Maintained for Historical Purposes

This resource is being maintained for historical purposes only and is not currently applicable.

Applications that Must Be Verified

AwardYear: 1997-1998
ChapterNumber: 1
ChapterTitle: Basic Requirements
Section: Applications that Must Be Verified

When verification is required for an application, that application is
said to have been "selected" for verification. Applications are
selected either by the Central Processing System (as evidenced by an
asterisk on the output document) or by the school.

"Selected Applications"
Edit-selected Applications
Applications Selected by the School

Under certain circumstances, a selected application may be excluded
from required verification (see the "30% Verification Option" and
"Verification Exclusions" sections later in this chapter).

Edit-Selected Applications

Students apply for ED's student aid programs using one of several

- completing a paper Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) or paper Renewal FAFSA;

- filing an electronic FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA through a school
participating in Electronic Data Exchange (EDE);

[[FAFSA Express is a new filing option--see "Dear
Colleague" GEN-96-2"]]
- filing through FAFSA Express, ED's new software package that
allows students to complete and transmit a FAFSA using a PC and
a modem.

Regardless of the filing option used, the FAFSA is always processed
in the same way, and the verification procedures are also the same.

[[Processing and edit checks]]
One of two FAFSA processors will scan or manually enter the
FAFSA data and transmit the data to the Central Processing System
(CPS). The CPS calculates a student's eligibility and checks the
application, using several editing criteria designed to detect possible
inconsistencies and mistakes. For instance, if a dependent student
reported the parents' marital status as married but also reported the
household size as "2," the processing system's edit checks would
catch the inconsistency, and the student will receive a SAR comment
alerting him or her about the inconsistency. As a result of this edit
procedure, certain student aid applications are flagged for

Each applicant who applies for federal student aid will receive an
"output document," which contains the calculation of the applicant's
official Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If the applicant applied
using the paper FAFSA or FAFSA Express, he or she will receive a
Student Aid Report (SAR). An applicant who applied electronically
through his or her school will receive a SAR Information
Acknowledgement. In each of these cases, the applicant's school can
also receive an output document, the Institutional Student
Information Record (ISIR). When applying, the student may
designate up to six schools to receive the ISIR. The schools receive
the ISIR either electronically through the EDE system or by tape or

"Output Document"
SAR or SAR Information Acknowledgment
Electronic ISIR (through EDE)
Tape or Cartridge ISIR from the CPS

[[FAFSA processors no longer produce output documents]]
Since the 1996-97 award year, FAFSA processors have no longer
had to send their own output documents containing CPS data to
applicants and schools. The only output document will come from
the Central Processing System (CPS).

The output document indicates whether the CPS has selected a
student's application for verification. For example, on the SAR (or
SAR Information Acknowledgement), the processor prints an
asterisk (*) to the right of the EFC and includes, in the comments
portion of the SAR, verification instructions for the student.
Verification selection is also shown on the ISIR.

If an application is edit-selected for
verification, an asterisk (*) will
appear on the SAR, to the right
of the EFC.

In the FAA Information Section on the SAR, the verification
selection codes (1-25) are numbered in order of importance. If you
are verifying no more than 30 percent of the total number of your
school's federal student aid applicants, you might want to select those
applications with higher priority verification numbers. For example,
reasons 2, 5, 8, and 10 have greater significance than reasons 13, 15,

[[Database matches]]
The CPS "matches" the application data to several databases
(including the National Student Loan Data System [NSLDS], a
comprehensive database containing selected federal financial aid
histories of SFA fund recipients) to flag certain applicants, such as
those who have defaulted on federal student loans or who owe
repayments on federal grants. Such students may still be eligible for
federal aid, but their federal output document will note the
questionable items. You must resolve those items before delivering
any funds to the student.

School-Selected Applications

Your school may also select applications to be verified, as long as
your selection procedures are in accordance with consistently applied
institutional policies. THE VERIFICATION RULES APPLY
EQUALLY to applications the CPS selects and applications your
school selects, except that students your school selects are required to
verify only the items your school chooses.

Last Modified: 07/28/1998