Muskingum University Verification Policy
Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be selected by the US Department of Education or Muskingum University for review in a process called verification. Verification is a systematic means of comparing various financial and informational documents with the information you provided on the FAFSA. The following information is an outline of the policies and procedures that govern the verification process, your responsibilities and the appropriate deadline dates for the Federal Student Aid Programs. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Muskingum University Student Financial Services.
Our Verification Policy: It is the policy of Muskingum University to withhold the awarding of Federal Student Financial Aid to returning students until the verification process is considered completed. This policy ensures that the information provided by the Federal Processor to our office and your aid eligibility determination is correct before any funds are awarded to you. For entering students it is our policy to provide an estimated Financial Aid award before the verification process is considered completed. By receiving an estimated financial aid award earlier the student has more time to make a decision about enrolling. After verification is completed corrections will be made to the FAFSA and estimated financial aid and a revised award will be sent to the student as necessary.
Verification Completion: The verification process will be considered complete once the following has been accomplished:
- Fully complete and submit to Muskingum University Student Financial Services the Verification Worksheet and use the IRS Data Retrieval Process within the FAFSA or submit IRS tax transcripts for the student (and your spouse if married) and for your parents (if parent data was required on the FAFSA). Anyone who did not file a tax return must provide copies of W-2s (or a listing of income and sources if no W-2 was received) along with a statement certifying that they did not file and were not required to file.
- The signed statement on the Verification Worksheet is sufficient to document receipt of food stamps or child support paid.
- Submit copies of any other documents as requested by Student Financial Services.
- Student Financial Services will compare your FAFSA results with the documents requested.
- If verification reveals that data provided on the FAFSA is accurate, then returning students will receive and award letter from Student Financial Services and entering students will have their financial aid changed from estimates to actual awards.
- If verification reveals that data provided on the FAFSA is incorrect, Student Financial Services will electronically correct your data with the Federal Processor. As a result, you will receive notification of the corrections, either by mail or e-mail, from the Federal Processor. After we receive the corrected information, returning students will receive an award letter and entering students will receive a revised award letter as necessary.
Corrections to Previously Determined Aid Eligibility: If your FAFSA was not originally selected for Verification, then we would have had no reason to delay disbursement of aid to you. However, if you make a change to your FAFSA after aid has been disbursed to you, then it is possible that the US Department of Education could select your FAFSA for verification. If that occurs, then you will be asked to provide various financial and informational documents to verify the accuracy of data provided on your FAFSA. You will be required to provide the necessary verification documents according to the following deadlines:
Federal Pell Grants: If you have already received Pell Grant funds prior to being selected for verification, you must provide requested documents by the deadline published in the Federal Register (usually the last week in September) or 120 days from the date your FAFSA was selected for verification, whichever is earlier. Subsequent disbursements of Pell Grant funds will be withheld until verification is completed.
Perkins Loans, Direct Loans, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and Work-Study: The requested Verification documents must be received by Student Financial Services within 60 days of the first notification that documents are needed. Subsequent disbursements of Perkins Loans, Direct Loans and SEOG funds will be withheld. You will be asked to suspend Federal Work-Study employment pending the completion of Verification.
If Verification reveals that your aid eligibility has changed, it may be necessary to repay aid already disbursed to you. Failure to repay aid funds for which you have been determined ineligible will make you ineligible for further Federal Student Aid (whether grants, loans or work-study) at any institution until the aid is repaid in full. Your account will also be referred to the Department of Education to record your ineligibility fir further Federal Student Aid.
Completing Verification after the Term Has Ended
If you are selected for verification, you must provide requested documents by the deadline published in the Federal Register (usually the last week in September) or 120 days from the date your FAFSA was selected for verification, whichever is earlier. Students may receive Pell and Muskingum assistance if eligible however, students will not be eligible to receive Federal Student Loans if verification is completed after the term has ended.
The Consequences of Failing to Complete Verification
- Under the Pell Grant Program you forfeit the Pell Grant for the award year.
- Under the Perkins Loans, Direct Loans, SEOG and Work-Study programs, Student Financial Services will withhold subsequent disbursements of Perkins Loans, Direct Loans and SEOG funds; discontinue your employment under the Work-Study Program and withhold certification of any further Direct Loan applications.
In all cases Muskingum University Student Financial Services will take the necessary steps to secure repayment of aid funds already disbursed to you for which you have been determined to be ineligible.
Summary: The selection of an aid application for verification is a means to ensure that aid awards are based upon the most accurate information possible. Some applications are selected strictly on a random basis, while others may be selected due to inconsistent information. Whatever the reason may be, your cooperation is greatly appreciated and the sooner the requested information is provided the sooner your aid record will be considered complete and Muskingum University Student Financial Services will be able to fully disburse aid to you.