Financial Aid

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Verification

The U. S. Department of Education or The University of South Dakota may select your financial aid application (FAFSA information) for review in a process called verification. Selections for verification may be made randomly or to resolve any inconsistencies or errors made on a FAFSA application.  

USD Verification Policy

In accordance with federal guidelines, USD will withhold the awarding of Federal Student Financial Aid until the verification process is considered complete. This policy ensures that the information provided by the Federal Processor and your aid eligibility determination is correct before any funds are awarded.

The verification process is considered complete once the following steps have been accomplished:

  1. Fully complete and submit to the Enrollment Service Center (ESC) the following materials:
    • Complete the Verification Form
    • Copy of your Federal Tax Return (and your spouse's return if married)
    • Copy of your parent's Federal Tax Return (if parent data was required on your FAFSA)
      Supply the Federal Tax Returns for the tax years used on your FAFSA.
      Provide copies of W-2 or Tax Schedules only if requested.

      Enrollment Service Center (ESC)
      SDU 317
      414 East Clark St
      Vermillion, SD 57069-2390

  2. Submit copies of any other documents as requested by the ESC.
  3. The ESC will compare the Federal Processor results with the documents requested.
  4. If verification reveals that data provided by the Federal Processor is accurate or within allowable tolerances, you will receive an award letter from the USD financial aid office.
  5. If verification reveals that data provided by the Federal Processor is incorrect, ESC will electronically correct your data with the Federal Processor. As a result, you will receive notification of the corrections, either by mail or e-mail, from the Federal Processor. After the Office of Financial Aid receives the corrected information, you will be processed for an award letter.

Corrections to Previously Determined Aid Eligibility
If you request any changes or corrections to your aid record after aid has already been disbursed to you, the U. S. Department of Education could select your record for verification. In this event, you will be asked to provide various documents to verify the accuracy of your aid record according to the following deadlines:

  • Federal Pell Grant: If you have already received Pell Grant funds prior to being selected for verification, you must provide requested documents by August 31 of the aid year you are receiving assistance, or no later than your last date of attendance for the academic year, whichever is earlier. Subsequent disbursements of Pell Grant funds will be withheld until verification is completed.
  • Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and Work-Study: The requested verification documents must be received at the ESC within 60 days of the first notification that documents are needed. Subsequent disbursements of Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan and SEOG funds will be withheld. You will also be asked to suspend Federal Work-Study employment pending the completion of verification.

If verification reveals that your aid eligibility has changed, it may be necessary to repay aid already disbursed to you. Failure to repay aid funds for which you have been determined ineligible will make you ineligible for further Federal Student Aid (whether grants, loans or work-study) at any institution until the aid is repaid in full. Your account will also be referred to the U.S. Department of Education to record your ineligibility for further Federal Student Aid.

Consequences of Failing to Complete Verification

  • Pell Grant Program: Forfeiture of the Pell Grant for the award year.
  • Perkins Loan, SEOG, Stafford Loan and Work-Study programs: USD will withhold subsequent disbursements of Perkins Loan, Stafford Loan and SEOG funds; discontinue your employment under the Work-Study Program and withhold certification of any further Stafford Loan applications.
  • All programs: USD will take the necessary steps to secure repayment of aid funds already disbursed to you for which you have been determined to be ineligible.

Remember: The selection of an aid application for verification helps ensure the integrity of the federal student financial aid program. Prompt response to a verification request and completing the verification process will enable the University to quickly and fully disburse your aid funds.