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FAFSA Verification of Bank Accounts
Students selected for verification of their FAFSA form may wonder, “does FAFSA check your bank accounts?” FAFSA does not directly view the student’s or parent’s bank accounts. However, applicants selected for verification will need to provide additional information related to their finances – tax return or W-2 forms, for example. Continue reading to learn more about FAFSA verification and the information that may be verified.
What is FAFSA verification?
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form that determines a student’s eligibility for financial aid from the federal government. It may be tempting to submit inaccurate information on the application to increase your chances of receiving aid. However, it’s essential that the student or parent completing the FAFSA is honest about their financial information. If the information provided seems incorrect, your application may require further verification.
Verification of the FAFSA is the process used by schools to confirm that the data reported is accurate. Verification singles out certain data elements and asks for confirmation using documentation or other materials.
See also: FAFSA 101 guide
Why your FAFSA may require verification
After completing the FAFSA, you may see on your Student Aid Report (SAR) that your application was selected for verification. If selected for verification, there is no cause for alarm. Some schools select applications for verification at random. In fact, about 30% of all FAFSA forms are selected to be verified by schools.
Your application may require verification if the school finds inconsistencies or potential errors in your FAFSA form. Whether you are being verified due to random selection or due to potential errors, you will provide any documents that the school asks for.
What does verification check?
Verification doesn’t necessarily check the student’s or parent’s bank accounts. Rather, the school will ask for documentation to clarify information provided in the form. These documents can include income tax returns, W-2 forms, and 1099 forms.
As previously mentioned, verification singles out data points that may have errors; it won’t ask for documentation to confirm the entire form. The data points eligible for verification are subject to change year-to-year. The elements that are currently subject to verification are:
- Household size
- Number of dependents in college
- Food stamps received
- Child support payments
- Adjusted gross income
- Tax payments
Over all, your school has the right to request any documentation they require to determine the accuracy of your FAFSA information and your eligibility for financial aid.
What to do if selected for verification
If your FAFSA requires verification, you will need to provide any documentation the school requests. Be sure to do so by the school’s deadline, or you could lose access to any financial aid!
Additional financial aid resources
If you are in the process of applying for financial aid, we can help answer many of your questions. Wondering about the difference between the CSS Profile and the FAFSA? How about how to fill out the FAFSA if you have divorced parents? Or let’s say you’re curious about applying for financial aid as an independent student. We have answers on all of those things. Once you get your financial aid package back, you can learn how to read your award letter with our guide. Good luck!