Verification Policies

Selection of Applications to be verified

Student applications that are selected for Verification by the Central Processing System are selected for verification by Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  Students who are selected for verification will be asked to provide supporting documentation of income and the Independent or Dependent Verification Worksheet.

Items to be Verified/Acceptable Documentation

The financial aid office collects appropriate documentation from the applicant based on the guidelines published in The Application and Verification Handbook.  Items that generally must be verified by comparing the data items on the ISIR with identical data items on the IRS tax transcript and other primary documentation are the following five major data elements.

Household Size-Verification

The Dependent or Independent worksheet completed and signed by the student and / or parent is acceptable documentation.  If a child is listed in the household and the same child is listed as one that the parent is paying child support for, the child will be included in the household size but the child support paid for this child will not be counted.   Verification of where the child lives may be required.  Parents may not have the benefit of counting a child in HHSize and Counting Child Support Paid.

Number Enrolled in College-Verification

The verification worksheet completed and signed by student and / or parent is acceptable documentation.  If there is reason to doubt information, the schools listed may be contacted to confirm enrollment. The student is always included in the number.  Others can be included only if they are counted in the household size and will be attending a postsecondary educational institution at least half time (6 credit hours per semester for at least one term or 12 clock hours per week) in the academic year.  These individuals must also be working toward a degree or certificate leading to a recognized educational credential at an eligible school.

Adjusted Gross Income

Acceptable documentation for independent students (and spouse) is a signed copy of U.S. tax transcript for the base year; for dependent students, a signed copy of parents and students U.S. Tax Transcript for the base year is required.  For Non-filers: verification worksheet completed and signed by the student and or parent is required.

U.S. Income Tax Paid

Acceptable documentation for independent students is a signed copy of  U.S Tax Transcript for the base year; for dependent students a signed copy of parents and student’s tax transcript for the base year is needed.

Certain Untaxed Income and Benefits

  • Food Stamps
  • Child Support Paid
  • Untaxed IRA Distributions
  • Untaxed Pensions
  • Education Credits
  • IRA deductions
  • Tax Exempt Interest
  • Payments to Tax Deferred Pension and Retirement Savings
  • Child Support Received
  • Housing food or living allowances paid to members of military, clergy and others
  • Veterans non-educational benefits
  • Other untaxed income
  • Money received or paid on the students behalf

Non Tax Filers:
Income earned from work

Verification Checklist Procedures

When the Financial Aid Counselor has received all necessary verification documents, the counselor will review the verification check list comparing verification documents to information originally reported on the application and the students SAR.  Students who are selected for verification on any transaction will be verified if they are enrolled at SWOSU.  The counselor will determine if the student or parent was required to complete the federal 1040, or if the 1040A or 1040EZ could have been filed.  All remaining items will be checked against the verification review checklist.  The check list is electronically generated in the Poise system.  The check list will pull the verification items to be reviewed from the student financial aid application and put them on the verification check list.  Certain students who only qualify for unsubsidized aid may not be verified.  Non Tax filers must verify income earned from work on the Verification Worksheet.  Non Tax filers must also submit W-2’s for each employer who provided one.

Time Frames

Students must submit required paperwork to SWOSU within 120 days of the last date of enrollment or by the final deadline published yearly in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of education.

Student Notification

SWOSU students who are selected for verification are notified by the Office of Student Financial Services when the ISIR is received by the University.  Notification of verification is made by email to the student.   Students are notified through their assigned campus email when documents are required for verification.  The documents that are required can be viewed b the student on Campus Connect.  When corrections are necessary the final result will be communicated to the student by email.  Student will need to review the final award at their campus connect account.

Inspector General Notification

SWOSU refers to the office of the Inspector General of the Department of Education for investigation cases as follows under Sec.668.16(g) of HEA.

(g) Refers to the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Education for investigation--

(1) After conducting the review of an application provided for under paragraph (f) of this section, any credible information indicating that an applicant for Title IV, HEA program assistance may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application. The type of information that an institution must refer is that which is relevant to the eligibility of the applicant for Title IV, HEA program assistance, or the amount of the assistance. Examples of this type of information are--

(i) False claims of independent student status;
(ii) False claims of citizenship;
(iii) Use of false identities;
(iv) Forgery of signatures or certifications; and
(v) False statements of income; and

(2) Any credible information indicating that any employee, third-party servicer, or other agent of the institution that acts in a capacity that involves the administration of the Title IV, HEA programs, or the receipt of funds under those programs, may have engaged in fraud, misrepresentation, conversion or breach of fiduciary responsibility, or other illegal conduct involving the Title IV, HEA programs. The type of information that an institution must refer is that which is relevant to the eligibility and funding of the institution and its students through the Title IV, HEA programs;

SWOSU will not exercise professional judgment adjustments until students selected for verification have completed the verification process.