The U. S. Department of Education mandates schools use the verification process to check the accuracy and completeness of data provided on the selected applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The verification process is meant to ensure that Federal student financial aid is disbursed equitably and according to Federal law and program regulation. The U. S. Department of Education or the school selects applications for verification.
Cheyney University has contracted with the School Servicing Center (SSC) to complete most verifications on their behalf. SSC will work directly with the student to complete the verification process. SSC will communicate with the student about the verification process. There are some instances where the verification will be completed by the Cheyney financial aid processing staff.
SSC directs students to a secure web portal, www.SSCwp.org, for information about required verification documents and activities. The website is the primary communication point for verification information. Students should visit the site often during the verification process for information on outstanding items. The school will notify students when their verification has been completed.
It is the student's responsibility to provide requested information so that the verification process can be completed in a timely manner. Cheyney University is unable to disburse federal student financial aid until the verification process is complete. Failure to complete the verification process may result in a student not being eligible for federal financial aid and will need other means to pay for classes. Failure to pay for classes by published deadlines may result in the student being dropped from registered classes.
Important Note: If an applicant uses the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer federal income tax return data to the FAFSA without changing the transferred data, the applicant is generally not required to verify that information.
In most instances, the SSC submits FAFSA corrections to the Central Processor (CPS) that has determined to be inaccurate or incomplete. Occasionally the student will be asked to correct the FAFSA data by going to the FAFSA on the Web website (https://fafsa.ed.gov/FAFSA/app/fafsa). If changes made to the FAFSA impact the student's Estimated Family Contribution (EFC), the new Student Aid Report sent by the CPS as a result of those changes will reflect the new EFC.
Cheyney University is responsible for checking all other eligibility criteria before packaging financial aid for the student. The school is also responsible for notifying the student of any changes made to an existing financial aid award package as a result of verification.
The school is required to notify the U.S. Office of Inspector General if they suspect that a student, employee or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation in order for a student to fraudulently obtain federal funds
When the school is aware that an individual has filed an amended tax return, the school needs to collect the following documents to complete verification for that individual:
- An IRS Tax Return Transcript that includes information from the original tax return OR any other IRS tax transcript that includes all income and tax information from the original tax return required for verification (neither of which has to be signed); and
- A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.
You will note that a signed copy of the original tax return that was filed with the IRS is no longer acceptable for completing verification. ED further notes that applicants who use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), and then amend their tax returns, still must provide verification documentation, as outlined above. Schools cannot rely on DRT information in lieu of tax transcripts.