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.
Applicants selected for verification cannot receive Federal or State Financial Assistance 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.
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). 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 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.
Parents for FAFSA/Verification Purposes
For FAFSA and Verification, "parent" refers to a biological or adoptive parent. Grandparents, foster parents, legal guardians, older siblings and aunts or uncles are not considered your parents unless they have legally adopted you. In case of divorce or separation, give information about the parent you lived with most in the 12 months prior to filing FAFSA. If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give information about the parent who provided you the most financial support during the 12 months prior to filing FAFSA or during the most recent year you received support. If your divorced or widowed parent has remarried, also provide information about your stepparent. Visit the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid website for more information about who counts as your parent when you file your FAFSA.
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 financial assistance 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 assistance 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 assistance 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 federal deadline (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 Assistance 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 assistance.
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). The SAR will detail the items that were corrected and it will provide a recalculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 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.
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.