If you’re anything like me, financial aid is a confusing jumble of papers, taxes and money. WSU requires students to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year and you may be selected to have your FAFSA verified.

 

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21

 

There are a lot of misconceptions about being verified. Luckily, the WSU Financial Aid Office is here to help—along with this quick overview of FAQs regarding FAFSA verification.

 

What does it mean to be “verified” for FAFSA?

Verification is simply confirming that the information provided on a student’s FAFSA is correct. This process is done by the student and parents/guardians sending in proper documentation to ensure that the FAFSA is accurate.

The federal government requires all colleges and universities to verify or confirm the FAFSA data reported by at least 30% of students and their parents. Basically, the verification process ensures that all students get the financial aid they are eligible for and prevents students who are ineligible from receiving federal financial aid.

 

Why would someone be selected for verification?

There’s a common misconception that being selected for verification means you’ve done something wrong, or that you’re being punished. This is not the case.

The main reasons include:

  • Being chosen randomly
  • Submitting an incomplete FAFSA
  • Having a FAFSA that contains estimated information or inconsistent data

 

How will I know if my FAFSA needs to be verified?

For all students, regardless of what school they go to, a notice will appear on your Student Aid Report, which is a summary of your FAFSA submission.

Specifically at WSU, students will be sent a letter and/or email alerting them that their FAFSA needs to be verified. Additional information is available to view in your eServices under “Financial Aid” if documentation is required.

 

What do I do if I’m selected?

The next steps vary from student to student mostly on your classification: if you’re an independent or dependent student. A good way to check if you are dependent is if you were required to put your parents’ information on your FAFSA.

If not, then you are likely an independent student. Various amounts of documentation could be requested, all of which would be noted in the letter, email, or on eServices. Always follow the steps listed on your letter or email from WSU.

In general, if you’re selected you need to provide the student’s 2017 IRS Tax Transcript along with the parents’ if you are a dependent student.

However, Jennifer Meyer, one of the Warrior Hub Financial Aid Desk Coordinators, suggests that if you want to get ahead of the game, you could order your free IRS Tax Transcript early. Receiving transcripts can take some time but students cannot receive financial aid until the verification process is complete. It isn’t a bad idea to be prepared.

 

FAFSA Verification

 

Overall, needing to be verified for FAFSA is a simple, routine process some students will have to go through over their college career. WSU makes it easy for students to get the information they need, and the faculty at the Financial Aid office manage to make the complicated simple. You can always consult this guide or schedule an appointment with a WSU Financial Aid counselor if you have any questions.

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Breanna McGeorge

Breanna McGregor is from Sussex, Wisconsin and enjoys writing, reading and drawing. She will graduate in Fall 2018 with a degree in English Writing and a Literature and Language Minor.