Changes to the Verification Requirements for the 2021-22 Academic Year
On July 13, 2021 the US Department of Education (ED) announced that for the 2021-22 award year only, verification of students’ FAFSA data will be waived. The goal is to provide relief to students financially challenged by the pandemic and to reduce barriers to enrollment for millions of low-income students to access financial aid.
What Does This Mean for You?
- Most, if not all, verification requirements listed in Knightweb have now been waived.
- Please do NOT submit documents for waived requirements as it will delay processing.
- Please sign into Knightweb to see what, if any, “Unsatisfied Requirements” remain (whether for verification or other issues.) Please take care of these as soon as possible.
Geneseo is still required to:
- Review any documents you submit, and
- resolve any problems we see on the FAFSA or differences between what is on the FAFSA and the documents you do submit.
- If additional documentation is needed, you will receive an email request from our office. This must be submitted and resolved in order to disburse your financial aid.
What is verification?
Every year, a sample of students are selected for federal verification. The student may see this indicated on the Student Aid Report or via a notification from the Office of Financial Aid. Verification is the process used to confirm the data reported on a student's FAFSA. The Department of Education provides us with the authority to request any documentation necessary to complete verification.
The student and/or parent must provide the requested documentation by the deadline indicated in the notification. Failure to complete the verification process will result in ineligibility for federal student aid, including grants, loans and work-study. Federal Verification does not impact eligibility for institutional scholarships, state grants and/or outside awards.
Required Documentation for 2021-22
All students selected for verification must provide the following:
- Verification Worksheet: either the 2021-22 Dependent Verification Worksheet or the 2021-22 Independent Verification Worksheet. New for 2021-22 students and parents can complete and sign the verification worksheet electronically through DocuSign. Click on the these links to add your name and Geneseo email address. Dependent students will also need to add parent's name and email address. The parent information you provide should match the parent information on your FAFSA. Once you complete and sign the student section, your parent will receive an email requesting their electronic signature. The Office of Financial will receive your completed document once all parties have signed. (You do not need to send a copy to the office. This will only delay processing.)
- Some students may be required to complete this form at the Office of Financial Aid: Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose. This form must be completed in the presence of a financial aid staff member! Do not complete before coming to the office.
- Verification of Parent/Student Income & Taxes: Families have 4 options for verifying income information. You are required to select 1 of the 4. Click here for more information.
- IRS Data Retrieval
- When completing the income sections of the FAFSA, the applicant and parent are given the option to have data retrieved directly from the IRS. This is called the IRS data retrieval tool. Families that completed the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval tool should not need to provide additional tax information. Since this is the QUICKEST and MOST ACCURATE way to complete the verification process, it is HIGHLY recommended that families use the data retrieval tool.
- Signed copy of 2019 Federal Tax Return
- 2019 Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS
- Non-Filers Statement from the IRS
- Non tax filers (except for dependent students) will have to provide documentation of non-filing. This can be obtained from the IRS using Form 4506-T and checking box 7. ALL non-tax filers (parents and students) that worked must also provide copies of all 2019 W-2 forms from all employers,
- IRS Data Retrieval
Verification & Billing
Financial aid will not pay to the student's semester bill until the verification documents have been submitted and reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. As a result, a student may not receive a refund from excess federal student aid until the process is complete. Credit from financial aid will be removed from the student's account as of October. Unpaid accounts may result in late fees and a hold may be placed on the student's registration until the bill is paid. Therefore, it is imperative that students/families complete the verification process before the deadline in their notice.
The Verification Review
Once all appropriate documentation has been provided, a staff member from the Office of Financial Aid will review the information and make corrections to the FAFSA as necessary. We may also request additional documentation to complete the review. Students will receive an updated financial aid award if changes have been made to their financial aid package.
Documents pertaining to verification should be submitted as soon as possible but no later than September 1, 2021 (February 1, 2022 for new spring admits) in order for financial aid to remain as anticipated credit on a student's account. The final deadline is 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 15 of the next academic year, whichever comes first. Note that federal loans cannot be certified after the student ceases to be enrolled, whether due to withdrawal or the end of the enrollment period.