On July 13, Federal Student Aid (FSA) announced that effective that day, most verification requirements for the 2021 – 2022 award year have been waived to provide relief to students and their families struggling to meet the requirements. There are still some processes that must be completed by the Financial Aid Office; read on to learn what they are.
1. Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose and High School Completion Status under Verification Tracking Groups V4 and V5
The in-person and notary requirements remain suspended and will continue to be through the end of the payment period that begins after the date the current national emergency is rescinded. As a reminder, this means students may upload or email electronic copies of documents including photos of paper documents taken with a smartphone. Documents that require a signature may be signed electronically or contain an image of the signature. Finally, the Financial Aid Office should obtain verification of high school or equivalent completion submitted to the institution for other purposes – as part of the application for admission, for example – whenever possible.
2. Conflicting data must be resolved.
Verification information collected prior to July 13, unsolicited copies of tax returns/transcripts and subsequent ISIR transactions must continue to be reviewed and any conflicting information that results must be resolved as usual. For more information on this topic, see our blog from July 2 entitled Institutional Responsibility.
3. System reporting requirements continue to be required.
CPS will continue to select applicants for verification. You must report a valid verification code for each application selected – “V” for when verification was completed and “S” for when an application was selected but not verified. A blank is only acceptable if the application was selected after the student ceased to be enrolled at your institution.
The compliance experts at the Higher Education Assistance Group are available to support your office when policies and procedures need to be changed on the fly. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.