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What is Verification?

Verification is the process of evaluating the accuracy of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S Department of Education (ED) selects a percentage of FAFSA applications for verification each year. The University of Southern Indiana (USI) also reserves the right to select additional students for verification.

Affected Programs

Applicants selected for verification cannot receive Federal or State Financial aid until the verification process is completed. If you are selected for verification after aid has been disbursed, certain types of aid such as the Pell Grant will be returned to ED until verification has been completed and eligibility can be determined.

The list below is not exhaustive. Contact us if you are receiving aid not represented below and you have questions.

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Federal Work Study
  • Federal Direct Student and Parent PLUS Loans
  • 21st Century Scholarship
  • Frank O'Bannon Grant and State Performance Incentive Programs
  • State Adult Student Grant
  • State National Guard Supplemental Grant
  • CVO and CDV Fee Waiver Programs

Notification of Selection

Applicants are initially notified of their selection for verification by ED on the Student Aid Report (SAR) or the FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). Students are notified by USI primarily through the myUSI portal. Instructions for checking myUSI may be found online. In addition, Student Financial Assistance sends letters and e-mails typically beginning in March/April to remind students of their responsibility.

Required Verification Documents

ED is customizes verification; therefore, not all students selected for verification will have the same requirements. You will need to check myUSI to see what requirements are specific to you.

See our Acceptable Tax Documents handout located on our forms and handouts page for more information. Be sure to select the correct academic year. 

***IMPORTANT*** If you choose to email documents, please see our handout on Sending a Secure/Encrypted Email


To expedite your financial aid application, you should respond IMMEDIATELY. If all required documentation has not been received by our office at least two weeks before the end of the semester, certain types of financial aid will be canceled. Please note that returning only a part of the required documents will not prevent your aid from being canceled if the due date passes. Only some types of financial aid can be reinstated after the semester ends. Processing times vary, but during peak times of the year such as July and August processing may take up to eight weeks or more.

  • Some types of financial aid may not be paid after the end of the term; therefore all documents should be submitted at least two weeks prior to the end of the term for processing.
  • A 120-day grace period (after your last day of attendance) or the deadline published in the Federal Register (whichever comes first) applies for Pell Grant and Direct Loans. However, it is important to note that Direct Loans cannot be certified after the end of the loan period (final semester attended).

Please remember that Federal and State Financial aid cannot be disbursed until this process has been completed. Failure to complete verification within the required time frame will result in reduction or cancellation of state and federal financial aid.

Review of Documents

Once all requested verification documents have been received, USI will compare your documents to your FAFSA. If discrepancies are found, USI will make the necessary corrections to the FAFSA and it will be resubmitted electronically to ED for processing. Note: We are required to address any conflicting information; therefore, if there is conflicting information on any of the worksheets they may be sent back to you for confirmation and/or additional documentation may be requested.

Notification of Results

If verification results in discrepancies that require a correction to the FAFSA, you will receive an updated Student Aid Report (SAR) or FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). The SAR/FSS will detail the items that were corrected and it will provide a recalculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) or Student Aid Index (SAI). You will need to check myUSI for updated award information.


Most FAFSA items cannot be changed after verification has been completed. After the verification process has begun, it is best to work directly with Student Financial Assistance to make corrections.

Reporting Fraud
Students who purposely give false or misleading information on any of the verification documentation may be fined, sentenced to jail or both. In cases where intent to commit fraud to obtain federal funds is suspected, USI will refer the case to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General for review and resolution. No further processing of financial aid will occur until the case has been resolved.