Verification Process

What is Verification?

When completing the FAFSA, students may be selected for a process called “Verification” by the U.S. Department of Education.  This process requires UAMS to verify the information provided on your FAFSA with financial documents you must provide to our office.  The required documents will be requested once UAMS receives your FAFSA and may include, but are not limited to, a signed copy of your federal tax return transcript(s) and the Verification Worksheet.  If you are a dependent student, you will also be required to submit a copy of your parents’ signed federal tax return transcript(s).  You may be asked to submit other documents as needed to complete the verification process.

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will inform you if you are selected for verification.  If there are discrepancies between the information provided on the FAFSA and your financial documents, UAMS will make electronic corrections to your FAFSA data on your behalf.  Important note:  Our office will not proceed with your aid application until all required documents are returned and the verification process is complete.  Any correction(s) made to your FAFSA may cause changes to your financial aid account including award amounts.

UAMS is required by the Department of Education to complete the verification process for any student selected.   You cannot receive any federal financial aid until the process is complete.  Please assist us in completing this process as soon as possible so that your financial aid will not be delayed.

On occasion, a student will be selected for verification on a subsequent ISIR after being packaged or after aid has been disbursed. This may be caused by a change the student makes to their FAFSA (without our knowledge) or a pushed ISIR received from CPS or NSLDS. At this time, the steps above will be taken. In addition, a hold is placed on any undisbursed aid until the verification is complete. If aid has been disbursed a hold is placed on any future aid until the verification is complete. Adjustments are not made to the disbursed aid at this time as the student was eligible for the aid at the time of disbursement. Once the verification is complete and if corrections are not required, all holds are removed and the student is eligible for the aid initially offered and/or disbursed. If corrections are necessary and results in a change in the financial aid awarded and/or disbursed, necessary adjustments will be made. The student is responsible for repaying all aid for which s/he is not eligible, though s/he may keep any Stafford Loan money received. If the student is deemed ineligible after verification, all aid will be canceled and/or returned to the Department of Education.

If the student fails to return the required verification documents within the time period as established by the school, the School cannot; disburse additional Perkins or FSEOG Funds, employ or permit further FWS employment or originate or disburse any additional Direct Subsidized Loans. Additionally, the student must repay any Perkins or FSEOG funds received for the year.

Pell Grants: A student selected for verification may submit a valid SAR or the school can receive a valid ISIR after the Pell deadline published in the Federal Register but before the verification deadline established by the Department and also published in the Federal Register. If the student does not provide the verification documentation or we do not receive the valid SAR or ISIR (if necessary) within this additional time, the student forfeits his Pell Grant for the award year and must return any Pell money already received for that award year. (Referenced from the Application and Verification Guide)

Withdrawal Prior to Completion of the Verification Process

The school must receive necessary documentation and complete the verification process prior to 120 days from the last day of the student’s enrollment AND must have an official (or calculated SAI) prior to the withdrawal date.

If it is discovered that the student would have been eligible for the Pell Grant, the amount the student would have been eligible to receive during the Semester they withdrew would be considered “aid that could have disbursed” for the Return of Title IV Funds calculation. Federal loans are not considered “aid that could have disbursed” unless originated prior to the withdrawal.

If you have questions regarding the “Verification” process, please contact our office at (501) 686-5451.

Referrals of Fraudulent/Criminal Conduct 

If it is suspected that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, our office must report our suspicions and provide any evidence to the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).  Our office will refer to OIG any credible information indicating that an applicant for Federal Student Aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application.

Common misconduct includes false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake. UAMS SFS will report any suspicious activity and provide any credible evidence, on the part of a student to OIG by phoning 1-800-MISUSED.

Regional Offices Telephone Numbers

National Hotline

Boston, MA (617) 289-0174

New York, NY (646) 428-3861

Philadelphia, PA (215) 656-6900

Atlanta, GA (404) 974-9430

Chicago, IL (312) 730-1630

Dallas, TX (214) 661-9530

Denver, CO (303) 844-0058

Kansas City, MO (816) 268-0530

Long Beach, CA (562) 980-4141

San Juan, PR (787) 766-6278

Washington, DC (202) 245-6911

Inspector General’s Hotline

Office of Inspector General

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-1500