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Financial Aid Verification Procedures

What is Verification?

Verification is the process of reviewing data reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and making corrections if errors are found. The selection of an application by either the Central Processing System (the automated system used by the U.S. Department of Education) or a Financial Aid Office, does not mean that they believe your information is incorrect. Some applications are selected for review on a random basis. Other applications are selected based upon a set of common edits that check data for consistency and logic.

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.

What if I or my family filed a tax filer extension?

If you or your parent has requested a tax filer extension for 2015 and provided IRS Form 4868 to the UNG Financial Aid Office, you may be awarded financial aid for Fall Semester 2016 only. You must, however, update the FAFSA through the IRS DRT process or submit an IRS transcript to the our office no later than November 15, 2016. If you fail to complete this process, or if after completion of verification it is determined that you were not eligible for the funds received, the awarded amount will be adjusted based on the updated information. This may cause you to be billed for all or some of the federal aid funds released for the Fall semester.

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

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. Submitting verification documents for your 2016-2017 FAFSA after you are no longer enrolled must be done within 120 days of your last date of enrollment, or September 23, 2017, whichever is earlier.

The process is complete when you have submitted all requested documents to UNG Financial Aid Office, it has been reviewed and any corrections are made to your FAFSA. An award for which you are eligible will be placed on your Banner Web account. 

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.

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