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Financial Aid Verification Procedures

What is verification?

About 30% of all students that complete a FAFSA are selected for verification by the Department of Education. The verification process requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

When selected for verification, the student will be notified through their UNG e-mail. The student will be directed to the Financial Aid tab within their BANNER Account to review a list of the requirements that must be completed before any financial aid can be awarded.

What do I do if I am selected for verification?

After submitting your FAFSA you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR), which is a summary of the data you provided on the FAFSA. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) has been calculated and this number determines the amount and types of aid you may receive. Review the SAR and correct any errors you notice by logging back into your account.

If you are selected for verification, you will need to submit additional information to the University of North Georgia (UNG) Financial Aid Office for review. An email from our office will outline your next steps. To expedite processing, requested documentation or related materials will be due within 10 business days of notification.  Failure to submit requested documentation within this timeframe will delay processing of your award.

If you used the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) when filling out your FAFSA and you have not changed any of the information retrieved, you will not have to verify that information. If you did not use the IRS DRT and you are selected for verification, log back in to see if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT to import the IRS data into your FAFSA. If not, you will need to order a tax transcript as part of the verification process. You can find your tax transcript through the IRS’s Get Transcript service.

The 2020-21 FAFSA uses 2018 Tax Information. Using DRT speeds up the verification process! 

If you are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or do not choose to use it, you may also submit a Tax RETURN Transcript.

There are four options for obtaining a Tax RETURN Transcript.

  1. You can get your free transcripts immediately online.
  2. You can also get them by phone.
    • Call 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.
  3. You can get them by using the mobile app.
  4. You can receive transcripts by mail or by fax (within five to 10 days from the time IRS receives your request). 
PLEASE NOTE:

The IRS recently implemented new security features that redact (remove) a significant amount of personally identifying information from all of their documents. While these added security features protect your personal information and identity, it makes our job more difficult. As such, when submitting any documents from the IRS (tax return transcripts, wage and earnings statements, etc.) to our office, we ask that you list the student’s full name and Banner ID in the top right corner of the document. Failure to provide this information will increase processing time and may prevent us from processing your document entirely. Additionally, when ordering Tax Return Transcripts, please have them sent to you, NOT UNG, so that you can add the student’s name and Banner ID to the transcript before submitting it to our office.

Where do I complete my verification?

  1. Log into Banner Web
  2. Click Financial Aid
  3. Click Eligibility
  4. Click Student Requirements
  5. Select the Aid Year 
  6. Select "Additional Documents are Required" and follow instructions.

Who is the System Administrator?

If you have trouble logging into your VerifyMyFafsa (VMF) account, please contact your Financial Aid Administrator:

Christy Jordan Christy.jordan@ung.edu 678-717-3789

John Lindsey john.lindsey@ung.edu 404-864-2570

Financial Aid Office finaid@ung.edu 706-864-1412

What if I am chosen for verification but decide not to complete the process?

If you choose not to submit verification documents, we will be unable to complete your application and determine your eligibility for federal financial aid.

Verification Processing and Institutional Deadline Dates

Verification may take up to 4 weeks to be processed during our peak times. UNG Financial Aid Counselors will review your information and submit corrections, if needed. After corrections are processed, you will receive an updated SAR which shows any corrections that were submitted. Changes to your EFC reflected on the new SAR may affect your Title IV federal aid eligibility. A notification of your aid eligibility will be sent to your UNG email address directing you to review your Banner Web student account. Check these accounts frequently for updates.

Until the verification process is complete, no need-based federal funds may be disbursed. These funds include the Pell Grant, FSEOG, Work-Study and Direct Subsidized Loan. If you are eligible for both subsidized and unsubsidized Title IV aid, you may not avoid verification by accepting only unsubsidized aid; you must complete verification to receive any Title IV aid.

The UNG Financial Aid Office must receive your official FAFSA before or during the semester you are attending the institution. It is imperative that we receive any requested additional documentation as soon as you are notified. Once all requirements are complete, FSEOG, Work-Study and Loans can only be awarded while you are enrolled, i.e. before the end of the semester. If requested verification documentation is submitted after the semester ends, you may no longer be eligible for these funds. A late disbursement of the Pell Grant is possible, but it can only apply to successfully completed courses. . 

