What is verification?
Verification is a process whereby the data provided by the student and/or their parent(s) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is compared to information on the student and/or parents’ financial documents (e.g., tax return, w-2, etc.). Any discrepancies noted will be corrected and the student’s eligibility for financial aid will be recalculated.
How was I selected for verification?
The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) will randomly select some FAFSAs, but most others are selected because there is incomplete or missing data, income is estimated, or the data provided is inconsistent with expected values. Students selected for verification are not being punished; verification ensures that eligible students receive all the aid for which they qualify and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information.
NJ TAG grant recipients may also be selected by the NJ Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (NJHESAA) for a state verification process; this process is independent of Monmouth University and documents are submitted directly the NJHESAA. Monmouth University may also select applications for verification to resolve inconsistent information that comes to our attention.
How will I know I was selected for verification?
You will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) once your FAFSA has been processed (3-5 days after you complete it). If your application is selected for verification, there will be a message on your SAR stating that you were selected and instructing you to contact the Financial Aid Office and an asterisk next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the SAR. In addition to the notations on your SAR, the Financial Aid Office will send you a notification to your Monmouth University email account and a text to your cell phone, if you have opted in for messaging.
How do I submit verification documents?
What documents do I submit for verification?
Not all applicants will be asked to submit the same documents. You may also be asked to provide different documents than you have in previous years. The documents you will be asked to supply will depend on the verification category that the DOE placed you in, as outlined below.
V1 – Standard Verification
What is required?
- Tax Information. There are two ways to submit a copy of your tax information to our office for the verification process. The first and preferred method is to return to your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer your or your parent’s tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA.
If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and you have been selected for verification, you will need to obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. This can be done online at www.irs.gov, by calling 800-908-9946, or by completing and submitting IRS Form 4506-T to the IRS by fax or mail.
- For Independent students and/or parents who did not, and were not required to, file taxes, a 2020 “Verification of Non-Filing Letter” must be obtained from the IRS. This can be done online at www.irs.gov, by calling 800-908-9946, or by completing and submitting IRS Form 4506-T to the IRS by fax or mail.
- If you and/or your parent(s) earned income from any source and were not required to file a federal tax return, submit a copy of each Form W-2 received or if no W-2s were issued, a list of the source(s) and total earnings.
- A completed Verification Worksheet. To access the Verification Worksheet, login to your account in the verification portal.
V4 – Custom Verification
What is required?
- You must appear in person at the Financial Aid Office (Room 108, the Great Hall) to present a valid and unexpired government-issued photo ID, and sign a Statement of Educational Purpose form in the presence of a Financial Aid Office staff member; if you are unable to come to campus, have the document signed and notarized and upload it into the verification portal. The Statement of Educational Purpose form can be obtained from the verification portal.
V5 – Aggregate Verification
What is required?
- Students must satisfy the documentation requirements of both categories V1 and V4 as outlined above.
When do I have to submit my verification documents?
Verification document submissions are accepted throughout the aid year, but it is in your best interest to submit your documents as soon as possible in order to finalize your aid. Documents must be submitted before your last day of attendance in the academic year. (Note that NJ TAG grant recipients must complete both federal and state verification requirements by October 1 or March 1 for spring only applicants.)
If you are selected for verification after financial aid has disbursed you will have 30 days to submit all verification documents or your file may be referred to the Office of Inspector General and reported to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). This could affect your ability to receive further federal aid at Monmouth University or any other institution.
How will my financial aid be affected by verification?
If discrepancies are found when your financial documentation is compared to your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will make corrections to your FAFSA and recalculate your eligibility for aid. This recalculation could result in you being eligible for more or less financial aid than you were originally offered. If the corrections lead to a change in your eligibility, a revised financial aid award letter will be sent to your MU email account.
How long does the verification process take?
During peak processing times you can expect that it will take approximately two weeks to complete the verification process once you have supplied all of the requested documentation. We appreciate your patience as we work to ensure that you receive all the aid to which you are entitled.
How will I know when verification is complete?
You will receive email and text (if you have opted in) notifications that verification is complete. If there has been a change to your financial aid as a result of any discrepancies found during verification, you will also receive a revised financial aid award letter; the award letter is sent to your student email address.
Is verification optional?
If you do not want to receive federal aid, you are not required to complete the verification process, so in that sense verification is optional. However, if you wish to receive any federal loans and grants, state grants, or University need-based grants it is not optional and you must complete the verification process. Please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to opt out of the verification process and decline your federal, state, or University funding. We will stop the verification communication process.