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Some students who apply for financial aid will be selected for verification by the federal processor. This federally mandated verification process uses documentation to confirm that the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct to ensure that you receive all the federal financial aid to which you are entitled.

Clark University’s Office of Financial Assistance will verify all FAFSAs which are selected for verification by the federal government in a given academic year. We may also select certain FAFSA filers in addition to the government selection if there is reason to suspect that the FAFSA information is inaccurate. We will also reserve the right to waive verification when the FAFSA shows that a student would not be eligible for any need-based aid. For the selected filers, the verification process must be completed before the student can receive disbursement of any need-based financial aid.

The priority deadline for federal aid is two weeks after the first request for verification documents. Students will receive an email notification to check their financial aid portal for verification documents.  If the student fails to complete the verification process, the file will remain incomplete and federal aid will not be awarded and/or disbursed.

If a student is selected for verification after aid has been determined, the student must complete the verification process within the same time frame as stated above in order to remain eligible for federal funds. If the student’s eligibility for aid changes due to the verification process, the aid will be recalculated.

Based on documentation provided by the student and parent, the Office of Financial Assistance will update and correct information on the FAFSA accordingly. Corrections that have been made due to verification will be electronically submitted to the FAFSA Processing System (FPS) for processing.  Changes to the financial aid award will be communicated to students through email by the Office of Financial Assistance.

If the Office of Financial Assistance suspects that a student, employee, or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, the school will report the suspicions and provide any evidence to the Office of Inspector General.

Verification Questions & Answers

On the FAFSA Submission Summary, there will be an asterisk next to the Student Aid Index (SAI) and a comment in the Application Status section informing the student that their school has the authority to ask for additional documentation to complete verification. You can view your FAFSA Submission Summary online by logging into your FAFSA using your FSA user ID and password.

The Office of Financial Assistance will also notify students by email. Students will be sent an email to their Clark University email address and will direct them to their CU portal for the required forms.

Reasons vary; it may be that your FAFSA was incomplete or contains estimated or inconsistent information. You may have also been chosen randomly. Verification is a federal regulation. Students selected for verification are not being punished; rather verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all the aid for which they qualify.

Yes. Participation in the verification process is required if the student received any need based federal funding in their financial aid award including loans and work study. If a student who is selected does not submit the required documentation by the established deadline, he or she will not be eligible to receive federal* financial aid as a Clark University student, and all pending federal* student aid credits will be canceled.

Should the verified financial information differ significantly from the original information provided on the FAFSA, your financial aid may be adjusted.

*some sources of Massachusetts aid will apply as well 

If your FAFSA Submission Summary indicates you were selected for verification, you and your parent(s) will be required to provide supporting documents to the Clark University Office of Financial Assistance.

The category of verification you were selected for and the specific documentation required will vary. If the federal processor selects your application for verification, you do not have to wait for the Office of Financial Assistance to request additional documentation from you. It is your responsibility to review your FAFSA Submission Summary, which will list the specific verification category you were selected for, to determine if you are selected and submit additional documentation to the Office of Financial Assistance.

You will receive an email notification from the Clark University Office of Financial Assistance outlining your requirements. Below is a breakdown of each verification category.

Category: Standard Verification or V1
What is required?

For tax filers, applicants and contributors will be required to provide consent and approval to retrieve Federal Tax Information (FTI) directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  When FTI is received from the IRS via the Future Act Direct Data Exchange (FA-DDX), the FTI received is considered verified and no other documentation is necessary.

For manually entered Federal Tax Information for both the student and parent(s) and/or family size, you may submit one of the following:

  1. IRS tax transcript obtained at no cost from the IRS or other relevant tax authority of U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or Commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands
  2. A signed and dated copy of the 1040 Federal tax return, including Schedules 1, 2 & 3, if applicable.
  3. A Foreign Government Statement that lists tax account information of the tax filer.

Along with the Verification of Family Size Statement

For students and parents who did not and were not required to file a U.S. tax return:

  1. Income Nontax Filer Verification statement
  2. A copy of IRS Form W2s for each source of employment income

Or if taxes were filed in a country other than the United States, a Foreign Income Verification form must be completed.

Foreign Income Verification statement with a “Verification of Non-Filing Letter” for individuals who would file a return with a relevant tax authority other than the IRS.

For non-tax filers, provide a copy of the W-2 statement(s) for the parent(s) or student that did not file taxes.

Along with the Verification of Family Size Statement

Category: Custom Verification or V4
What is required?

You must appear in person (at the Office of Financial Assistance) to present a valid and unexpired government-issued photo ID to sign a Statement of Educational Purpose with a financial aid counselor.

Category: Aggregate Verification or V5
What is required?

Students must fulfill requirements of categories V1 and V4 explained above

To avoid delays, all verification documents should be submitted online at CUWeb, with the exception of the Statement of Education Purpose which must be completed in person.   We are not able to accept tax information via email.

Individuals who are victims of IRS tax-related identity theft must submit a Tax Return Database View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS and a statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that they were victims of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.  Tax filers may obtain a TRDBV transcript and inform the IRS of the tax-related identity theft by calling the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1.800.908.4490.

For an individual who is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for the tax year:

  • A signed statement listing the sources of any income and the amount of income from each source.
  • A copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for the tax year.
  • A copy of the IRS Form W2 for each source of employment income received.

If self-employed, the signed statement must indicate the amount of estimated AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year.

To verify income information tax filers who filed an income tax return with a taxing authority in a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands) or with a foreign government must submit a copy of a transcript of their tax information to the institution if a transcript is available at no charge from that jurisdiction’s taxing authority.  A signed copy of the applicable income tax return that was filed with the taxing authority is only acceptable if tax filers are unable to obtain a free copy of a transcript of their tax information.

We are required to resolve any conflicting information discovered during the federal verification process. As a result, the amount and type of your financial aid may change after the verification process is completed. You will be notified by email of any revision to your aid offer.