7.1.1 Selection of Applicants to be Verified
Verification is the process the U.S. DOE and colleges use to ensure federal student financial aid funding is based on accurate information. After completion of the FAFSA, students may be selected for verification and required to verify some of the information provided on the FAFSA. All applications selected by the federal CPS for verification are subject to the verification procedure which includes completion of the appropriate verification worksheet (see Appendix A) and submitting any required supporting documentation to the Financial Aid Office at the home college campus. Students selected for verification are notified via their Student Aid Report (SAR) and in their KCTCS PeopleSoft Student Self Service account on the “To-Do” List. All applicants selected for verification must complete the process prior to having federal aid awarded/disbursed. KCTCS will not make any interim disbursements of any Title IV funds before verification is complete.
KCTCS college Financial Aid Directors have the authority to verify additional students and may require an applicant to verify any specified information on the FAFSA [34 CFR 668.54(a)(3)]. Colleges must verify any application information they have reason to believe is incorrect [34 CFR 668.54 (a)(2). All verification requirements, such as deadlines, allowable tolerances, and interim disbursement rules, apply equally to all students who are being verified.
Regulations allow for verification exemptions in certain situations with applicable documentation in accordance with 34 CFR 668.54(b). Except in the case of the student’s death, none of the exemptions excuse the requirement to resolve conflicting information prior to receiving aid. Verification of FAFSA information is not required for a student in the following situations.
- Death of the student
- Not an aid recipient (student won’t receive Title IV aid for reasons other than failure to complete verification—ineligible for aid, withdrew without receiving, etc.)
- Eligible only to receive unsubsidized student financial aid
- Applicant verified by another school (KCTCS colleges will accept documentation that verification was completed during the current award year for a student who transfers from another KCTCS college. A completed Verification Certification Worksheet (Appendix A) may be accepted as valid documentation of the following: (1) statement thatstudent’s application data has been verified, (2) transaction number of the verified application, (3) if relevant, the reason the school was not required to recalculate the student’s EFC (e.g. application error within allowable tolerance)
- Post enrollment (student selected for verification after ceasing enrollment at the college and all disbursements were made)
Verification of FAFSA information of parents of a dependent student is not required if any of the following apply, unless the college has reason to believe the information is inaccurate.
- Both parents are mentally incapacitated.
- Parents reside in a country other than the United States and can’t be contacted by normal means.
- Parents can’t be located because the student does not have and cannot get their contact information.
Verification of FAFSA information of the spouse of an independent student is not required if any of the following apply, unless the college has reason to believe the information is inaccurate.
- The spouse has died.
- Spouse in mentally incapacitated.
- Spouse resides in a county other than the United States and can’t be contacted by normal means.
- Spouse can’t be located because the student does not have and cannot get their contact information.
The Secretary of the DOE issued updated waivers and modification of statutory and regulatory provisions governing federal student financial aid programs under the authority of the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act as outlined in pages 59311-59318 of the Federal Register 34 CFR Parts 668, 674, 682, and 685) dated 9/27/2012. The waivers and modifications apply through September 30, 2017. Adjustments apply to return of funds and signature requirements for verification and applications. Applicants who qualify for HEROES must notify the college Financial Aid Director for consideration. Eligible HEROES applicants include persons who:
- Are serving on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency
- Are performing qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency
- Reside or are employed in an area declared disaster area by any federal,state, or local official in connection with a national emergency
- Have suffered direct economic hardship as a direct result of a war, other military operation, or national emergency
Federally-declared disasters may affect the awarding of aid in that the Secretary of DOE will not enforce the verification requirements for applicants whose records were lost or destroyed due to a disaster. The college must document if it does not perform verification for this reason. Use the status code “S” when reporting the disbursement of Pell Grants to affected students.