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Verification

Verification FAQ's

  1. What is verification?
  2. How will I know if I am selected for verification?
  3. Why was I selected for verification?
  4. If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
  5. When do I need to submit the verification documents?
  6. How long does it take for my verification to process?
  7. What happens if I do not submit the requested documents?
  8. Tips to speed up the verification process.

What is verification? 

Verification is a process in which information on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by a school for accuracy and completeness.  Each year, the federal Department of Education selects a percentage of all Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA's) received each year for verification.  The verification process requires the Student Financial Aid Office to confirm the data supplied by the applicant and/or parent(s).  Although the college cannot determine who will be selected for verification each year, students should anticipate selection and compile the documents required to complete the verification process.  If your FAFSA is selected for verification, immediately submit all requested documentation to our office for review.  Any delay in providing required documents to complete the federally mandated verification process may impact your financial aid award package and you may be required to pay for tuition, fees, books, and supplies from your own funds.  If you are unable to pay out-of-pocket, your enrollment could be delayed until the following semester/term or in some instances the next financial aid year. 

How will I know if I am selected for verification?

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate whether or not your file has been selected for verification.  The SAR is typically accessed via a link sent to you by the Department of Education after you file your FAFSA.  If you are selected for verification, there will be an asterisk* next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your SAR.  You will also be notified on your "To Do" list on your student self service.   

Do NOT send any financial documentation unless requested to do so by our office.  Hopkinsville Community College only verifies the FAFSA information of selected students or in special cases when inconsistent information is found.  However, the Student Financial Aid Office must review all information in its possession, even for students not selected for verification.  This could result in unnecessary delays in the packaging or disbursement of your financial aid.

Why was I selected for verification?

Many students selected for verification are chosen randomly.  However, you are more likely to be selected for verification if the data you provided on the FAFSA was inconsistent, if the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, or if your FAFSA contained estimated information.

If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?

If your FAFSA was selected, participation in the verification process is not optional and must occur before receiving federal student financial aid.  You must follow these 2013-2014 Verification Instructions to obtain your specific verification worksheet.  You may have a worksheet different than your friends.  Further, you must submit to the Student Financial Aid Office at Hopkinsville or Ft. Campbell the required documentation along with your worksheet at the same time so they can verify the information on your FAFSA.  Do not send verification documentation to Hopkinsville Community College unless you have been selected and only send in verification documentation that is requested.

During the process of verification, new or additional information may be required in order to clarify any inconsistencies.  The Student Financial Aid Office will contact you via phone or email if clarification is needed.  It is very important to submit any additionally requested documentation immediately.

Per new regulations, the Student Financial Aid Office can no longer accept copies of signed tax returns for verification purposes.  Therefore, if tax and income data are requested, we will require you to either update your FAFSA application by using the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA website or provide us with an official tax return transcript.  If you have not already used the tool, go to www.fafsa.gov, log in to your FAFSA record, select "Make FAFSA Corrections," and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form.  From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into your FAFSA.

To obtain an IRS tax return transcript go to www.IRS.gov and click on the "Order a Return or Account Transcript" link or call 1-800-908-9946.  Make sure to request the "IRS tax return transcript" and NOT the "IRS tax account transcript."  You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when your last IRS tax return was filed.)  You may also request a tax transcript by mailing or faxing the paper Form 4506T-EZ, which can be printed from the IRS website. 

If you filed an amendment to your tax return you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval process.  Instead, you must request a "tax transcript" which contains the information on the original return AND a "tax account transcript" which contains only the data that was altered.  Both documents will need to be submitted to the Student Financial Aid Office.

When do I need to submit the verification documents?

The deadline for submission for all documents is for the fall semester, July 15; spring semester, November 15; and for summer term, April 15.  Verification will be completed when ALL required information is received by the Student Financial Aid Office.  Your financial aid will not show as anticipated or be disbursed until all submitted documentation has been verified by the Student Financial Aid Office, and the Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the original FAFSA data. 

How long does it take for my verification to process?

After submission of ALL documents, verification can take from 2 weeks to up to 3 weeks during peak times. 

What happens if I do not submit the requested documents?

Any delay in in providing required documents to complete the federally mandated verification process may impact your financial aid award package and you may be required to pay for tuition, fees, books, and supplies from your own funds.  If you are unable to pay out-of-pocket, your enrollment could be delayed until the following semester/term or in some instances the next financial aid year.

Tips to speed up the verification process.

  • When completing your FAFSA, always double check that your information is accurate and fill out the form completely.  A failure to do so could lead to a costly delay in processing due to corrections during verification.
  • Make a copy of all documents used when completing your FAFSA.  When being verified, you will have all the documents requested in hand and will not have to gather them again?
  • If possible, use the IRS Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA for accurate tax data entry.
  • Request a IRS tax transcript after completion of your taxes to have in hand just in case it is needed.
  • Don't delay....get all requested documentation submitted quickly!