The simple answer is, only if you are asked to.
You gathered all your documents, you got help or worked through submitting the FAFSA on your own, received confirmation of a successful submission. You felt so accomplished.👍
Now what? FAFSA Verification?
This is a common extra step in the student aid application process in which many students are selected at random by the school’s financial aid office (some schools choose all students) to verify important data that can affect the aid calculations. Being selected for verification is not an indication that you did anything wrong.
How will you know you have been chosen? As mentioned above, this is initiated by the financial aid office at schools you have been accepted to and sent your FAFSA information to. Your school will notify you, via email or the financial aid online portal, or you will see this request on your Student Aid Report (SAR). The Student Aid Report is the paper or electronic document that provides you with the basic information about your eligibility of federal student aid.
What does verification consist of? Basically, providing copies or digital uploads of documents such as income tax returns, W-2 statements and 1099 forms to verify data that was submitted on the FAFSA.
No need to panic, you got this. However, don’t procrastinate and be aware of the deadlines provided to you by the school for verification. You have come too far to lose out on any possible aid now.
Remember, being selected doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It’s just part of the process for a select few but an important part of the process if you are in fact selected.
Another Important FAFSA Reminder, FAFSA Renewal
If you haven't done so already, a FAFSA renewal is required every year following your first submission to be considered for financial aid. Before you get too disappointed, remember you can use the Data Retrieval Tool that allows you to import your tax information easily. That means less time spent on your FAFSA the second, third or fourth time around. Your aid eligibility can possibly change from the previous year, a change in family income for example or an additional sibling attending college are some of the factors taken into consideration. So don’t forget, you need to fill out a new FAFSA each and every year.
For free assistance with completion, verification or renewal of your FAFSA, book an appointment with the College Planning Center. We are here to help.