Financial Aid Verification Process

What is verification?

A student’s application for federal financial aid may be selected for review in the Federal Verification process. Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

Why is your file being verified?

While there are several reasons why a student may be selected for verification some leading causes are:

  • The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
  • The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
  • The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.

What documents are needed after selection?

The verification process requires that students submit documentation such as IRS transcripts and worksheets to be compared to information from the student’s application. Other documentation, including but not limited to documentation of federal benefits received or of child support paid may also be requested as if it applies to the information on the application.

How will I know I have been selected?

Notification is sent to the student’s PAWS email account which will state that there are outstanding requirements. The student’s PAWS account will list the document requirements and the status. You may also be mailed or emailed additional documents that are required.

What happens if there are discrepancies in the application?

After all required documents are submitted, the Financial Aid Office will compare them to your application. If errors are found, corrections will be made. If the errors are significant enough to change the amount of financial aid that you were awarded, the Financial Aid Office will retransmit the FAFSA to DOE for reprocessing.

How long does processing take?

You should allow 10-15 business days for the verification review process and an additional 5 business days if corrections have to be made and transmitted.

  • Additional time may be necessary during peak periods.
  • Once the verification and/or correction process is completed the student will be awarded within 5 business days. An e-mail notifying the student of the award will be sent to their PAWS account.
  • Verification must be completed in advance of disbursing any money from any financial aid program so it is vital to send, complete, and correct errors as quickly as possible.


How long do I have to complete verification?

Students are expected to apply for aid and complete the verification process before the term has ended. Otherwise, the student is in jeopardy of not receiving any Federal aid for their period of enrollment.

  • All required documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than 10 business days from the initial date of request.
  • Any delay in submitting all required documents will cause a delay in awarding of financial aid resulting in the student being responsible for paying all or part of their bill until awarding takes place.

Pell Grant Recipients

  • A Pell Grant applicant must complete the entire process before the Pell Grant Program deadline in September or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment which ever is earlier.
  • If the process is not complete the student is not eligible for Pell for that award year.
  • Students who have not completed the verification process within the required period will be notified in writing.

Overpayments or Overawards

What is an overpayment/overaward?

An overpayment or overaward occurs when a student receives more than the amount for which he or she was eligible under the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG, Federal Work study, Federal Perkins and Federal Direct Loan programs.

  • A student will be notified by letter when such a discrepancy is discovered.
  • Georgia State University will collect the overpayment or overaward from the student via our billing/collection method.
  • The overpayment or overaward will be reported to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) until it is resolved.