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Financial Aid Inquiries:

finaid@highlands.edu



 

 

What is Verification?

Students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be selected for “verification.”  The Department of Education selects certain FAFSAs to be verified. The Office of Financial Aid is required to verify that the data submitted on the FAFSA is accurate and true. Not all students are selected for verification; it is important for students to check their Student Aid Report (SAR) which is provided by the Department of Education. The SAR will be sent to the email provided on your FAFSA within approximately 3-5 days after submitting your FAFSA. If your EFC has an asterisk (*) next to it, you have been selected for verification.

Students selected for verification are required to submit documentation to the Office of Financial Aid. Our Office is responsible for comparing the documentation to the information provided on the FAFSA. Additional documentation may be requested. Once the data has been verified, our office will make any necessary corrections on the FAFSA. The corrections are then sent to the Department of Education; processing can take 3-5 business days.

Make sure all required documentation is submitted to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. Verification can take 4-6 weeks to complete after all documentation is received. Eligibility cannot be determined and aid cannot be awarded until the verification is complete. All documentation is mandated by the Federal Government, refusal to submit the necessary documentation will prohibit any federal student aid from being awarded.

Documentation Needed for Verification

View any outstanding requirements, additional documentation requests or specific messages regarding your financial aid status from our office via the “Check My Aid Status” Link.

 

Forms Required for Verification:

  • Completed and signed Verification Worksheet – available under Financial Aid Forms
  • 2012 Tax Return Transcript(s) for all appropriate parties who filed taxes:
    • Student and/or Parent(s)/Spouse
    • Tax Return Transcripts - available at your local IRS Office* (see chart below)
  • Additional documentation may be requested by our office depending on the student's particular circumstance please monitor the "Check My Aid Status" link often once documentation has been submitted for updates, documents requests, and results.

                             

Atlanta (Koger)

2888 Woodcock Blvd.
Atlanta, GA 30341

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Services Provided

(404) 338-7962 

Rome 

600 E. First St.
Rome, GA 30161 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

(Closed for lunch 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.) 

Services Provided

(706) 291-5680 

Smyrna/Marietta 

1899 Powers Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30339 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Services Provided

(404) 338-7962

Atlanta (Summit) 

401 W. Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, GA 30308 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 

Services Provided

(404) 338-7962 

 
 

If you or your Parent(s)/Spouse did not file a tax return due to one of the following circumstances below: All the necessary documentation listed must be submitted to our office.

(Documentation is mandated by the Federal Government, we are required to obtain all the necessary information before eligibility for Federal Aid can be determined).

Identity Theft Victims:

You may submit a signed copy of the paper IRS income tax return along with:

  • IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit” if filed with the IRS or a signed and dated statement indicating that the tax filer was a victim of IRS identity theft and the IRS is investigating the matter or
  • A signed and dated statement explaining the matter and a copy of a police report that has been filed by the tax filer.

Amended Tax Returns:

  • When tax filer filed, or will file, an amended tax return with the IRS, we must obtain signed copies of both the original tax return and the IRS Form 1040X that were filed with the IRS. Information from both forms will be used to complete verification.

Filing Extensions - Student or Parent(s):

  • You must submit an IRS Form 4868 “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File US Individual Income Tax Return” (or if requested further approval – IRS approval of that) along with ALL W-2 forms or, if self-employed, a signed statement with the amount of their AGI.

Non-Filers:

  • Must obtain a W-2 for each source of employment income and a signed statement providing the sources and amounts of the person’s income earned from work not on W-2s and certifying that the person has not filed and is not required to file a tax return.
    1. If W-2 can’t be provided in a timely manner – you submit a signed statement with the amount of the income earned from work, the source of that income, and the reason why the W-2 form is not available in time. Please remember purposely omitting income earned is falsifying information required by the federal government and is against the law.
 
*Changes for 2013-2014

Previous to the 2013-2014 aid year a copy of the federal tax return (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) was sufficient proof of income, however, beginning Fall of 2012 the Federal Office of Student Aid is now requiring that we collect an official tax transcript from the student and/or parents/spouse. An official tax return transcript must be obtained from the IRS inorder to complete your verification. Click here to order your official tax transcript. As of the 2013-2014 the Department of Education has created 5 different verification groups as opposed to the one verification group they have used previously. Each verification group has its own requirements. Please be sure to verify which verification group you have been assigned to before submitting forms. You may do so via the Check My Aid Status link or by emailing finaid@highlands.edu.

Deadlines

The verification process can take up to 4-6 weeks to complete once documentation has been submitted.  Priority deadlines to turn in verification documents are:

Fall Semester                     July 1
Spring Semester               November 1
Summer Semester            March 1

Documents turned in after the priority deadline will result in a delay of the completion of the verification process, thereby preventing the financial aid award to be processed by the payment deadline for the semester in which the student is enrolled. 

 

Floyd Campus
3175 Cedartown Hwy
Rome, GA 30161
706-802-5000
Cartersville Campus
5441 Highway 20 NE
Cartersville, GA 30121
678-872-8000

Douglasville Campus
5901 Stewart Pkwy
Douglasville, GA 30135
678-872-4200

Marietta Campus
1100 S. Marietta Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30060
678-872-8501
Paulding Campus
25 Courthouse Square
Dallas, GA 30132
678-946-1100
Heritage Hall Campus
415 E. Third Ave at Glenn Milner Blvd
Rome, GA 30161
706-295-6321

 



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