By Guadalupe Garcia ’18
College applications have been submitted, acceptances are rolling in, and seniors are getting excited to begin their future as a college freshman. As acceptances, college visits and future plans are being made, something else is lingering in the air. Just when seniors thought they had tackled the biggest challenges: essays, the application process, and the anxiety that comes with waiting for an admission decision, here comes verification.
What is verification?
According to financial aid.com, “Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct.” To further explain, a student files FAFSA in the month of October. According to statistics, children who are low- income and file FAFSA are much more likely to be selected for what colleges call a “verification process.”
The process for verification varies across universities. The majority of the time, a student must submit their verification form before they can receive their Financial Aid Award. Receiving and calculating a Financial Aid Award is crucial when it comes to making a decision regarding which college a student will end up attending.
Students will receive a verification form in the mail or receive an email that asks them to fill out their verification. Filling out the verification can be stressful. As senior Alejandro Carbajal said, “ I received my verification forms not long after I received my acceptance to the schools. So far, I have received about five verification forms. I have filled out about three. Filling them out is a lot of work. I always get stressed out. I am scared that I will write down the wrong information and my award letter will not reflect the correct information.”
Senior, Cindy Renteria, agreed with Carbajal’s sentiments toward the verification process. Renteria said, “ All future seniors should start filling out those forms as soon as they receive them. It will save them a lot of unwanted stress. Waiting until last minute, is not a good idea. And if you fill them out in a rush, you’re more likely to make a mistake. And if you make a mistake, then your financial aid award may be delayed and that’s never good. Without an award letter it’s impossible to make a decision about which school you hope to attend in the fall.”
Renteria and Carbajal gave the following advice to future seniors, “ Don’t freak out. Get them done quickly but accurately. Make sure that before you send anything out, you have your counselor check it. They will probably catch any mistakes you were unaware of. Also, remember that, you’re one step closer to graduating!”