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Verification Policy

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.

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). You will also receive notification via the Message Center from the Financial Aid Office alerting you to check your 'To Do List' of our Student Information System to determine what documentation you will be required to submit before your financial aid application is fully processed.

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 disbursement of your financial aid. If you need to make corrections to your FAFSA, you may do so by logging into your application online.

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 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 and/or disbursed. 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 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 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
Verification will be completed when all required information is received by the VHCC Financial Aid Office. Your financial aid will not show as anticipated or be disbursed until all submitted documentation has been verified by the VHCC Financial Aid Office, and the U.S. Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the original FAFSA data.

No. An IRS Tax Account Transcript has fewer data elements than an IRS Tax Return Transcript. For verification purposes, the only documentation allowed in lieu of IRS Data Retrieval with unchanged data is an IRS Tax Return Transcript, unless there is an allowed special circumstance (see below). You can obtain a free IRS Tax Return Transcript 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

The VHCC Financial Aid Office 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. For students whose applications are selected for verification, financial aid awards are considered tentative until the required evaluation related to the verification process is completed.

Students selected for verification must submit all documentation to the VHCC Financial Aid Office by the last day of the student's attendance for the aid year, meaning the student must have an official FAFSA results submitted to the college and comply with all needed processes and documents.

During the verification process, information is compared to the original data on the FAFSA and corrections may be made. These corrections may lower or raise the Student Aid Index (SAI) figure. Because financial need is determined by the EFC, aid eligibility may be impacted when changes occur during the verification process. If the verification process is completed after a student is initially awarded financial aid, changes to the original aid package may occur. The Financial Aid Office will notify you of any changes to aid via your student email account. In some cases, when financial aid has already been disbursed but the EFC increases after a late verification process, certain forms of aid must be returned to the U.S. Department of Education.

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. This Internal Revenue Service (IRS) link may be used to determine whether or not you are required to file. The main IRS website may be used to obtain directions, forms, and answers to frequently asked questions. Further questions should be directed to the IRS or to 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 which must be resolved.

Students and/or parents who file returns outside the United States should review the Special Cases FAQ below

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