Verification uses documentation to confirm that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the federal financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid for which they do not qualify.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION?
If a student's SAR indicates that he/she was selected for verification or if the Financial Aid Office determines that the student's application needs to be verified, the student and his/her parent(s) will be required to provide supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified by e-mail to their college e-mail address and told to check their OneACCS student portal for information. Students need to monitor their e-mail accounts.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION IS REQUIRED FOR VERIFICATION, WHERE TO SEND IT, OR WHEN TO SEND IT BY?
If a student's SAR indicates he/she was selected for verification or if the Financial Aid Office determines that the application needs to be verified, the student and his/her parent(s) will be required to provide supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office. Students will be notified by email to their campus that they have a notification and they need to check their OneACCS student portal to find out what additional information needs to provided. Students need to check their financial aid information using their OneACCS accounts to see what documents they need to send in.
IF I AM SELECTED FOR VERIFICATION, AM I REQUIRED TO SEND ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION?
Yes. Participation in the verification process is not optional. If a student who is selected does not submit the required documentation by the established deadline, the student will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid from the College.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER VERIFICATION?
Once the verification documentation has been received, it will be compared to data elements on the student's FAFSA. If the information on the FAFSA matches the documentation provided, then no changes to the FAFSA are required, the verification process will continue, and the student will receive a financial aid package based on the original FAFSA results. The student will receive notification by campus email to check their OneACCS account for updated information.
If the verification process results in corrections to any data elements on the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will submit these changes electronically to the federal processor. Both the student and Financial Aid Office will be notified of the reprocessed FAFSA results electronically from the processor. Once received, the student will receive a financial aid package based on the reprocessed FAFSA results.
WHAT IS PROFESSIONAL JUDGEMENT?
Professional Judgement is a request to have a student's FAFSA information reviewed by the Director of Financial Aid. If a significant change in a student or family income has occurred since the filing of the FAFSA, the student can request that a Professional Judgement be made on the results of the FAFSA. If a student has been selected for verification, the process must be completed before a Professional Judgement can be considered.
If a student has not been selected for verification prior to requesting a Professional Judgement, the student will receive notification by campus email to check their OneACCS account for updated information that they have been selected and what documentation they must return to complete the process. Additional documentation will be requested based on the situation and the student's requests outlined in the Professional Judgement. If a student believes they qualify for a Professional Judgement, they need to contact that Financial Aid Office for more information.
All required documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than 10 business days from the initial date of request. Delay in submitting all required documents will cause a delay in receiving a financial aid package. The process takes 7 to 10 business days to complete. Students are expected to apply for aid and complete the verification process before the term has begun. Otherwise, the student is in jeopardy of not receiving any Federal aid for their period of enrollment. A Pell Grant applicant must complete the entire process before the Pell Grant program deadline in September or 120 days after the last day of the student's enrollment, whichever is earlier. If the process is not complete, the student is not eligible for Pell for that award year. If the Financial Aid Office suspects that a student, or other individual, has intentionally misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal financial aid funds, the office can report its suspicions, and will provide the evidence to the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education for review.
FINANCIAL AID FRAUD POLICY
lnstitutions must refer applicants who are suspected of having engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with Title V programs to the United State's Department of Education's Office of Inspector General. The regulations require only that the institution refer the suspected case for investigation, not that it reached a firm conclusion about the propriety of the applicant's conduct.
As stewards of Title IV funds, Coastal Alabama Community College is obligated to assure that processes are developed to protect against fraud by either applicants or staff. All financial aid staff are responsible for detecting and reporting fraud. If, in the financial aid administrator's judgement, the applicant and their family have provided a fraudulent application or documentation, it must be reported immediately to a supervisor. For more information please visit our website at http://www.coastalalabama.edu/financialaid/financial_aid_fraud_policy/.