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Verification Policy

Any student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information may be selected for a process called verification by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and/or the Financial Aid Office.  During the review, information reported on the FAFSA is verified for accuracy against documentation submitted by the student and/or their parents.  An application may be selected for verification at any time throughout the award year.

When a student’s file is selected for verification, they will be notified by the Student Aid Report (SAR) from ED and/or by an email (or letter) from Mesalands Community College (MCC). 

All students must complete a Verification Worksheet.  The worksheet must be completed and signed by the student (and one parent, if the student is a dependent FAFSA filer).

All students selected for verification will have the following information verified:

  • Household Size
  • Number of students in college (enrolled at least half-time in eligible institutions)
  • Participation in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps), if reported on FAFSA
  • Child Support Paid, if reported on the FAFSA

Required Information for Tax Filers

 In addition to the Verification Worksheet, if the student and/or parent were required to file a U.S. Income Tax Return, the following information must be verified by the Financial Aid Office:

  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • U.S. Income Tax Paid
  • Untaxed Income
    •  Untaxed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Distributions and Deductions
    • Untaxed Portions of Pensions and Annuities
    • Education Credits
    • Tax Exempt Interest

The student and/or parent must provide the tax return information in one of the following ways:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Data Retrieval Process in the FAFSA (preferred method)
  • Tax Return Transcript from the IRS (see www.irs.gov to order a copy)
  • Tax Account Transcript from the IRS (if original tax return was amended or adjusted)
  • Copy of IRS Form 4868 for Extension Filers

Required Information for Non-tax Filers

In addition to the Verification Worksheet, the student and/or parent must provide a statement certifying that the individual (and/or couple) has not filed and is not required to file a U.S. Income Tax Return.  The following must also be submitted:

  • All W-2s for income reported on the FAFSA
  • Sources and amounts of income earned as reported on the FAFSA

Students are strongly encouraged to provide the requested documents within two weeks of the request.  Documents will be accepted until the last day of regular classes of the last semester of the award year that a student is enrolled in (July 1 – June 30).  If corrections need to be made to the student’s FAFSA, disbursements will not be made until the corrected application has been received by Mesalands Community College.

The student’s financial aid award for programs requiring FAFSA information will not be awarded to the student’s account until the verification process is completed.  If the student’s financial aid file is not complete by the last day of regular enrollment (the Thursday before the beginning of the semester), the student will need to make payment arrangements with the Business Office at the Cashier’s Window to prevent being disenrolled for non-payment.

If a student receives a disbursement before being selected for verification, but through the verification process becomes ineligible for any awards, the student may have to reimburse the College for the allotted funds.

If a student’s dependency status is changed during the school year, they must notify the Financial Aid Office before submitting a correction to the FAFSA.  A change in marital status alone may not qualify a student to become independent in the middle of an award year.  Please see the Financial Aid Office for a determination.