What is verification?

Federal regulations require Southeast select a certain number of financial aid applications for a review process called verification. This review checks your FAFSA application for accuracy. Being selected does not mean you have done anything wrong!

Verification Process

  • To verify accuracy of the FAFSA, we must first request your tax transcripts (pdf link), 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 SEMO is 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.

Verification Frequently Asked Questions

Students often have questions when they’re selected for verification. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and important tips you need to know about the process.

If you are chosen for verification, we will begin sending a weekly email to your Southeast email address, providing an updated status of each requested item. The email will encourage you to monitor your progress through the Southeast portal by following the instructions for reviewing verification status.

Weekly email updates will continue until you complete the verification process.

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. Although, a small portion of those selected are at random.

If you are selected, you are not technically required to complete the process, but if you wish to receive federal or state based aid (including federal loans), it must be completed.

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. If you wish to opt out of the process, please let us know.

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 three 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 June 15, for the upcoming year’s FAFSA.

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.

Items You’ll Need for Verification

To make the process simpler, we’ve compiled forms you’ll need as well as instructions for the process.


The following forms should only be completed if your FAFSA was selected for verification and the document has been requested:

Instructions for Viewing/Printing Verification Requirements

Instructions for Tax Return Transcripts

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Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 3740
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
/ Weekdays: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.