Verification Policy Statement
Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of student reported data on financial aid
applications. Only a portion of the student population is selected for verification.
Selection of Applications
The Financial Aid Office verifies those applicants identified by the Central Processing Service (CPS).
Typically, the selection criterion translates into verifying thirty percent of the financial aid
population at SCC. In addition, Aid Administrators may select a student for verification if there is a
discrepancy or a condition which is unusual and warrants investigation.
Listed below are certain circumstances where students do not have to complete verification. The Financial
Aid Technician must identify and document in the student record why the student is not required to
complete verification. Listed below are certain circumstances where students do not have to complete
- Death of the student.
- The student is a resident of Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall
Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Palau).
- Students who are considered Incarcerated are not eligible for Financial Aid.*
*Incarcerated Students: A student is considered to be incarcerated if he/she is serving a criminal sentence in a federal, state or local penitentiary, prison, jail, reformatory, work farm, or similar correctional institution. A student is not considered to be incarcerated if he/she is in a half-way house or home detention or is sentenced to serve only weekends. Incarcerated students are not eligible for federal student loans. In addition, a student incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution cannot receive a Pell Grant.” Federal Student Aid for Students in Adult Correctional and Juvenile Justice Facilities. (PDF)
- A dependent student whose parents cannot comply because of specified reasons (i.e., parents are
deceased, are mentally incapacitated, the student does not know where the parents reside or the
parents reside in another country and cannot be contacted by normal means).
- A student who does not receive Title IV funds.
- A student verified by another school if the verification was for the current award year and is or
her FAFSA data has not changed. We must get a letter from the previous school stating it verified
their application and the school provides the transaction number of the valid ISIR.
- A student selected for verification after ceasing enrollment and all disbursements made.
- An independent student whose spouse cannot comply because of specified reasons (i.e., spouse is
deceased, is mentally incapacitated, the student does not know where the spouse resides or the
spouse resides in another country and cannot be contacted by normal means).
Regulations allow situations when verification of household size is not required. The Financial Aid
Office does not have a systematic way to track these exclusions.
All students selected for verification in groups V1 or V5 must submit a response to the household size
question on the Verification Worksheet.
If SCC has conflicting information for an applicant or has any reason to believe their application
information is incorrect, SCC is required to resolve any discrepancies discovered in a student's file.
Verification of Data Elements
SCC verifies only those data elements required by the federal government. However, the Financial Aid
technician may ask for additional information if further investigation is needed to resolve a
Each year, the Department of Education publishes in the Federal Register and Dear Colleague Letters,
acceptable documentation for each of the Verification Tracking Groups.
For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or
other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of IRS Form 4868, SCC must accept a statement
from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed an income tax return or a request for a
filing extension because of that service.
Verification of Nonfiling
Anytime a student is selected for verification, the following individuals who are nontax filers must
submit an IRS Verification of Nonfiling Letter or other confirmation of nonfiling status from the IRS or
other relevant tax authority, dated on or after October 1, 2017:
- For a dependent student, each parent who did not file a tax return; and
- For an independent student, the student and/or spouse who did not file a tax return.
The dependent student who is a nontax filer is not required to provide an IRS Verification of Nonfiling
Letter or other confirmation of nonfiling status. All nontax filers, excluding
dependent students, who are selected for verification must also provide:
- A verification worksheet or written statement from each nonfiler certifying for the tax year that
the individual has not filed and is not required to file an income tax return, as well as listing
the sources of income earned from work and the amount of income from each source; and
- A copy of a W-2 or equivalent document for each source of employment income.
SCC’s Discretionary Items
The Financial Aid technician verifies applicants identified by ED. The Financial Aid technician may also
select a student for verification if there is a discrepancy or a condition which is unusual and warrants
investigation (i.e., out of state student, number in household, and conflict in EFC).
If a student submits verification documentation, but was not selected (i.e., tax transcript, W2’s), the
Financial Aid Office staff must verify the information on the document against the information on the
FAFSA. If discrepancies are found corrections must be made.
Because the Financial Aid Office is liable for disbursements made prior to verification, the Financial
Aid Office policy does not allow interim disbursements. Students must complete the verification process
before aid is awarded or disbursed. There are no exceptions.
If aid is awarded and disbursed, and afterward a new corrected ISIR transaction is received which selects
the student for verification, all future aid must be cancelled until the verification process has been
IRS Transfer or IRS Transcript
Students selected for verification will be directed to either go into the FAFSA and complete the IRS
transfer or contact the IRS and request an IRS Tax transcript.
- Dependent students must submit their IRS transfer or transcript and the transfer or transcript of
- Independent students must submit their IRS transfer or transcript and their spouse's if applicable.
A signed paper copy of a IRS tax return (IRS 1040, IRS 1040A, IRS 1040EZ) is considered acceptable
documentation for income and tax-related verification information.
If the Financial Aid technician finds it necessary to verify conflicting information, the student may be
requested to provide additional information.
