form.
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SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS POLICY
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is a set of standards for financial aid progress to insure that all students receiving federal (Title IV) or state aid are making progress toward completion of a degree. The policy requires the measurement of satisfactory academic progress to include all periods of enrollment at the institution, including those periods for which the student did not receive any financial aid.
New federal regulations effective July 1, 2011, affect Satisfactory Academic Progress policies and procedures. The rules limit the length of time that students not making progress can continue to receive Title IV aid and require a more structured, comprehensive, and consistent approach to the development and implementation of institutional financial aid satisfactory academic progress policies.
» Financial Aid Statuses
» Academic Plans
» Tips for Achieving Satisfactory Academic Progress
How To Apply for Financial Aid
Financial Aid Forms
Types of Financial Aid
Alternative Loan Information
Financial Aid and Campus Store
Financial Aid Census Dates
Return of Title IV Funds
Satisfactory Academic Progress
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Frequently Asked Questions
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