About Financial Aid Verification

Each year the Central Processing System (CPS) of the U.S. Department of Education selects a number of Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms (FAFSAs) for a process called verification.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, UMUC will need to verify some of the information you provided on your FAFSA and collect additional documentation from you. For example, UMUC may ask for additional information about your income, the number of people in your household, the number of people attending college in your household, and/or other information. This page will give you an idea of what to expect if your FAFSA is selected for verification.

How You Will Be Notified

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, you will be notified as follows:

  1. When the Department of Education sends you the Student Aid Report (SAR), it will include an asterisk (*) next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The asterisk refers to a comment in the student section of the SAR informing you that UMUC will ask for documentation for the verification process.

  2. UMUC will notify you by e-mail. Notifications will begin as soon as UMUC receives the FAFSA selected for verification. Notifications will continue until you have submitted all documents required for verification or the deadline for submission has passed.

The notifications from UMUC will include a link to your student portal, MyUMUC, to view information about required documentation. The student portal is the primary communication point for information about FAFSA verification. Visit the site often during the verification process for information on outstanding documentation.

After you submit documents for review, your account may display conflicting information. If this occurs, UMUC will reach out to you to resolve the conflicting information by requesting additional documentation.

Verification Deadline and Failure to Submit

Requested verification documentation must be submitted to UMUC by the deadlines posted for that award year by the U.S. Department of Education in the Federal Register, i.e., the earlier of 120 days after the student's last date of attendance for the current award year or the stated date within the Federal Register.

UMUC will not award or disburse Federal Student Aid (FSA) until the verification process is complete. Failure to complete the verification process by the deadline may result in a student not being eligible for FSA, in which case the student will need other means to pay for courses.

Subsequent FAFSA Transactions

Making changes or updates to your FAFSA will result in a subsequent transaction being sent to UMUC. If the subsequent transaction is selected for verification after FSA has been awarded or disbursed, you will be notified via email. You have fifteen calendar days after the date of notification to submit all requested documentation for review.

Failure to submit the requested documents within the fifteen-day timeframe will result in the cancellation of all need-based FSA.

Correcting Errors on the FAFSA

Upon receipt of the Student Aid Report (SAR), you should review all the information listed and submit for correction any errors reported on the original FAFSA.

The CPS will send UMUC an electronic summary of the selected student's original FAFSA and any corrected FAFSA information. Once received, all FAFSA data, verification worksheets, and any supplemental verification documents will be reviewed by UMUC's Office of Financial Aid to verify the accuracy of the student's FAFSA information and to calculate the student's eligibility for FSA.

If the FAFSA information changes as a result of the verification process, OFA staff will

  • Submit the FAFSA changes and corrections to CPS for processing

  • Recalculate the Federal Pell Grant based on the student's recalculated EFC

  • Notify you via e-mail of any changes to that academic year's FSA package

  • Adjust that academic year's FSA package based on the recalculated EFC

Referral of Fraud Cases

Students and parents are advised that UMUC must and will refer to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that an applicant for FSA may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with FAFSA applications. Common misconduct includes false claims of independent status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Note that fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake on an application.

Financial Aid TV

For more information on FAFSA verification, please watch Financial Aid TV.

More In Financial Aid Policies

Learn about your eligibility for financial aid if you take a course at another university.

Learn how this Federal educational rights legislation protects your privacy.

Learn about meeting SAP requirements at UMUC to remain eligible for financial aid.

Request an appeal if you have financial circumstances not reflected on your FAFSA.