Verification Policy


VERIFICATION

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) selects certain students for a process called Verification. This is the process in which an institution is required to confirm the accuracy of certain formation entered by the students and their families in the FAFSA application. The institution may also select a student for verification, if there is reason to believe that there is discrepant information or if it would be of benefit to the student. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be disbursed.

Submission of the required documents in a timely manner is essential to the readiness of the student’s financial aid package. It is advised that you complete verification upon notification and not later than 2 weeks prior to the start of the term. Students are responsible to satisfy their balance by the first day of the term regardless of the status of the verification process. A student’s bill will not be deferred due to verification.

These Requirements are applicable to all applicants for federal student financial aid under the following programs:

  • The Federal PELL Grant Program
  • The Federal Direct Loan Program
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants(FSEOG)
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)

Forms and Documentation Collection Procedures and Deadlines

Selected students are immediately notified that they have been selected for verification upon submission of their FAFSA in their Student Aid Report (SAR). The required information is also listed in the Financial Aid/Net Partner Portal, where students will be able to electronically submit forms and documents. The documents typically requested are the Verification Worksheet, Tax Return Transcripts and W2’s, but there may be additional documents requested to clarify discrepant information. The verification worksheet must be submitted electronically and additional documents may be uploaded to the Net Partner portal. Documents may also be sent to our general e-mail address; AMUfinancialaid@avemaria.edu or faxed to 239-280-2559.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

To make the FAFSA application process easier and to simplify verification it is advised for students and/or parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool while completing the FAFSA, rather than entering income information manually. The Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to electronically transfer their tax information to their FAFSA directly from the IRS. Students can always log back in to their FAFSA and use the Data Retrieval Tool at a later date if necessary. Choosing to use this feature may reduce the number of required documents. Note, however, some applicants may not be eligible to transfer their information.

Ordering Tax Return Transcripts

If you are unable to use the IRS Data retrieval tool you may have to submit tax return transcripts. To Request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS go to IRS.gov or click here.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Verification

What is Verification?

Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy. The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid at Ave Maria University may, at any time, select applications for verification, based upon the FASFA information provided. This process is required to assure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be disbursed.

What documents/forms do I need to submit?

A list of required items will be listed on the Financial Aid/Net Partner Portal. The documents required will vary based on each student. Students must provide all requested documents/forms to the Office of Financial Aid in order to complete the verification process and determine eligibility for financial aid.

Where and how do I send these documents/forms?

Students must fill out and submit their verification worksheet electronically on their Net Partner Portal. Additional documents must be uploaded with the verification worksheet.

How long does the process take?

Typically the process takes no longer than two weeks. If additional documents are requested it may take longer. This is the reason why submission of documents in a timely manner is important.

What happens if there are discrepancies with my FAFSA?

Once all requested documents/forms are received, they are compared to the original FAFSA. If discrepancies are found, the FAFSA will be reprocessed with the correct information. The correction could change the expected family contribution (EFC), which may cause a change in the final financial aid award.  If there is any change in the EFC, you will receive a letter or e-mail with instructions to view the revised financial aid awards.

Note: If a student makes subsequent changes to their FAFSA, it is his/her responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid immediately, since any change could affect their Financial Aid eligibility.

How can I check the status of my verification?

You may contact us via e-mail at amufinancialaid@avemaria.edu or by phone, 239-280-1669.

How do I verify my income?

Per the U.S. Department of Education, income can only be verified by transferring the income information electronically from a valid tax return to the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by requesting and submitting a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

If a student is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, he/she will be required to obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. Copies of tax returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) may be accepted if the IRS data retrieval tool cannot be utilized.

  • The fastest way to request a Tax Return Transcript is either by phone or online at IRS.gov, “Get Your Tax Record”.
  • A Tax Return Transcript should be requested. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account unless directed by the office to do so.

Is Participation in the verification process optional? No. If you do not submit the requested documentation, you will not be eligible to receive federal, state or institutional need-based financial aid and your parents will not be eligible to borrow a federal PLUS loan.

Can the institution collect and use my Social Security number?

In compliance with FL Statute 119.071(5), The Office of Financial Aid at Ave Maria University may collect social security numbers for the following reasons:

For use in administering federal and state programs/loans, including verification of eligibility. These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Aid and other related loan programs;
  • Scholarship Programs, including Florida Bright Futures.

Is there a deadline to complete Verification?

For Federal Grants, applicants must complete verification by 30 days after the student’s last date of enrollment or by the date advertised in the federal register, whichever is earlier.

For the Direct Loan programs, applicants must complete verification by the last date of enrollment.

You should complete the verification process immediately to ensure you have a complete aid package to cover your balance prior to AMU’s payment deadline. Processing of complete documents is only guaranteed if submitted at least 2 weeks prior to payment deadline. You are at risk of incurring late fees or being withdrawn from your classes if you miss the deadline. Your bill will not be deferred due to the verification process.

 

Referral or fraud cases

If we suspect that a student, employee, or other individual has misre­ported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, we will report our suspicions and provide any evidence to the Of­fice of Inspector General. The complaint will be submitted online at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/hotline.html.