Verification Process

Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.

On This Page

How will I know if I am selected for verification?

You may be selected for verification either by the federal processor or by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS). If you are selected for verification by the federal processor, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR acknowledgment letter, which will be included with your SAR documents.

If you are selected for verification by the OFAS, you will be notified on the first page of your award letter if you are a new student, or an email will be sent to your UC Merced email account if you are a continuing student. Both notifications will inform you of this selection and instruct you to go to My.UCMerced.edu and view your MyChecklist for a listing of the requirements. You can be selected for verification at any time during the academic year so it is very important you check your email and your MyChecklist on a regular basis. [top]

Why was I selected for Verification?

The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather, verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified. [top]

What do I have to submit and where do I send it?

Once you are selected for verification all requirements will be added to your MyChecklist at My.UCMerced.edu.

Dependent Students

  1. Copy of student's and parent's federal income tax transcript (for the tax year prior to the current aid year)
  2. Dependent verification worksheet from OFAS
  3. Parent asset worksheet from OFAS (if business income, investments and/or rental property is listed on tax transcripts)

Independent Students

  1. Student's (and spouse's, if applicable) federal income tax transcript
  2. Independent verification worksheet from OFAS

Please note that additional documentation may be requested from the OFAS discretion. If additional documents are requested, an email will be sent and your MyChecklist will be updated. It is your responsibility to check your requirements and submit all documentation to the OFAS by the due date listed on your MyChecklist at My.UCMerced.edu.

Do not wait to submit your documents. If you are selected for verification, you must submit all documents to OFAS no later than June 1, to be eligible for the maximum financial aid.

You can submit all documents to us by the following ways:

MyChecklist

The quickest and easiest way to submit your documents is through the "Upload Document" feature found on your MyChecklist at my.ucmerced.edu

Fax

209-228-7861

Mail

UC Merced
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
5200 North Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343

Please make sure your first and last name, and student ID number is written on each page submitted. We do not accept documents through email. [top]

What happens once I submit my documents?

Once you submit the documents to our office, you can continue to check the status of your documents by going to your MyChecklist at My.UCMerced.edu. If we have received your documents, the status will go from "Unsatisfied" to "Document Received and Not Yet Reviewed." Once the document is reviewed the status will be updated to the appropriate status: "Received Incomplete" "Waived" or "Received/Reviewed or Processed." If the requirement is incomplete, you will receive an email explaining what was incomplete and how it can be resolved. It is important you check the status of your requirements on your MyChecklist so you can make sure they all verification documents have been "Received/Reviewed or Processed."

If you submit the documents to our office, please allow two to three business days for the status to be updated. There is no need to send multiple documents unless you have given it sufficient processing time.

Once OFAS has received all your verification requirements and they are satisfied on your MyChecklist at My.UCMerced.edu, we can now begin the verification process. This can take anywhere between six to eight weeks during the months of May through August. After the verification process is complete, you will receive an email informing you that you have a revised award package available. This will only occur if the OFAS makes a change to your financial aid package (based on the additional documents requested). Revised award letter/notices replace any award letters/notices previously received. [top]

What if I don't want to complete the verification process?

The verification process is a federal regulation and must be completed in order for a student to receive federal aid, as well as any state and UC Merced Institutional aid. If you do not wish to complete the verification process, and therefore not receive financial aid, please notify the OFAS via email so we can update your status. [top]