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    FAFSA Verification of Bank Accounts

    By Kayla Korzekwinski

    Kayla Korzekwinski is a Scholarships360 content writer. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Advertising/PR, Rhetorical Communication, and Anthropology. Kayla has worked on communications for non-profits and student organizations. She loves to write and come up with new ways to express ideas.

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    and Cece Gilmore

    Cece Gilmore is a Content Writer at Scholarships360. Cece earned her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Arizona State University. While at ASU, she was the education editor as well as a published staff reporter at Downtown Devil. Cece was also the co-host of her own radio show on Blaze Radio ASU.

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    Reviewed by Annie Trout

    Annie has spent the past 18+ years educating students about college admissions opportunities and coaching them through building a financial aid package. She has worked in college access and college admissions for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission/Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation, Middle Tennessee State University, and Austin Peay State University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: March 12th, 2024
    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.

    Why your FAFSA may require verification

    After completing the FAFSA, your Student Aid Report (SAR) might inform you that your application requires verification. If selected for verification, there is no cause for alarm.  Federal law requires that one-third of all FAFSA submissions be verified for accuracy. Colleges can choose if they want to verify more than what the federal government deems necessary. Some colleges verify 100% of their FAFSA applications. 

    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.

    See also: What to do for verificaiton of FAFSA

    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.

    Don’t miss: How to complete the CSS Profile

    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 regarding all those topics. Once you get your financial aid package back, you can learn how to read your award letter with our guide. Good luck!

    Frequently asked questions about FAFSA verification of bank accounts

    Why was I selected for FAFSA verification?

    Verification is used to make sure that information reported on the FAFSA is correct. Some FAFSA applications are selected due to misinformation or random selection. 

    What if I do not complete the FAFSA verification?

    If a student selected for verification does not complete the verification process, then any federal or need-based aid will not be awarded. 

    How long is the FAFSA verification process?

    The process should take around 2 to 4 weeks after sending in the necessary documentation.

    Should I be worried if I am selected for FAFSA verification?

    No! Do not worry, it is a necessary step to ensure fair federal funding for all students! Many students are selected for verification at random and some colleges even have a practice of verifying all of their student’s FAFSA data.

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