Verification, once performed entirely by the school, is increasingly a shared effort by the school and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to ensure that federal student aid funds are awarded and paid based on accurate family financial information. A student’s application for federal student aid (the FAFSA®) may be chosen for verification by ED or by the school. The information that must be verified varies by applicant, as, effective for the 2012-13 award year, ED transitioned to a targeted approach that specifies verification of only those items that appear most likely to be in error.

Related terms: Need Analysis; Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

2022-23 Tax Transcript Decoder (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) PDF

2021-22 Tax Transcript Decoder (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) PDF

Cooling Out in the Verification Process: A Mixed Methods Exploration into the Relevance of Racism in Community College Students’ Financial Aid Experiences (ProQuest Dissertations Publishing) Web URL

Customized Nudging to Improve FAFSA Completion and Income Verification (Journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, AERA)

Disproportionate Burden: Estimating the Cost of FAFSA Verification for Public Colleges and Universities (Annenberg Institute at Brown University) Web URL

Exploring Ways to Enhance FAFSA Efficiency: Exploring the Relationship Between FAFSA Verification and Pell Grant Award Change (National College Attainment Network) Web URL

FAFSA Verification: Good Government or Red Tape? (National College Attainment Network) Web URL

Federal Pell Grant Eligibility and Receipt: Explaining Nonreceipt and Changes to EFC Using National and Institutional Data (Journal of Student Financial Aid) Web URL

Impact of Verification on Iowa FAFSA Filers (Iowa College Aid) Web URL

Improving the Financial Aid Process for Community College Students: A Literature Review of FAFSA Simplification, Information, and Verification (Community College Journal of Research and Practice) Web URL

Income Verification for Federal Aid Hinders Low-Income Students (Inside Higher Ed) Web URL

NCAN Conducts First Comprehensive Review of Impact of Verification on Pell Grant Awards (National College Attainment Network) Web URL

On the Sidelines of Simplification: Stories of Navigating the FAFSA Verification Process (The Institute for College Access and Success) Web URL

Summer Melt and Free Application for Federal Student Aid Verification (Houston Education Research Consortium) Web URL

The Burden of Proof: Impact of and Solutions for FAFSA Verification (National College Attainment Network) PDF

The Hidden Costs of Corroboration: Estimating the Effects of Financial Aid Verification on College Enrollment (Educational Policy: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Policy and Practice) Web URL

The Leaky FAFSA Pipeline (National College Attainment Network) Web URL

Verification AskRegs Knowledgebase Q&As (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Web URL

Verification Self-Study Guide (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) Web URL