I was selected for FAFSA verification. Now what?

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So, you’ve been selected for verification and you have a few questions about how to navigate this seemingly complex process.

We understand that the financial aid process can be overwhelming and being selected for verification adds another layer to what already feels like a maze. We’re here to give you some direction through the process and offer answers to some of the questions you may be asking.

Let’s take this one step at a time.

What is verification?

Verification is the process the Department of Education uses to ensure the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. The Department of Education requires CSU to verify information the family provided on the FAFSA to determine the types and amounts of federal, state, and institutional aid students receive.

Why was I selected for verification?

First and foremost, you have not done anything wrong.

There’s a common misconception that being selected for verification indicates something unusual has been noticed. Although the following list is not exhaustive, the most common reasons FAFSAs are selected for verification are:

  • Random selection
  • Incomplete data on the FAFSA
  • Contradictory information on the FAFSA
  • Estimated information on the FAFSA

The good news is that you can prevent three of the reasons you might be selected for verification. The bad news is that many FAFSAs are selected at random, with no apparent reason.

What do I need to do now?

If selected for verification, the best thing to do is to get informed and turn in all the required documentation as quickly as possible.

Here are some steps you can take to navigate this process like a pro:

  • Check RAMweb. Navigate to the “Requirements” page under the “Financial Aid” section. Your requirements are listed for you to take action on. Any documents you may need will be linked here, as well as instructions for completing the requirements.
  • Check FAMweb. Parents should check FAMweb to see the tasks they can assist you with. Much of what the verification process entails is tax and income information, which your parents may be able to help provide. If you haven’t added your parents to FAMweb, you can find out more here.
  • Check your @Rams email. The Office of Financial Aid will email you when you are given financial aid tasks and any time they make an update to your requirements. In order to stay up to date on what they need from you, check your @Rams email often.
  • Complete your documents. When you are required to complete a document, make sure that you read the instructions carefully and fill the forms out completely. You will also need to sign the forms before submitting them. We cannot accept electronic signatures, so you will need to physically sign the document before submitting it to us. The fastest way to submit documents to us is by using the Secure Document Upload, linked at the top of the “Requirements” page.

If you are required to submit tax and income information, the quickest way to do this is through is through the IRS Get Transcript website. You will need to submit a Tax Return Transcript, which can be obtained either online or by mail. The Department of Education has announced that the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which was available to link tax information from the IRS to the FAFSA, is expected to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.

I have completed all of my requirements. Now what?

Once you have completed all of your requirements and have submitted all of the required documents, the end of the process is complete. After submitting each requirement, RAMweb will reflect these submissions by changing the icon next to the requirement from a Red “X” to a Yellow “!”.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for the Office of Financial Aid to review the information submitted and complete the verification process.

If you have submitted an incomplete document (missing information, electronic signature, etc.), the processing time might take longer. The Office of Financial Aid will mark the document as incomplete and update the status in RAMweb and FAMweb. Once you submit the completed document again, it can take an additional 2-3 weeks before reviewed.

After all of your verification items are reviewed and processed, you will be awarded financial aid as soon as possible and notified by email and in RAMweb.