What is Verification?

Verification is the process the Department of Education uses to confirm that the data reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. If you’re selected for verification, we will request additional documentation that supports the information you reported on your FAFSA.

How do I know that I’ve been selected?

We’ll send you an email saying you’ve been selected for verification. When submitting your FAFSA, you might also see a note on your Student Aid Report (SAR) that states this.

Why was I selected?

First and foremost, you have not done anything wrong.

Most people are selected for verification at random. Other times, a student might be selected because of incomplete or contradictory information. The best way to avoid the second scenario is by taking your time as you’re filling out the application. Be sure to read and answer each question carefully before submitting.

If you need help with a question, just ask! The most immediate way to get help is to click on the white question mark icon next to a FAFSA question. This will display a “tool tip” that provides information about how to answer that question. You can also reach out to us or a FAFSA representative if you get stuck on a question.

How do I complete my requirements?

All you need to do is follow the directions provided on the financial aid requirements page of your RAMweb. Make sure that you read the instructions carefully and fill the forms out completely —and be sure to do so at least a month before finals week, or else we won’t have enough time to process your financial aid before the deadline.

We must receive your verification documents by:

  • November 15 for fall semester
  • April 15 for spring semester

Most verification forms can now be completed electronically. Check out the resources to the right of this page to learn about how to complete electronic forms!

Dynamic Forms Guide

How to create a dynamic forms account

When will my documents be processed?

Once you have submitted a requirement, our office will file it away into our secure server and then change the icon next to the requirement from a Red “X” to a Yellow “!”. We will wait until we’ve received your last complete document before reviewing everything you’ve submitted all together.

Because we wait until we’ve received the last document, we recommend trying to submit all of your documents at one time, otherwise some of your documents will remain in a “pending review” status until we receive your last complete one.

You can track the status of your documents on RAMweb. If you’re missing anything we will reach out and let you know. Once everything has been reviewed and processed, you will be awarded financial aid as soon as possible and notified via email. We’ll do our best to process everything within 2-4 weeks, but depending on the time of year our processing timeframe varies.

Why does CSU do this?

Well, in short, we’re required to.

A quick review of the FAFSA fine print will reveal that technically, the Secretary of Education has the authority to verify any information that you report on your aid application. Do they always elect to do this? Of course not! But they can- and they do for about 1 in every 3 applications. The most efficient way for them to verify that your information is correct is by asking your school to reach out to you to collect the documentation and process it.

Once you are selected for this process, your school cannot un-select you. That means you won’t be eligible for any financial aid payouts until after this process is complete.

Click here to read the FAFSA signature disclosure

“If you are the student, by signing this application you certify that you (1) will use federal and/or state student financial aid only to pay the cost of attending an institution of higher education, (2) are not in default on a federal student loan or have made satisfactory arrangements to repay it, (3) do not owe money back on a federal student grant or have made satisfactory arrangements to repay it, (4) will notify your college if you default on a federal student loan and (5) will not receive a Federal Pell Grant from more than one college for the same period of time.

If you are the parent or the student, by signing this application you certify that all of the information you provided is true and complete to the best of your knowledge and you agree, if asked, to provide information that will verify the accuracy of your completed form. This information may include U.S. or state income tax forms that you filed or are required to file. Also, you certify that you understand that the Secretary of Education has the authority to verify information reported on this application with the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies. If you electronically sign any document related to the federal student aid programs using an FSA ID (username and password) and/or any other credential, you certify that you are the person identified by that username and password and/or other credential, and have not disclosed that username and password and/or other credential to anyone else. If you purposely give false or misleading information, you may be fined up to $20,000, sent to prison, or both.

Ultimately, the verification program helps the school and the government more efficiently direct aid where it needs to go- and ensures that you are being considered for the maximum amount of aid that you qualify for!

Who do I ask if I have questions?

Just reach out to one of our counselors and we can help walk you through your next steps!