ED’s Electronic Announcements (EAs) on IFAP: VERIFICATION FOR 2014-2015
EA – Posted November 8, 2013 – (Verification). 2014-2015 Verification – Suggested Text
In this announcement ED provides the financial aid community sample text to use for 2014-2015 when communicating with applicants regarding specific requirements for verification of data unique to individual students. Schools are reminded that the change to “suggested text” rather than ED-developed verification worksheets is in concert with the Department’s move to a more customized and individualized verification process of student application data. ED emphasizes that one of the goals of customized verification is to remove unnecessary burden in the application process. In keeping with that goal, ED stresses that items that are not necessary to the verification process should not be an automatic requirement of all students. That is, an institution should not develop one all-encompassing verification form that includes all possible items of verification since this may imply to applicants that they need to answer or provide all such information or data that is referenced. Additionally, obtaining more data elements than necessary may also present the school with more burden resulting from increased opportunities for the potential of conflicting information scenarios. This announcement explains the changes in the Verification Tracking Groups, which were first introduced for 2013-2014. Verification Tracking Group V2 (SNAP-Food Stamps) is being eliminated for 2014-2015, while a new Verification Tracking Group V6, Household Resources, is being instituted. SNAP will continue to be verified for students in Verification Tracking Groups V1, V4, V5, and V6. However, based upon guidance in this EA, schools should only ask students in these groups to verify SNAP and/or Child Support Paid if these items were reported on the student’s ISIR. A further reminder is given that while the text provided in this Electronic Announcement’s Appendix A is suggested text for verification purposes, schools must use the exact language provided in the “Statement of Educational Purpose” in the appendix for students selected for Verification Tracking Groups V4 or V5. Schools should diligently review this Electronic Announcement and its attachments for familiarity
EA – Posted November 13, 2013 – (Verification). Reporting Verification Results Using FAA Access to CPS Online
A new verification reporting responsibility is made known to the financial aid community through this announcement. The requirement pertains only to those students in Verification Tracking Groups V4 and V5, and specifically for those students for whom schools have to verify their identity and high school completion status. Beginning with the 2014-2015 FAFSA processing year, effective January 1, 2014, schools must begin reporting the results of verification of these two data elements. It is important to keep in mind that this is a new reporting requirement and that it is in addition to the normal reporting of verification statuses in COD. It does not replace the required verification reporting to the COD System. This new reporting requirement of the results of verification is only for students in Verification Tracking Groups V4 and V5 that were selected by CPS. Those students that the school may have elected to select for verification of identity or high school completion status are not to be reported for these purposes. Schools will be responsible to report the result of the verification of these items via FAA Access to CPS Online. Initially the only option available for completing this reporting will be a manual method of entry. ED anticipates offering an option to upload a flat file to the Web site by April 2014. ED will be providing further information related to the specific deadlines for reporting the verification results for 2014-2015. Schools should review this EA very carefully for the specific steps to use in the reporting process.