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Verification Process for Applicants Filing the FAFSA

Verification Process for Applicants Filing the FAFSA

Institutions are required to verify the accuracy of a student's FAFSA to assure federal aid is awarded to those who are eligible. Approximately 30% of  FAFSA applications are selected for verification each year. Sinclair may also select FAFSAs for verification if there is conflicting information that requires resolution. Federal financial aid is not awarded until verification is completed.

Students are notified they are selected for verification via their Sinclair.edu email account. The email specifies the actions required by the applicant and the documents required to complete the verification process. The student also receives a FAFSA processing email notification from U.S. Department of Education (ED) stating their FAFSA was processed and a Student Aid Report (SAR) was generated, which indicates their eligibility status and if they are selected for verification.

For the 2020-2021 award year the FAFSA information selected by ED that an institution, applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant's parent(s) or spouse may be required to verify are:

  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • U.S. Income Tax Paid
  • Untaxed Portions of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Distributions
  • Untaxed Portions of Pensions
  • IRA Deductions and Payments
  • Tax Exempt Interest Income
  • Education Credits
  • Income Earned from Work
  • Number of Household Members
  • Number of Household Members in College
  • High School Completion Status
  • Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose


Sinclair may select FAFSA items for verification beyond what is required by ED. If  ED or Sinclair selects an applicant for verification under this policy, the applicant must complete the required actions specified or provide the requested documents or information. Applicants are advised to complete the required actions or submit copies of the requested documents within 14 days of the request made by the Financial Aid & Scholarships office. However, the Federal deadline for verification completion is the earlier of 120 days from the applicant's last date of attendance or the federal deadline of  September 18, 2021. This includes making any necessary corrections, submitting those corrections to the Central Processing System, and submitting the new corrected Student Aid Report (SAR) to Sinclair.

The following consequences occur for applicants who fail to complete verification in a timely manner:

  • Applicants who do not complete verification within the required deadlines will not qualify for federal financial aid.
  • No federal grant or loan funds will be disbursed.
  • No federal financial aid loan will be originated.
  • If a loan was originated prior to the notice of verification, any undisbursed monies will be returned to the ED.
  • Student employment in a Federal Work Study job will be terminated.
  • If federal grant funds were disbursed prior to being selected for verification and there was an overpayment, the monies must be returned to the appropriate federal grant programs.
  • Federal financial aid will not be disbursed, and refunds, if any, will not be available until verification is completed and corrections (if necessary) have been processed and received by Sinclair from the ED.
Federal financial aid awards are based on the information provided on the applicant's FAFSA. Federal need-based programs, such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), and the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan Programs have strict eligibility requirements. If the data reported on verification documents differs from the information reported on the applicant's FAFSA, the applicant's eligibility for funding from these programs may be affected.


If  any credible information indicates that the applicant engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with their federal student aid application, Sinclair will report applicants to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education after review.

 
  • Last Revised: 08/17/2020