Financial Aid Verification Policy
1.What is Verification?
- Verification is the process by which additional information is requested by the U.S. Department of Education, New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) and/or the Office of Financial Aid to verify information on a student’s FAFSA(Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The supporting documentation is used by the financial aid office to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information and make corrections if needed. If selected, a student MUST submit the requested documentation and complete the verification process before financial aid can be awarded. In certain cases, once verification begins, additional information may be requested to resolve additional discrepancies.
Important Priority Federal Verification Deadlines
There are priority deadlines in place to assure that verification is processed in a timely manner for financial aid to be awarded in time for the tuition payment dates for the Fall, Spring and Summer Semesters. For further information on tuition payment dates, please visit the Registration office’s website at http://www.middlesexcc.edu/registrar/. Please remember that the FAFSA application is valid for one academic year from July 1st-June 30 of each academic year. For example for the 2015-2016 Academic year, the FAFSA is valid from July 1st 2015, to June 30, 2016.
|May 1||Priority FAFSA Filing Date for the Fall Semester|
|June 30||Priority deadline to submit verification documents for all students for the Fall Semester|
|October 1||Priority FAFSA Filing Date for the Spring Semester|
|November 18th||Deadline to submit completed verification documents for the Fall Semester for students not returning for the Spring semester.|
|November 30||Priority deadline to submit all verification documents for the Spring Semester|
|June 30 of the following year.||Last day to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)|
|July 15 of the following year||Priority deadline to submit verification documents for the Summer Semester|
2. Why was I selected?
- Students are randomly selected by the U.S. Dept. of Education.
- The submitted FAFSA has either incomplete data and/or contains contradictory information.
- The FAFSA has estimated federal income tax information and the actual information must be confirmed to provide accurate financial aid awards.
3. How am I notified of what verification documents must be provided?
- Students are able to check the status of their Financial aid Application and determine what documents are missing through their Campus Cruiser accounts. Students’ receive e-mail notifications that show the student the requested document(s) that are missing to process their federal financial aid.
- The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) sends notification to the students directly. Students will not be able to see the missing information in their Campus Cruiser but must check www.njgrants.org.
4. What items are verified?
- Items requiring verification vary depending on the information reported on the individual student’s FAFSA. Some items that may be verified include:
- Household size
- Number of family members in college
- Adjusted Gross Income
- U.S. income tax paid
- Certain untaxed income and benefits
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – formerly the Food Stamp program benefits
- Child support paid
- High school graduation or equivalency
- Student identity
- Other untaxed income
- Income earned from work
- Discrepancies such as marital status or citizenship
5. How long will the verification process take?
The length of the verification process depends on the time of the year. Peak processing times occur before the start of a semester and verification of files takes longer to complete during this peak period. Priority deadline dates are set to ensure that students navigate the financial aid process seamlessly. Verification of files begins once ALL documents have been submitted. There are instances where once verification begins, additional documentation and information may be requested to resolve any discrepancies. If discrepant information is found, corrections will be made and additional time will be needed for processing, in which case, the verification process will take longer.
6. Why are additional documents requested?
- If the information that was reported on the FAFSA is inaccurate or conflicts with the verification information submitted, then the college may request additional documentation to resolve any discrepancies.
7. Will the verification process affect my financial aid award estimate?
- Financial aid award estimates may change, if there are significant differences in the information reported on the FAFSA compared with the actual verification documentation submitted such as tax return transcripts and/or household size documentation.
8. What happens if I do not provide the verification information that is being requested?
- Failure to submit verification documentation will result in ineligibility to receive either federal or state financial aid until all verification documentation is received.
9. How and where do I submit the verification documents?
All documents may be submitted via fax, email or dropped off in person to:
Financial Aid Office – Chambers Hall
2600 Woodbridge Avenue
Edison, New Jersey 08818-3050
Important Note About Verifying Tax Information:
Federal IRS Data Retrieval and Transcript Request
In place of providing the Federal Tax Transcript, one option that may be available is the Federal IRS Data Retrieval tool which allows the student and/or parent to download Federal Tax information directly to the FAFSA from the IRS.
Tax data will be available through the Federal IRS Data Retrieval option within a minimum of 2-3 weeks after electronic submission and acceptance of a Federal Tax Return to the IRS. Using this option may reduce the amount of documentation that the financial aid office requests and may also reduce verification processing time.
IRS Data Retrieval Eligibility Requirements
In order to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, all students if Independent, or parents if the student is dependent, must:
- Possess a valid Social Security Number
- Have a FSA ID
- If married, must have filed a joint tax return
Exceptions: The Federal IRS Data Retrieval tool cannot be used for the FAFSA application if
- An Amended Tax Return was filed
- A Federal Tax Return has not been filed
- The Federal Tax Filing status is married filing separately
- A Puerto Rican or other Foreign Tax Return has been filed
Federal Tax Transcript
If the IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used, and if tax return transcripts are requested for verification purposes, an official Federal Tax Return Transcript may be obtained from the IRS at www.irs.gov.
If tax returns are not required to be filed under federal regulations students must submit all W-2’s to document earnings from work.