Non-citizen Spouse (Policy added July 1, 2017)
If a student is married but their spouse is a non-citizen and not residing in the U.S., the IRS allows
the student to file as Head of Household if the student meets the criteria for filing as Head of
Household for the tax year.
If a student indicates they are married but is filing as Head of Household, the student must have met the
requirements for and must have filed as Head of Household and the student must provide:
- Information on the non-citizen spouse’s income in the form of a written, signed statement from the
student if the spouse earned no income
- If the non-resident spouse lives in a country where tax filing is required, the student must supply
a copy of the tax return, translated into U.S. currency if necessary
- If tax filing is not required, a written statement of equivalency of currency.
If the student does not meet the requirements for filing as Head of Household, the student must have
filed as married (married filing jointly, or married filing separately) unless they meet the
requirements of other statuses such as widowed or divorced during the tax year.
Notification of Verification to Applicants
Students are initially notified of being selected for verification from the Department of Education
through an email or paper Student Aid Report (SAR). In addition, the tracking letter sent out from the
Financial Aid Office indicates to the student they have been selected for verification.
Verification Time Frame
Upon receipt of the FAFSA, when the student record is activated after receipt of a federal transmission,
a tracking letter (email) listing missing items is sent to the student. This email informs the student
of any additional information required to complete their financial aid file.
If the student is selected for verification, the tracking letter requests the appropriate verification
documents (i.e., verification form, student and parent tax transcripts, etc.). Students are informed the
majority of financial aid funds are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis and that the file will
not be processed further until the missing items are submitted to the Financial Aid Office.
Tracking letters are sent to students every 15 days informing the student of documents or information
still outstanding for Verification. This process is handled electronically and notifications are sent
out to students by email. If an email is rejected, then a Missing Information Letter is sent to the
student by postal mail.
If a student submits an incomplete document, it is returned for completion. If a student does not submit
the required information timely, reminder emails are sent to the student. If the student still does not
respond, the application will become inactive and no further correspondence will be sent until new
activity, such as a new ISIR, student submittal of paperwork, etc.
Documentation submitted to the Financial Aid Office must be legible, appropriate, and have the student's
Social Security Number or Colleague ID number for identification purposes. If the student submits a
document which is not legible or appropriate (i.e., a copy of a tax transcript in which the income
numbers are not identifiable or a verification worksheet missing a signature), the documents will be
returned and a request for additional documentation or corrections is requested. The return of
documentation is recorded on the Colleague system as “incomplete” and a comment is made in the
verification section of Colleague.
Students who fail to submit verification documents never have completed files so aid is not awarded to
If a student submits documentation which appears fraudulent, the Financial Aid Office staff member must
notify the Administrative Director of Financial Aid.
Once the requested information is received, Verification is completed, corrections are sent to the
Central Processing System (CPS), corrections are imported into the Colleague system and an award
notification email is sent out to the student with instructions on how to log in to SCC’s HUB/Web
Advisor for Students to accept or reject their financial aid offer.
Document Collection Procedures
Required documentation items are tracked on the Colleague system and a missing document CRI code, along
with a CRI tracking letter code are kept on the student’s computer file. When documents arrive,
Financial Aid staff will enter a receipt date beside the document name on the Colleague tracking screen.
When all required documents are received, the student is considered “complete” and ready to be verified.
The Financial Aid technician runs reports to determine which students are “complete”.
Students assigned to the V4 or V5 Verification Tracking Group will have 45 days to supply the requested
information. SCC must report back to the Central Processing System (CPS) within 60 days of sending out
the first tracking letter.
To submit the verification results for Tracking Groups V4 and V5, the Administrative Director of
Financial Aid will report the information via the CPS Online website. Results may be submitted either
individually or as a flat file for up to 2,000 students.
Corrections to the FAFSA data are submitted to CPS via the CAPX function on the Colleague system. In
order for verification to be completed and aid to be awarded, all required documentation must be
received within 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment. Any necessary corrections to
the FAFSA data must be submitted through FAA Access to CPS Online by the date announced annually by the
Department of Education in the Federal Register.
Notification to Students
In order for the student to receive his/her financial aid offer the student must be accepted to the
College in a degree seeking program. Students are notified of the results of verification in the form of
an Award Notification email. The student is given instructions to log into the HUB/Web Advisor for
Students at (thehub.southeast.edu), Financial Aid, Financial Aid Award Letter) to view the
financial aid offer. By clicking on the Financial Aid Award Letter option, the student is given the
Terms and Conditions to read and are required to enter the Financial Aid Year in order to view his/her
financial aid offer. Once the student has viewed his/her offer the student needs to accept or reject the
student loan offer. At Web Advisor for Students, Financial Aid, the student clicks on “Accept/reject my
student loan awards”. The student is again given the Terms and Conditions to read, along with
instructions and a link for completing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at www.studentloans.gov.