In our March blog, we wrote about the many areas in financial aid that will be impacted by the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency. One process that is particularly notable is verification, and since we’re heading into that season, we thought it was a good time to discuss the transition back to processing verification under “normal” circumstances.
But before we go there, let’s talk about when the flexibilities we’ve been enjoying will expire. Formally, it is the end of the first payment period beginning after May 11, 2023. The flexibilities were allowed because families were not able to access services like notaries, government offices and even college offices during the pandemic. By now, you may have already returned to processing aid without reliance on these flexibilities. Regardless, as you begin verification for the 2023-2024 award year, all the ‘old rules’ will be back in effect.
It’s usually identified during the verification process, but the institution is always responsible for resolving conflicting information before disbursing funds, regardless of the source. For more details on this topic see our blog on https://heag.us/institutional-responsibility/.
Verification will be required for all three populations, V1, V4 and V5. Students in the V1 or V5 group (and their parents or spouse if applicable) will again be required to submit income verification including but not limited to:
- Unchanged FAFSA® IRS DRT data
- IRS tax transcript
- IRS Verification of Non-Filing Status with W2 forms as applicable (for parents of dependent students and independent students only)
- Copy of 1040X plus one of the first two bullets when the original return was amended
Students in V1 and V5 will also need to submit a signed statement verifying the number of family members in their (or their parent’s) household and the number of those family members enrolled full-time in college. See this Electronic Announcement for more details and approved language for your 2023-24 verification worksheet.
The V4 and V5 groups will be required to submit proof of identity and a signed statement of educational purpose (SEP); however, they will no longer be able to use expired documents for proof of identity. In addition, Identity documents must be presented in the financial aid office at the time the SEP is signed. Because incarcerated students will be eligible for Pell Grants in the 2023-24 academic year, colleges enrolling such students will have to develop a process by which they comply with these verification requirements.
If you missed the live training session, we encourage you to watch the recorded version of Federal Student Aid’s (FSA) March 15 webinar on this topic with a focus on transitioning between 2022-2023 and 2023-2024.
As always, the Higher Education Assistance Group is available to give you the help you need. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.heag.us for more information about our compliance and interim staffing services.