Verification Policies

Verification is the process of checking the accuracy of the information reported on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The guidelines used for verification are published annually in the U.S. Department of Education’s Verification Guide. It is Southwestern Christian University’s (SCU) policy to verify all applicants selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education. SCU also reserves the right to select additional applications for verification.

For verification purposes SCU defines a financial aid applicant as an enrolled student who is eligible to receive any for of Title IV federal financial aid.

Deadlines: A FAFSA reflecting inaccurate data must be corrected and submitted to SCU before aid is disbursed. All documentation required for verification must be received no later than September 15 for the fall semester and February 15 for the spring semester. Any applicant who fails to meet these deadlines will forfeit all financial aid.

Documentation Requirements: The following documentation must be on file with the SCU Financial Aid Office to satisfy the verification requirements for selected applicants: (1) Signed copy of parents’ and student’s latest tax return. (2) Complete verification worksheet. (3) Any other documentation requested by the Financial Aid Office.

Correction Procedures: Upon having a signed Correction Release Form from the student the financial aid office will electronically submit to the U.S. Department of Education corrections to FAFSA data resulting from verification. The U.S. Department of Education will then send notification of these changes to the applicant as notification of these corrections.

Notification: Applicants will be notified of award changes due to verification corrections by receipt of an updated Award Letter in the mail from the Financial Aid Office within three weeks.

Standard Procedures for Overpayments/Overawards: If corrections resulting from the verification process decrease an applicant’s award eligibility and create an overpayment, SCU will send notification of this situation to the applicant within 30 day of this finding and applicant will be required to make arrangements to correct the over-award within two weeks from the date of the notice. If correction or collection of the overpayment from the applicant cannot be made, SCU will refer the overpayment to the U.S. Department of Education for collection.

Misuse of Financial Aid and Referral Process: The SCU Financial Aid Office will report any suspected fraud or falsified information (on the part of the student, the parent, preparer of financial aid applications, or related parties) to the U.S. Department of Education and all other related parties for immediate action. This information will be forwarded to authorized agencies in addition to the U.S. Department of Education for investigation such as the Office of Inspector General. Anyone who suspects fraud or abuse may make a confidential report by contacting the Office of Inspector General at 1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733) or by email at oig.hotline@ed.gov.