Do FAFSA Applications Get Audited Against Previous Years?

by Mary Jane Freeman
Your college may verify the information on your FAFSA before awarding financial aid.

When you submit your Free Application for Free Student Aid to the U.S. Department of Education, there is a chance that your college will select your FAFSA for verification. If selected, the college will ask you to submit certain documentation so that it can confirm the accuracy of your FAFSA information.

What Information Gets Audited

If your school selects your FAFSA for verification, it will inform you of the documents it needs from you before it can approve your application and issue your financial aid award. FAFSA data that often requires verification includes parent and student income, taxes paid, household size, child support paid, public benefits received and the number of persons in your household who are in college. The school may also seek to clarify conflicting or inconsistent information. To verify the necessary data, the school will request such things as W2s, tax statements from previous years, proof of public benefits received, marriage certificates, Social Security or alien registration cards and any other documentation the school deems relevant. The documents required can vary from one student to the next. As a result, the school may also review FAFSAs you submitted in previous years if the school deems it necessary.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.

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