Q: As the 2012-2013 application processing cycle gets underway, what policy and training resources can help me with the verification requirements?
A: As schools prepare to verify applicants for the 2012-2013 award year, they are tasked with implementing the new verification requirements that are effective July 1, 2012. There are a number of resources that can help schools better understand these requirements. Here's a list of ED resources that can help:
Application and Verification Guide (AVG)
The AVG serves as a vital tool to help explain the verification requirements. ED publishes the AVG each application processing cycle. It contains detailed guidance that includes the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the verification requirements, and making updates and corrections to FAFSA information. ED is expected to publish the 2012-2013 AVG in the near future.
Dear Colleague Letters GEN-11-03 and 11-13
These DCLs provide necessary guidance for the 2012-2013 application processing cycle and offer supporting verification guidance. DCL GEN-11-03 discusses the IRS data retrieval process and reminds schools that all applicants who have already completed a federal tax return but elect not to use the data retrieval process will be selected for verification.
Additionally, DCL GEN-11-13 reemphasizes critical information initially announced the Federal Register notice published on July 13, 2011. The notice, along with the DCL, outlines the specific FAFSA items to be verified and the acceptable documentation for the 2012-2013 award year.
2011 FSA conference presentations
ED provided a number of presentations at its annual training conference to help schools better understand verification. Those sessions focused on verification include: 2012-2013 FAFSA and Verification Changes (# 31) as well as Customized Verification for 2013-2014 and Beyond (#4). These recorded sessions as well as many other non-verification sessions are available free of charge for all schools and accessible online. Also, handouts for most of the conference sessions are available.
ED's program integrity webpage
Most recently, ED updated its program integrity webpage to include a new section of questions and answers strictly focused on verification. Questions and answers explore various areas including applicants selected for verification by ED or the school, the required verification items, updating an applicant's FAFSA information, and acceptable documentation for verification. Schools may find this latest information useful as they seek to implement and comply with the verification requirements.
If you have questions about these resources or the topic of verification, contact TG's Customer Assistance team at (800) 845-6267, or send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information about verification or other program integrity issues, visit TG's Program Integrity Final Rules webpage.