About Financial Aid Verification
Each year the Central Processing System (CPS) of the U.S. Department of Education selects a number of Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms (FAFSAs) for a process called verification.
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, UMGC will need to collect additional documentation from you in order to verify some of the information you provided on your FAFSA. For example, UMGC may ask for additional information about your income, the number of people in your household, the number of people attending college in your household and/or other information. This page will give you an idea of what to expect if your FAFSA is selected for verification.
How You Will Be Notified
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be notified as follows:
- When the Department of Education sends you the Student Aid Report (SAR), it will include an asterisk (*) next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The asterisk lets you know that UMGC will ask for documentation for the verification process.
- UMGC will notify you by e-mail. Notifications will begin as soon as UMGC receives the FAFSA selected for verification. Notifications will continue until you have submitted all documents required for verification or the deadline for submission has passed.
The notifications from UMGC will include a link to your student portal, MyUMGC, to view information about required documentation. The student portal is the primary communication point for information about FAFSA verification. Visit the site often during the verification process for information on outstanding documentation.
After you submit documents for review, your account may display conflicting information. If this occurs, UMGC will again reach out to you to resolve the conflicting information by requesting additional documentation.
Correcting Errors on the FAFSA
Upon receipt of the Student Aid Report (SAR), you should review all the information listed and submit for correction any errors reported on the original FAFSA.
The CPS will send UMGC an electronic summary of the selected student's original FAFSA and any corrected FAFSA information. Once received, all FAFSA data, verification worksheets, and any supplemental verification documents will be reviewed by UMGC's Office of Financial Aid to verify the accuracy of the student's FAFSA information and to calculate the student's eligibility for FSA.
If the FAFSA information changes as a result of the verification process, Financial Aid staff will
Submit the FAFSA changes and corrections to CPS for processing
Recalculate the Federal Pell Grant based on the student's recalculated EFC
Notify you via e-mail of any changes to that academic year's FSA package
Adjust that academic year's FSA package based on the recalculated EFC
Verification Deadline and Failure to Submit
UMGC will not award or disburse Federal Student Aid (FSA) until the verification process is complete. Failure to complete the verification process by the deadline may result in a student not being eligible for FSA, in which case the student will need other means to pay for courses.
Requested verification documentation must be submitted to UMGC by the deadlines posted for that award year by the U.S. Department of Education in the Federal Register, i.e., the earlier of 120 days after the student's last date of attendance for the current award year or the stated date within the Federal Register.
Subsequent FAFSA Transactions
Making changes or updates to your FAFSA will result in a subsequent transaction being sent to UMGC. If the subsequent transaction is selected for verification or there has been a change in your EFC which impacts eligibility after federal student aid has been awarded or disbursed, you will be notified via email. You have 15 calendar days after the date of notification to submit all requested documentation for review. Failure to submit the requested documents within the 15-day timeframe will result in the cancellation of all need-based FSA.
To protect our students and the integrity of our institution, UMGC reserves the right to select any student record for additional review. As part of the additional review process, a hold will be placed on the student record. The hold will prohibit course registration, awarding and disbursement of financial aid, and credit balance refunds. UMGC will request identifying information including, but not limited to:
- A valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID (color copy); and
- Address verification (in the form of a utility bill, rental statement, or mortgage statement)
- Official transcripts (high school and college)
Reviews will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If this information is not submitted or is unable to be confirmed, the hold will remain on the student record. This may result in a termination of financial aid processing at UMGC, withdrawal from courses, and/or referral to student judicial affairs. Additionally, any information believed to be fraudulent will be forwarded to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Inspector General, and/or other federal, state and/or local agencies for further investigation. Any questions regarding the process should be directed to the Office of Compliance at email@example.com.
Referral of Fraud Cases
Students and parents are advised that UMGC must and will refer to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that an applicant for FSA may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with FAFSA applications. Common misconduct includes false claims of independent status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Note that fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake on an application.
Financial Aid TV
For more information on FAFSA verification, please watch Financial Aid TV.