Verification Of Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Information
The U.S. Department of Education created the verification process to confirm the accuracy of information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). By federal regulation, the post-secondary institution in which the student is enrolled is responsible for conducting the verification process on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.
The UGA Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) cannot award UGA students selected for verification any Federal Student Aid (FSA) until the students complete the process and OSFA has transmitted to and subsequently received any necessary FAFSA corrections from the U.S. Department of Education. The entire process may take up to four weeks during peak periods. Students who only wish to apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships do not need to complete verification.
When a FAFSA is selected, we notify the student via his or her UGAMail account and the parent (when applicable) via the parent e-mail address provided on the student’s FAFSA. Verification requirements can be viewed in Athena.
The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) has implemented a secure portal for students and parents to upload required documentation (such as tax forms) to complete the federal aid process. If selected for Verification, students will find additional instructions on accessing the portal in Athena under Eligibility Requirements.
The verification processing time is generally three to four weeks during peak season (June-September), and two to three weeks during non-peak season (October-May). Therefore, students should begin the process as early as possible. Please Note: The verification process does not begin until all requested documents have been submitted. To prevent processing delays students and parents should submit all requested documentation at the same time.
Students may have additional requirements which can be viewed in Athena.
Annual Verification Deadline
There is a deadline after which the verification process can no longer be completed for the selected award year. Students and parents of dependent students must submit to OSFA all requested documents necessary to complete the Verification process the earlier of either:
- The 120th calendar day following the student's last date of attendance at UGA for the Award Year selected for verification; or
- The deadline date published annually in the Federal Register, for the 2019-20 Award Year was September 4, 2020. The anticipated deadline date for the 2020-21 Award Year is September 15, 2021.
Example: A student completes her 2020-21 FAFSA prior to fall semester 2020. Her FAFSA is selected for verification and OSFA e-mails her requesting verification documentation. She attends fall semester which ends December 9, 2020. She does not enroll for spring semester 2021. OSFA must receive all requested documentation no later than 120 calendar days following December 9, 2020, since that is earlier than September 15, 2021.
Consequences of Missing the Verification Deadline
A student's failure to provide all requested documentation prior to the earlier of the two dates listed above will result in the student not being awarded any Federal Student Aid (FSA) for the Award Year.
Also see Retroactive Federal Student Aid for additional deadlines affecting the awarding of FSA once the Award Year begins and after a student is no longer enrolled in the Award Year.