The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and rules for verification seem to be changing annually of late, so whether you’re a newbie or veteran, you can benefit from these resources provided by Federal Student Aid (FSA).
First up, one of our favorites is The 2022-23 Application and Verification Guide. In the introduction, you can find any changes from the prior award year all in one place. Chapter 1 covers the process in detail, including the many options families have to file the FAFSA. Chapter 2 provides detailed instructions and definitions for each question, which is not only handy for verification, but also when advising students. In Chapter 3, learn the ins and outs of the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) calculation and link to the worksheets to do calculations by hand. As we mentioned in our Professional Judgement blog, making sure all financial aid staff have a good understanding of how the EFC is calculated is important for counseling students as well as awarding. These worksheets are an excellent training tool. Speaking of Professional Judgement, Chapter 5 outlines the rules and situations that may warrant such action. But, back to Chapter 4, which speaks explicitly to the verification process and the institution’s responsibility to resolve conflicting data.
Another resource is the Verification 2022-2023 course offered via FSA’s Training program. As a manager you can disseminate information through a variety of media, but do you know whether your staff is not only taking in the information but really understanding it? Probably not. FSA’s Training program allows managers to create learning plans and track successful completion, ensuring all staff members are on the same page. Try it out with this new verification course!
Finally, although we are not new, the Higher Education Assistance Group is here for you too! Whether you have questions about the changes for the new award year or need an extra set of sets of hands to do actual processing, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak to a verification expert.