Academic Catalog

Verification of Federal Student Aid Eligibility

The Verification process requires a student to provide documentation of the information provided on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to ensure that it is correct. The U.S. Department of Education routinely requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.

If the student is selected by the U.S. Department of Education for verification there will be an asterisk next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the Student Aid Report (SAR). The student will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR Acknowledgment letter, which is included with the SAR documents. SARs may be viewed online at under, “View and Print Your Student Aid Report.” If a student is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will send a letter informing them of this selection and the additional documentation that is required. The student will be required to provide appropriate and legible supporting documents to the Financial Aid Office. In most cases, this documentation includes the following information:

  • Signed copies of Federal Tax Return Transcripts for the tax year (s) prior to the award year in which the student is applying; or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA;
  • Documentation of untaxed income received during the calendar year, if applicable;
  • High school completion status; and
  • Signed and Notarized Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose form.

Additional documents may be requested at the Financial Aid Office’s discretion.

Participation in the verification process is not optional. If a student who is selected for verification does not submit the required documentation within 30 days, financial aid processing will be delayed and the student may not be eligible to receive federal financial aid. If any changes to a student’s FAFSA or application information are needed or clarification is needed, additional documentation may be required. In this case, the student or parent may be required to submit additional documentation and to resubmit his or her application for financial aid to the U.S. Department of Education. If a student’s financial aid award in any way changes as a result of verification, a new award letter will be generated and sent to the student with the updated Expected Family Contribution and award amounts, as applicable.

If an applicant fails to provide the appropriate and legible verification documentation, financial aid will not be processed or disbursed. In addition, the University will return, to the lender, any applicable loan proceeds that were otherwise payable to the applicant.

If Aspen University obtains any credible information indicating that an applicant for federal student financial assistance may have knowingly engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application for federal student financial assistance, that individual will be referred to the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education. Examples of this type of information are:

  • False claims of independent student status;
  • False claims of citizenship;
  • Use of false identities;
  • Forgery of signatures or certifications; and
  • False statements of income.

Unusual Enrollment History (UEH)

Students who are flagged on the Student Aid Report (SAR) as comment code 359 or comment code 360 will be required to submit official transcripts from all schools attended for the last four (4) years in which they received a Pell grant and/or Direct Loan. Students may be asked to submit a letter of explanation along with the official transcripts for review by Aspen University. If requested, documentation related to comment code 359 or 360 must be submitted by all students. This documentation must be approved by Aspen University prior to a student receiving Federal Student Aid. If a student is selected for UEH and does not submit the required documentation within 30 days, financial aid processing will be delayed and eligibility to receive federal financial aid may be impacted.