I had intended to do a blog a day this month in honor of the NaNoWritMo... is that the abbreviation? Anyway, I've failed, but I'll try to pick it back up again.

Tuesdays, I want to find something exciting about education or financial aid. I follow a lot of financial aid offices on twitter including the national association of financial aid administrators, and today, NASFAA tweeted about some new rules regarding verification. I don't see the need to post the link to the article as it contains a lot of technical jargon specific to financial aid administrators, but I thought I would talk a bit about verification and how it can vary from school to school.

First of all, changes to the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) have allowed for some of the tax information required on the FAFSA to be imported from the IRS. This can be a godsend to some people whose taxes are somewhat complicated; however, this does not eliminate the chance that the results of the FAFSA (or the student aid report) could be selected for verification.

What is verification? The simple explanation is the department of education's random selection of files that ask the student to provide taxes to make sure the information matches what the student put on his FAFSA.

Some small schools verify every student's student aid report regardless of whether the department of education requires it. For those schools, it is their way of auditing themselves and ensuring that each student receives the financial aid he deserves. Other schools only follow the guidance of the department of education in selecting student aid reports to be verified. It can be a tricky process for the financial aid officer too if the student and/or his parent has complicated taxes. I know for me, there were times when I needed additional assistance to find the information I needed, so I can definitely understand some of the confusion students and their parents have when filling out the FAFSA.

Anyway, that's the deal. I'm not going to go into much more detail than that. I'm assuming there are more lay people than technical individuals who read my blog, so I don't want to bore you. I just wanted to let you peek into a little of the world of financial aid!

Have a great day!
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