What is verification?

Verification is a federally regulated review process to confirm that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was properly completed. This does not mean that you have done anything wrong!

To verify accuracy of the FAFSA, we must first request your tax transcripts, W2s, custom worksheets and/or other financial documents. After you submit all requested documents, we compare them to make sure there is no conflicting information. If there are any discrepancies between the FAFSA and your submitted documentation, we may update your FAFSA for you, or request additional documentation to clarify which is correct. This is a common process and approximately 1 in 3 students are reviewed each year. Until this process is completed, you are not eligible to receive any federal or state financial aid.

We know this process can seem invasive or become frustrating, but remember we are on your side! We want you to receive all financial aid you are truly eligible to receive. At the same time, we must maintain financial integrity and be diligent that we are not awarding aid incorrectly.

If you are chosen for verification, you will receive a paper request in the mail. This notice will include any worksheets you must submit, as well as a list of additional items currently requested.

After you submit the requested items, if there are any discrepancies in the information provided or missing items, we will mail a new request to the student. This information can also be seen online through the student’s Southeast Portal (see below in the “How do I review what’s needed” section).

There are many reasons you may have been selected, and it does not mean you did anything wrong. While many people think it is completely random, that is not 100% accurate. The Department of Education flags certain applications based on areas commonly completed with mistakes, or when answers seem inconsistent. Additionally, Southeast is required to select some files based on errors we commonly see. Although, a small portion of those selected are at random.

Technically no; but if you wish to receive federal or state based aid (including federal loans), the answer is yes.

Once your file is selected for any reason, the only way to move forward is to complete the process. This includes those who estimate information on the FAFSA and later update it online themselves.

The best way to keep up to date on your verification is through the Southeast Portal. There, you will be able to see all requested requirements, print any worksheets, confirm received documents, and know when you have cleared verification. After you submit items, it may take up to 3 business days for the status to be updated online - please be patient. Check out our Instructions for Reviewing Verification Status for specific steps.

After you submit all requested items, it can take up to two weeks for your file to be reviewed. At that point, you may clear verification in the first attempt, or we may need to request additional items if there is conflicting information. Each time you turn in these additional items, it can take up to another two weeks for review.

Once you have successfully completed verification, we will notify you through your Southeast email address and begin finalizing your financial aid. Make sure to watch your email!

The last date we will accept verification forms or requested documentation for verification is the earlier of the following:

  • The last date of the semester
  • The student's last documented date of attendance for the semester

The sooner you can complete verification the better! Until you complete this process, you will not have any federal/state financial aid to pay your bill. If your bill is due and you are in verification, you are responsible for payment on your account to avoid class cancellation.

A target date to complete verification is May 1st, for the upcoming year’s FAFSA. That way you don’t have to worry about it over the summer and your aid will not be delayed!

You are not eligible to receive any federal or state funded financial aid (including federal student loans) while in verification. While you were given an estimate after completing the FAFSA, all amounts are subject to change during this process if you made any errors.

While in verification, you are responsible for paying all charges on your account by the due dates.

Southeast makes every effort to ensure your financial and personal data is protected and we securely store all information submitted. We know that identity theft is becoming a greater concern for everyone, and this information is only accessible to personnel in Student Financial Services.

For your convenience, we allow electronic and paper submission of requested items. If you do not feel comfortable with one method, you may choose another or personally deliver items to our office.

Contact

Phone: 573.651.2253
Fax: 573.651.5006
sfs@semo.edu

Summer Hours: 8am-4pm M-F,
(9am-4pm Wed)

Student Financial Services
Academic Hall Room 019
One University Plaza, MS 3740
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
Additional Contact Info
Meet the Staff