What is Verification?
Approximately 30% of all students that submit a FAFSA are selected by the US Department of Education for a process known as verification. If selected students will be asked by UM to provide additional documentation that will then be compared to what was provided on the FAFSA. Doing so ensures that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate and that students receive the correct amount of federal aid.
What to do if Selected for Verification
If selected for verification login to CyberBear and go to Tab 6 “What’s Next” of the financial aid offer to see what needs to be provided. Links to the required forms or instructions will be attached to each specific requirement.
How to Submit the Required Tax Information
As part of the verification process students and parents (dependent students only) are required to submit to the Financial Aid Office their tax return information by either using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool at FAFSA.gov or by submitting an IRS Return Transcript. Photocopies of tax returns can no longer be accepted.
For Information on the Data Retrieval Tool or obtaining your Return Transcript, refer to the IRS Data Retrieval/Return Transcript Instructions.
What Happens once all the Required Verification Documents are Submitted
After the Financial Aid Office has received all the required verification documents a Financial Aid Evaluator will compare the provided information with the student’s FAFSA and make any necessary corrections. Once the changes are sent to and received back from the Department of Education the verification process will be complete.
In certain situations the evaluator may require additional documentation beyond what was initially requested. Depending on the time of year it can take up to four weeks for a student’s FAFSA to be verified. Students will not receive financial aid until the verification process has been completed and necessary corrections have been made.
Deadline for Completing Verification
For grant aid to be available for finalization of the registration bill, verification documentation must be submitted prior to August 1 for the autumn, January 1 for the spring and May 1 for the summer.
For students who are able to finalize without verification having been completed, the verification process must be done prior to the time a student ceases attending in an academic year to receive loans or an FSEOG grant.
For the Federal Pell Grant students have up to one hundred and twenty (120) days after they cease to be enrolled in the academic year to complete verification. If enrolled in the summer, verification must be completed by September 15.
Understand that completing verification includes the time required for the school to submit corrections to the federal processor. Students need to also allow time for the financial aid office to determine award eligibility.
Financial Aid Office
The University of Montana - Missoula
Lommasson Center 218
Missoula, MT 59812
Phone: (406) 243-5373
Fax: (406) 243-4930