Notice: Verification procedures and deadlines are governed by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended and Subpart E of 34CFR Part 608.”Verification of Student Aid Application Information”, published in the Federal Register dated March 14, 1986 and August 15, 1986.

OIG Referrals

A school must refer to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that an applicant for federal student aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. Common misconduct includes false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake. Through direct contact with the student, Financial Aid Counselors will make every effort to resolve conflicting information before referring a student to the OIG.

Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I do not complete Verification?

If a student who is selected for verification does not complete the verification process, then any Federal and/or need-based aid (Pell grant, SEOG, Work-Study, Federal Direct loans, certain Scholarships, and institutional aid) will NOT be awarded or disbursed.

When is the last day to submit Verification documents?

UNG policy states: The Office of Financial Aid reserves the right to deactivate student records from financial aid processing due to a lack of response to a Verification request. Students and/or parents must reply to a Verification request within 60 calendar days of the date the request was sent to them, or by the Monday prior to the last day of classes (not final exams) if there were not 60 days left in the award period at the time the request was sent. For example, the end of the award period is the end of the spring semester for students enrolled in the fall and spring semesters and seeking aid for those semesters.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Verification?

If you have questions regarding verification, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 706-864-1412 or finaid@ung.edu

What do I do if my parent cannot E-sign the Verification Form?

When verifying the accuracy of a student’s Verification form, both the student and parent must sign the same way (either E-sign the document or both physically sign the form). If a parent is unable to E-sign the form, the student must cancel the request, and opt out of E-sign. They will be able to print the form, and both parent and student can physically sign it.

I no longer live with my parents, and I support myself financially. Do I need to list my parents on my Verification Household Form?

If the student is unable to answer “yes” to any of the dependency questions listed on the FAFSA, students must provide parental information on the FAFSA and the Verification Household form.

Dependency Status Questions on the 2020-2021 FAFSA Form

  1. Were you born before Jan. 1, 1997?
  2. As of today, are you married? (Also answer "Yes" if you are separated but not divorced.)
  3. At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an M.A., MBA, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)?
  4. Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training? (If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, are you on active duty for other than state or training purposes?)
  5. Are you a veteran of the U.S. armed forces?
  6. Do you now have - or will you have - children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021?
  7. Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2021?
  8. At any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
  9. Has it been determined by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that someone other than you parent or stepparent has legal guardianship of you? (You also should answer "Yes" if you are now an adult but were in legal guardianship or were an emancipated minor immediately before you reached the age of being an adult in your state. Answer "No" if the court papers say "custody" rather than "guardianship.")
  10. At any time on or after July 1, 2019, were you determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, as determined by (a) your high school or district homeless liaison, (b) the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or (c) the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program?

How long does it take documents to be reviewed?

Verification processing time is generally three to four weeks during peak season and two to three weeks during non-peak season. Therefore, students should start the process as soon as possible.

What is an amended tax return and why do you need it? What if we did not amend our taxes?

Sometimes, the IRS will make minor internal corrections while processing the tax return. If the school is notified that an amended return was filed, the student/parent must provide:
  • A Tax Return Transcript or A signed copy of the original tax return that was filed with the IRS plus
  • The signed 1040X (if applicable) or the IRS Record of Account Transcript

The Verify My FAFSA page is asking me/parents to amend our taxes. What happens if we do not do this?

If a student/parent is required to amend their taxes and chooses not to, then any Federal and/or need-based aid (Pell grant, SEOG, Work-Study, Federal Direct loans, certain Scholarships, and institutional aid) will NOT be awarded or disbursed.

I stated I would use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to verify student/parent tax information, however it is not working. Can I turn in a paper tax document instead?

Yes, the student must log back into the VMF account and update their Verification Form, stating they will now upload a physical copy of the tax documents requested.

I did not work in 20XX, why do I need to provide a non-filer letter or W2?

If the student indicated that they earned income on the FAFSA we will request a W2 for both Dependent and Independent students. If they are Independent, they must also provide a Non-filer Letter from the IRS.

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