The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) requires certain student applicants to verify the accuracy of information provided when applying for federal aid. Any student may be asked to verify application information at the professional discretion of the financial aid officer.
Requirements are applicable to all applicants for federal student aid under the following programs:
The Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Stafford Direct Loan Program
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Selection For Verification
If a student’s application is selected for review by the federal audit system, the Financial Aid Office is required to verify the application information of those students prior to disbursing federal student aid funds. No aid will be disbursed until completion of the verification process and proper submission of additional forms for loans, grants, or other federal aid. STUDENTS ARE RESPONSIIBLE FOR PAYMENT OF TUITION BY THE PAYMENT DEADLINE REGARDLESS OF THE STATUS OF THE VERIFICATION PROCESS. FINANCIAL AID WILL NOT DEFER TUITION PAYMENT IF THE STUDENT HAS OUTSTANDING REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE NOT SATISFIED BY AUGUST 1, PRIOR TO THE TUITION DEADLINE OF AUGUST 10. Students may be subject to a late fee or ultimately being withdrawn from classes for nonpayment if financial aid is not finalized and ready to disburse by the tuition deadline. Payment can be made by check, credit card, or monthly payment plan to avoid penalty. If tuition has been paid in full at the time any financial aid for which the student is eligible is ready to disburse, it will be disbursed to the student and refunded in the form of a check.
Individual institutions have the authority to verify any student’s information and ask for any additional documentation needed to insure the integrity of the federal programs and to aid them in the smooth operation of their offices. If the student submits any discrepant information or the FAO has any reason to believe the applicant information is not correct, the student will be required to provide documentation to the extent necessary to resolve the conflict. All conflicts must be resolved before federal aid can be disbursed.
Transfer students whose application was selected by the Central Processor for verification will be verified completely regardless of whether that student was verified at their previous institution. The verification completed by AMU and subsequent recalculation of EFC, if any, supersedes computation of EFC as a result of verification by another institutiuon.
An applicant who has been selected for verification but is eligible only for Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans may be excused from completing the verification process; in other words, a student with an expected family contribution (EFC) that is too high to qualify him or her for a Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan would not have to complete verification. A student who might be eligible for a subsidized loan cannot waive verification by choosing to forfeit any need-based grants and borrow an unsubsidized loan only.
Forms And Documentation Collection Procedures And Deadlines
Ave Maria University requires all applicants subject to verification to fill out a Federal Verification Worksheet and return it to the Financial Aid Office before any further processing will be done on their aid package. Applicants should return Federal Verification Worksheet, along with appropriate signed tax returns, prior to priority deadline of April 1st for consideration of federal and institutional need-based grants. Students can submit verification documents at any time up to the deadline.* Applicants selected for verification will not be packaged for financial aid until the process is completed. If verification is not completed, no Title IV or need-based aid will be awarded or disbursed. If verification is not complete by the payment deadline, students must pay tuition, fees, and room and board by other means.
*A Pell applicant selected for verification must complete the process by the deadline published in the Federal Register.
Verification is complete when an AMU Financial Aid Officer has received and reviewed all the requested documentation. For Pell grant eligibility, the students’ SAR must have been corrected or have shown that the information is correct, and the school must have his valid correct ISIR or SAR. For Campus-based and Stafford loan funds, you must have an ISIR or SAR with an official EFC that shows the application data were processed through the CPS at least once while the student was enrolled.
Independent Students – must provide signed copies of tax return and Verification Worksheet, if student is married spouse must also provide a copy of his or her tax return.
Dependent Students – must provide signed copies of their tax return and Verification Worksheet as well as provide signed copies of their parents’ tax return.
Definition of Parent is not limited to natural parents. The following are the guidelines for establishing parental status:
Adoptive parent: Treated as natural parent.
Foster Parent: Not treated as a natural parent unless directed by the court to use personal resources to support the student
Grandparent or other relatives: not treated as a natural parent unless he or she has legally adopted the student.
Stepparent: Treated as natural parent if they were married to the natural parent at the time the application was signed. If the natural parent dies and the stepparent survives the student becomes dependent upon the surviving natural parent, unless the stepparent legally adopted the student.
Non-Filers: For students not required to file a tax return, a properly filled out Verification Worksheet should reflect any earnings, and should be accompanied by any W-2’s the student may have.
Data Elements That Must Be Verified
All applicants that are selected for verification from the Central processor must have the following elements verified:
- Household Size Number of persons in the household that the student (and their spouse) or dependent student’s parent(s) will support during the award year.
- Number of Household members Enrolled in Postsecondary Education at least half-time (six credit hours) for at least one term.
- Adjusted Gross Income or income earned from work if AGI has not been calculated, either amount must be for the base year.
- U.S. Income Tax Paid for base year.
- Certain Untaxed Income and Benefits for the base year:
b) Child Support
c) Untaxed payments to IRA and/or Keogh plans
d) Foreign Income Exclusion
e) Earned Income Credit
f) Interest on tax free bonds
g) Other untaxed income from the U.S. income tax return
(i) Tax Exempt Interest Income
(ii) Untaxed Portions of Pensions
NOTE: All tax returns must be signed by the applicant or the tax preparer Applicants will be sent notification after the verification and recalculation process has been completed and the student’s completed financial aid package has been determined.