The 2013-2014 Financial Aid Award Year is just around the corner. Just when you thought you were getting the hang of the rules for Verification in the 2012-2013 award year, the rules are changing again. Are you ready for what the U.S. Department of Education is heralding as “Customized Verification”?
Beginning with the 2013-2014 Institutional Student Information Report (ISIR), the Central Processing System (CPS) will select a student for verification based on the data reported they reported on the FAFSA, and assign that ISIR to a “Verification Tracking Group.” The Financial Aid office will have to verify specific data on the ISIR based on the Verification Tracking Group the applicant’s ISIR has been assigned to.
As the chart (above, right) indicates, there are five Verification Tracking Groups, each with their own “Verification Tracking Flag,” indicating they type of Verification required.
While the official word out of Washington is that ED won’t be providing Sample or Model Verification Worksheets to institutions, opting rather to provide institutions with sample language to help them describe the verification process to their students, Jeff Baker Et Al, seemed to soften their position when called on the carpet by the Financial Aid Community at last week’s FSA Conference in Orlando Florida. Either way, customized verification looks like a win for Financial Aid Officers as it is likely to reduce administrative burden, especially for those students and families using the IRS Data Retrieval tool to complete their FAFSA. Could we be that lucky?
Nope. Think again.
We’ve got two new verification items to contend with. High School Completion Status and Identity / Statement of Educational Purpose. Whaaaaaat? Well, it’s a new set of documents to collect and a new process to follow, but that’s ED for you. Keeping us on our toes. For a complete overview of the changes for verification check out these resources:
- 2012 FSA Conference Presentation: Verification Changes for 2013-2014 http://www.ifap.ed.gov/presentations/attachments/2012FSAConfSession6Verification.ppt
- Plans for 2013-2014 Verification Worksheets http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/110112Plansfor1314VerificationWorksheets.html
- GEN-12-11 from 7/17/12 details information from the Federal Register (posted 7/12/12) including details for 2013-2014 verification processing http://www.ifap,ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN1211.html
- 2013-2014 SAR Comment Codes and Text Guide http://www.ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/103012SARCommentCodesAndText1314.html