Each year, the Department of Education selects a number of financial aid applicants for a process called "Verification." The Financial Aid Office is required to check the accuracy of information submitted on financial aid applications (FAFSA forms) with the information contained in official documentation such as federal income tax returns, Social Security statements, statements regarding untaxed income and other necessary documents. In addition, to those students selected by the U.S. Department of Education, the Kirkwood Financial Aid Office reserves the right to select additional students for the process of verification at its discretion. This discretionary selection may be generated randomly, due to conflicting information, or due to concerns that data may not be accurate or complete. The following policies and procedures for verifying information contained in a student aid application are implemented in accordance with federal regulations: 34 CFR 668.53 General Provisions, Federal Register 10/31/89 Vol. 54, No. 209, p.45997 "Policies and Procedures," and the Application and Verification Guide for Title IV Financial Aid Programs.
Notification and Communication
Students selected for verification must submit documentation for the process of verification in order for official financial aid eligibility to be determined. When a student is selected for verification, the student will be notified as follows:
- The U.S. Department of Education will notify the student on their Student Aid Report.
- Kirkwood will provide written electronic notification to the student identifying the documents required for the verification process. This notification will be sent to the student by the Financial Aid Office no later than three weeks from the time the Financial Aid Office receives official notification from the U.S. Department of Education that the student was selected.
- Kirkwood also provides secure 24 hour access to information showing verification document requests for each student at on EagleNet.
- As a courtesy, Kirkwood’s Financial Aid Office may contact students on a weekly basis using emails and letters to give updates on requested verification documents. However, Kirkwood will not send more than 12 emails/letters over a 12 week period.
- As a courtesy, Kirkwood’s Financial Aid Office may contact students by phone to encourage them to submit documents to complete the verification process.
Minimum Documentation Required (varies by verification tracking group)
You can find the verification forms here.
| Dependent Student
|| Independent Student
|Signed Verification Worksheet
||Signed Verification Worksheet
|IRS Return Transcripts
||IRS Return Transcripts
|Wage and Income Transcript
||Wage and Income Transcript
|Verification of Non-filing Letter
||Verification of Non-filing Letter
|Certain untaxed income and benefits
||Certain untaxed income and benefits
|High school completion and ID/Statement of purpose
||High school completion and ID/Statement of purpose
|Additional documents when requested by Kirkwood
||Additional documents when requested by Kirkwood
Deadlines: the time period within which a student shall provide documents
Verification documentation should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the planned term of enrollment. Submitting the required documents by the due date mentioned, facilitates the college's ability to verify all information in a timely manner, ensure that financial aid packages and reconciliation of funds are accurate, and that financial aid is posted to the student’s account in a timely manner.
Failure to submit the required documentation (or submit it in a timely manner) will delay or eliminate the disbursement of federal, state, and institutional financial aid funds.
Families who file federal tax filing extensions must forward a copy of the federal request for extension form to the Kirkwood Financial Aid Office along with copies of W2’s and other income statements. The Financial Aid Office may request other documentation to verify income.
Loss of Aid Eligibility
No financial aid will be disbursed to a student’s account if the student is selected for verification and the verification process is not complete. If financial aid has already been disbursed and the student is subsequently selected for verification, further disbursements are stopped until which time the process is complete. Failure to submit the required documentation (or submit it in a timely manner) may eliminate the eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid funds.
Conflicting Information Policy
The Kirkwood Financial Aid Office exercises its right to seek additional information whenever there is conflicting information in a student file. Conflicting information must be resolved before financial aid funds may be fully processed and/or disbursed. Failure to reach resolution within the enrollment period (which requires written documentation for the student’s financial aid file) eliminates aid eligibility. In some cases, resolution of conflicting information within 30 days of the end of the enrollment period may not provide sufficient time to process financial aid for that enrollment period. Therefore, aid eligibility could be eliminated.
The Financial Aid Office will notify the student in writing if there is a need for further documentation to satisfy verification requirements. This notification will occur within two weeks of the initial review of submitted documentation by the Financial Aid Office. The student and/or parent(s) must respond within two weeks of the date of the notification. For information on the consequences of failing to provide the additional requested documentation, please refer to the Verification Policy section entitled "Loss of Aid Eligibility."
Overpayments of federal and state aid, if they occur, are resolved when Kirkwood makes subsequent adjustments to the student's account. If, in the event that an adjustment cannot be made by Kirkwood to the student's account, Kirkwood will refer the overpayment to the proper federal and/or state agency.
Correction of Information
Kirkwood will submit the verified corrections to the U.S. Department of Education electronically or online with the CPS. This will ensure that corrections are made known to all parties and that the needs analysis will be updated accurately and according to federal standards. Additionally, the student is required to update any subsequent or related applications such as state grant information, private scholarship forms, and other related institutional applications.
Misuse of Financial Aid and Referral Process
The Kirkwood 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 (OIG) at 1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733) or by email at email@example.com. Students, and the public, are provided contact information for the OIG on Kirkwood’s financial aid website.
How to Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
To report fraud, waste, abuse, misuse or mismanagement of U.S. Department of Education (ED) program funds (this could include complaints concerning employees, fund recipients, educational institutions, contractors, collection agencies, or lending institutions), you may contact the Inspector General's Hotline by: calling the OIG Hotline's toll free number 1-800-MIS-USED. Hotline Operators take calls during the hours of Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., Eastern Time; Tuesday and Thursday, 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Eastern Time except for holidays.
Your report may be made anonymously or in confidence. No classified information should be submitted to the Hotline. If your complaint involves classified information, please submit your contact information to the Hotline (via phone or complaint form) and request that you be contacted to make separate arrangements so the OIG can receive your complaint.
Award Change Notification: the method by which Kirkwood notifies a student
The Kirkwood Financial Aid Office will notify a student of the results of verification if, as a result of verification, the student's expected family contribution changes and results in a change in the student's financial aid. If changes are made prior to the student receiving a Notice of Award, the student will be notified of any corrections from verification by receiving a new Student Aid Report (SAR) from the U.S. Department of Education. If changes are made after the student has received a Notice of Award and those changes affect financial aid, in addition to receiving an updated SAR, Kirkwood will notify the student by email no later than 30 days after the verification is complete.