After you turn in your FAFSA, you might be required to submit additional or missing information to your school as part of a process called verification. Don’t panic — you’re not in trouble, and you’re not in danger of losing any money (unless you don’t follow through with the process). If you’ve got questions about verification, we've got answers.

  • What does verification mean?

    Verification means the federal government is asking you to confirm or verify your FAFSA application and requires your university to help facilitate the process. It doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, you’ve just got some extra steps to fill out before you get your aid eligibility offer. You can read more about verification on the official Federal Student Aid website.

  • Why do I need to verify?

    There are multiple reasons that FAFSAs may be selected for verification, but most common is you were simply randomly chosen. Although, it does appear that students who are eligible for Pell grants are often flagged at higher rates than other students (if you’re a high school counselor reading this, keep an eye out for that).

  • Am I or my student in trouble?

    Absolutely not. Verification does not mean you’re in trouble; it just means there’s some information that needs to be clarified/verified before you can get your financial aid. Remember, this is a standard process implemented by the federal government.

  • If selected for verification, do I really have to have my FAFSA verified?

    Yes, you do, unless you want to leave federal, state and institutional aid money on the table. Until you verify your FAFSA info, you will be unable to receive funds.

  • What happens if I don’t complete verification?

    Not completing verification means you don’t truly complete your FAFSA, meaning you lose out on federal, state and institutional money. You don’t want to leave any money on the table, so it’s important that you complete verification.

  • What kind of information will verification ask for?

    This could be any number of things, including: Federal IRS tax transcripts, social security numbers, selective service (draft) issues and more (just read this for an idea). It’s specific to your situation and your school, so it’s best to work things out with your counselor or to contact your college’s financial aid department.

  • What are the next steps?

    Contact your school’s financial aid department for support. This is something that must be worked out with your particular school, as the government asks each college and university to carry out the verification process for their own applicants. As much as we'd love it, there isn't one central place to complete verification.

Special note to UNC students: UNC's Office of Financial Aid has a mobile verification process that should help you save time. Visit the verification resource on your phone or tablet, and then continue the process using e-signatures (you’ll need an Ursa account, which you can activate once you've been accepted to UNC).


is a senior at UNC and is planning to graduate in December 2018. He is studying journalism and writing, with an emphasis in news and multimedia. He has a passion for marketing, technology and writing, and hopes to work in marketing after he graduates. When he's not at work, he likes to listen to music, read, study, write and spend time with friends.