FAFSA Verification: What It Means

Charlize Quinto, Staff Writer

When you checked your confirmation email from FAFSA, was there an asterisk (*) next to your EFC? Did it look like something like this?

An arrow pointing to a FAFSA application that needs verification.

If so, that means you’ve been selected for verification! Don’t fret, it happens to many students. It doesn’t mean that there was something wrong with your application. One-third of FAFSA applications are randomly selected for verification. 

Knowing about the verification process early will avoid any setbacks to your financial aid and help you get through this long process easier.

The verification process is when the U.S Department of Education (DE) randomly selects you for a review of your FAFSA information and your 2018 tax returns a little further. This is where they will verify the data you provided on your application. Your application is not in trouble. However, verification just means you have more tasks to do. You are required to submit more documents to the DE. This process allows the DE to prevent students from providing false information on their FAFSA. 

The DE does not give a specific reason why you were selected. You may have been selected due to incomplete or conflicting information.

So what now? Make sure you check your email consistently about any directions from colleges you applied to. If you have not received emails and your application is requested for verification, contact your college’s financial aid office. The financial aid office will tell you the documents needed from you for the verification process. Generally, they will send you a worksheet to complete with specific documents needed. These documents could be your parent’s tax return.

It is also important to note that these documents and worksheets have a deadline. The more you delay in completing your verification process, the longer it will take for you to receive financial aid. The earlier the better. Verification is not something you should worry about, follow through and aid will come your way!