What is Verification?

Verification is a process required by the Department of Education (ED) to confirm the accuracy of the information listed on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student’s FAFSA may be selected by either the Department of Education or by the institution. Through the collection and review of additional documents, this process ensures fair and accurate distribution of federal funds and need-based institutional funds when financial aid is awarded.

After completion of the FAFSA a student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education. If selected for verification the SAR will contain a comment notifying the student of the selection. The Office of Financial Aid will also notify a student of missing documentation required for verification through UAH emails and my.UAH.edu.  Missing information communications will be sent out on a regular basis until all required documents are received. The specific documentation needed will be listed on the student’s my.UAH.edu account. 

 Schools are required to correct any inaccurate information discovered through the verification process and use the verified FAFSA results when determining eligibility for financial aid. Corrections to your FAFSA may result in a change in your eligibility and result in revisions to aid offered prior to the completion of verification. If corrections to a student’s FAFSA are required as a result of the verification process, the Office of Financial will send the corrections electronically to the Department of Education. Once verification is completed, any resulting changes in a student’s financial aid award will be communicated by a revised financial aid award letter.

 No federal or need-based institutional awards can be disbursed to a student’s account until verification is completed. All required documentation should be submitted as soon as possible to finalize an accurate financial aid award. However, to receive federal funds or need-based institutional funds, verification must be completed by October 31st. If a student has not completed the verification process by that date, federal institutional aid will be removed from the student’s financial aid award and the student will be responsible for covering the resulting balance on their student account in the Bursar Office by other means.

 Additionally, if a student requests consideration of extenuating circumstances not reflected on the FAFSA, UAH will complete verification of the student’s FAFSA prior to determining if any adjustments can be made to the FAFSA as a result of the extenuating circumstances.

The Department of Education requires schools to refer 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 to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). Fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake. UAH, in compliance with the Department’s guidance, will refer suspected cases of fraud to the OIG for further review.

What is a verification form?

The dependent verification form requires the student and parent to answer questions concerning the current household as well as the members of the household attending a Title IV eligible university during the current academic year. Student and parent tax transcripts and W-2's may be requested as well.

The independent verification form requires the student and spouse (if married) to answer the same questions as noted previously in regard to household and members of the household attending college. The student's (and spouse's) tax transcript and W-2's may also be required.

How long does the process of verification take?

Documents should be provided in a timely manner. Any delay in the receipt of required documents will delay the financial aid award. Once all documents are submitted, verification can take up to 14 business days to process. Verification documents should be submitted a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the start of the term. 

How am I notified of the requirements for verification?

The Financial Aid Office will send an email to your current UAH email account providing instructions on how to view your requirements. New students should activate their UAH email account as soon as possible after being admitted. Once the term begins, the student's UAH email is used for any email notifications.