|AwardYear: 1998 - 1999|
ChapterTitle: Basic Requirements
Section: 30% Verification Option
Generally, you must verify all applications the CPS selects for verification; however, ED does not require a school to verify more than 30 percent of its total number of applicants for federal student assistance. If more than 30 percent of your applicants have been selected for verification, you may choose to verify all the selected applications, but ED does not require it. Note: Applications your school selects and applications with conflicting information do not count toward the 30-percent level. If the total number of selected applications is less than 30 percent of your total number of applicants for federal student aid, you must verify all selected applications. The 30% Verification Option is better explained with a few examples, shown in the next example.
Many financial aid administrators have requested interpretation from ED regarding the definitions of applicant and applicant pool. However, ED does not define these terms. Each school must develop its definitions and apply them consistently. An applicant may be defined as any student who applies for federal financial aid or, more narrowly, as a student who is eligible to receive an award. Further, schools could define the total number of applicants for federal student assistance as the total number of applications received (regardless of whether the students are enrolled), as the total number of applications received from enrolled students, or as the total number of applications received from enrolled students who are eligible to receive an award. When the school uses a narrow pool and selects 30 percent, the students the school verifies must come from the pool designated and not from a broader pool.
Schools also must develop their own policies for determining the number of applications that constitutes 30 percent of their schools total applications. Schools must consistently adhere to and apply these policies, ensuring that selected applications are properly verified.