The U.S. Department of Education (ED) 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 ED.
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 Verification process and OSFA has transmitted to and subsequently received any necessary FAFSA corrections from ED. Students who only wish to apply for the HOPE or Zell Miller Scholarships do not need to complete the Verification process.
When a FAFSA is selected for the Verification process, OSFA will notify the student via their 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 UGA Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) utilizes the OSFA Secure Portal for students and parents to upload required documentation (such as tax documentation) to complete the Federal Student Financial Aid application process. If selected for the Verification process, students will find additional instructions on accessing the OSFA Secure Portal in Athena under the Student Requirements section. Please note that students may have additional requirements (in addition to the Verification process) which can be viewed in Athena under the Eligibility Requirements section.
Verification processing can take up to 2 weeks once all supporting documentation is received (note that during peak processing times [i.e., June through September] processing times can take up to 4 weeks). Please note that Verification processing does not begin until all required documentation has been received. Therefore, students should begin the Verification process as early as possible to prevent processing delays.
Annual Verification Deadline
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) establishes a deadline after which the Verification process can no longer be completed for the applicable academic year. Students and parents must submit to the UGA Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) all documentation necessary to complete the Verification process by 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 published annually in the Federal Register by ED:
- For the 2022-23 Award Year, all documentation must be submitted by September 1, 2023
- For the 2023-24 Award Year, all documentation must be submitted by August 30, 2024
Example: A student completes their 2021-22 FAFSA prior to the Fall Semester 2021. Their FAFSA is selected for verification and OSFA e-mails the student requesting verification documentation. The student attends the Fall Semester 2021 which ends December 15, 2021. They do not enroll for the Spring Semester 2022. OSFA must receive all requested documentation no later than 120 calendar days following December 15, 2021, since that is earlier than the September 2, 2022 deadline.
Consequences of Missing the Verification Deadline
A student’s failure to provide all requested documentation prior to the Annual Verification Deadline (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.