What is verification?
Verification is a process in which information on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by a school for accuracy and completeness. Each year, the Federal U.S. Department of Education selects certain applicants for verification. The verification process requires the Financial Aid Office to confirm the data supplied by the student and/or parent(s). Although the College cannot determine who will be selected for verification each year, students should anticipate selection. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, immediately submit all requested documentation to our office for review. Failure to provide required documentation by stated deadlines may negatively impact your financial aid award package.
How will I know if I am selected for verification?
Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate whether or not your file has been selected for verification. The SAR is typically accessed via a link sent to you by the U.S. Department of Education after you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are selected for verification, there will be an asterisk* next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your SAR. You will also receive notification via mail from the Financial Aid Office alerting you of any additional documentation we need or action you need to take to complete the verification process.
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. VHCC only verifies the FAFSA information of selected students or in special cases when inconsistent information is found. However, the Financial Aid Office must review all information in its possession, even for students not selected for verification. Sending in information that is not required could result in unnecessary delays in the awarding of your financial aid. If you need to make corrections to your FAFSA, you may do so by logging into your application online at fafsa.ed.gov.
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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was inconsistent, if the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, or if your FAFSA contained estimated information.
If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was selected, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before need-based Federal and State student financial aid will be awarded. Students must submit the required documentation to verify the information on the FAFSA. Students may log into their myVHCC account, Student Center, To Do List to review any outstanding requirements.
Please note that during the process of verification, new or additional information may be required in order to clarify inconsistencies. The Financial Aid Office will contact you via phone or email if additional clarification is needed. It is important to respond to any information requests immediately.
Per regulations, VHCC can no longer 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. A free IRS Tax Return Transcript may be obtained directly from the IRS by 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 at IRS.gov.
Verification will be completed when all required information is received by the VHCC Financial Aid Office. Your financial aid will not show as anticipated until all submitted documentation has been verified by the Financial Aid Office, and the U.S. Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the original FAFSA data.