Financial aid applicants selected for verification must comply with the verification procedures required by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and subpart E of 34 CFR § 668.53 of the “Verification of Student Aid Applicant Information” regulations.

Students are selected for Federal or New Jersey State Verification each award year. Once selected for Verification, the student may be required to submit additional documentation to confirm the data reported. Awards are not secured until the Verification process is complete. In the event of an award change as based on this information, the student will be notified of the update.

Federal Verification

Students are selected for Federal Verification following processing of the Student Aid Report. If selected, the student is notified of selection and any additional documents required. Students must submit this documentation to the Financial Aid Office in a timely manner. Award amounts as quoted for Federal Student Aid may change as based on any corrections to data as needed. Funds are not disbursed until Federal Verification is complete.

For students selected for Federal but not State Verification, the information provided on the state aid application will be reviewed in conjunction with the documents submitted for Federal Verification.

State Verification

Students are instructed to monitor their NJ State Grant applications via NJFAMS . If selected for State Verification, the student is informed by HESAA of any outstanding documentation. Students are advised to include the Financial Aid Office in the State Verification process as documents on file (eg: Tax Return Transcript, Proof of Social Services) may need to be submitted. HESAA has established a secure tool for electronic document collection (MappingYourFuture); it is suggested that students utilize this method of submission for faster processing. State grant awards are not included on the award letter until State
Verification is complete.

If you qualify for State student financial assistance by purposely reporting false or misleading information, you may be subject to a $20,000 fine and/or imprisonment.

Income Information

Students selected for Federal and/or State Verification may be required to submit documentation of income information for the given tax year.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) is available for the 2019-20 FAFSA. Beginning with the 2019-20 FAFSA cycle, 2017 tax return information transferred from the IRS into the FAFSA now has stronger security and privacy protections. As a result, the 2017 tax information transferred from the IRS does not display on the IRS DRT web page, in the FAFSA form, or on the Student Aid Report. Instead of the tax information, the phrase “Transferred from the IRS” appears in the appropriate fields on the FAFSA on the Web.

Students can elect to use the IRS DRT by logging on to their FAFSA and clicking “Link to IRS” in the Student Financial Information section. For a Parent to use the IRS DRT, the Student must log on to their FAFSA and go to the Parent Financial Information section; the Parent must then enter their FSAID and click to “Link to IRS.”

If any party to the FAFSA is unable or chooses not to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a Return Transcript as obtained from the IRS must be provided; in certain circumstances, a copy of the Federal Tax Return as submitted to the IRS can be accepted. For those who filed taxes in a Joint status for the year, W2s or Wage Transcript must also be submitted for separation of reported income. Transcripts from the IRS can be requested online. For Independent students or Parents of Dependent Students who did not file taxes for the year, a Verification of Non-Filing Letter must be provided. The Financial Aid Office will contact the student for any additional documents as required to verify the aid application(s).

Unusual Enrollment History

Students selected for Unusual Enrollment History Verification by the Department of Education must submit documentation showing proof of academic credit earned for the period(s) in which Federal Pell Grant or Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan funds were received within the past four award years.

If selected for Unusual Enrollment History Verification, the student must submit an Official Transcript, Unofficial
Transcript, or Grade Report for each institution and period under review; the Financial Aid Office will notify the
student if selected, and of the institutional transcripts required. The Financial Aid Office will review these
documents to ensure that academic credit was earned while aid was received. If it is determined that the student did not earn academic credit during the period of review, the student will be notified by the Financial Aid Office.

The student will be able to appeal the decision by submitting an Unusual Enrollment History Form (obtained from the Financial Aid Office) with supporting documentation for review, and will be notified of the final decision; this cannot be appealed to the Department of Education.