Posted Date: April 9, 2013

Author:  William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: 2012-2013 Verification Reporting and Verification Status Code "W" Warning Message (Updated April 10, 2013)

Note: On April 10, 2013, we updated this announcement by removing one of the exceptions for verification that is no longer applicable due to revised regulations. In the sub-section, "Recipients Selected for Verification by the CPS," we removed the 30% verification threshold exception.

The regulations that govern the verification of Title IV Federal student aid application information are set forth in 34 CFR Part 668 Subpart E (34 CFR 668.51-668.61). In accordance with these regulations, a school is required to complete verification of information submitted by an applicant on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in connection with the calculation of the applicant's expected family contribution (EFC) for the Title IV Federal student aid programs if the applicant has been selected for verification.

For each Federal Pell Grant (Pell Grant) award disbursed to a student who was selected for verification, a school must report the student’s verification status to the Department of Education (the Department) via the Common Origination and Disbursement (COD) System. To do this, the school includes a verification status code (“W”, “V”, or “S”) in the Common Record document it submits to the COD System via batch processing or when it creates the award online via the COD Web site.

Verification Status Code Reporting Reminders

As explained in a September 28, 2007 Electronic Announcement posted on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site, generally, for each 2012-2013 Pell Grant recipient selected for verification by the Central Processing System (CPS), a school should have reported a verification status code of “V” or “S”. Below are some reminders regarding verification status code reporting for recipients selected for verification by the CPS as well as recipients not selected for verification by the CPS.

Recipients Selected for Verification by the CPS

A school is required to verify all recipients selected for verification by the CPS unless one of the following reasons is applicable:

   1)   A recipient is exempt from verification in accordance with the exclusions from verification provided for in the regulations at 34 CFR 668.54(b). These exclusions are outlined in the “Application and Verification Guide” of the "Federal Student Aid Handbook" posted on the IFAP Web site.
      
   2)  

A school participates in the Quality Assurance Program, and a recipient’s application did not meet the school’s verification criteria established in accordance with the waiver of verification requirements in the Quality Assurance Program.

  • A school should ensure that it has provided a verification status code for all recipients selected for verification by the CPS. If the school previously did not report a verification status code, (that is, the field was left blank), it must report a “V” or an “S”.

  • A school should ensure that it has reported an “S” only if one of the three exceptions stated above applies.

  • If verification was not completed and the student is not exempt from verification, the Pell Grant must be adjusted to a zero dollar amount ($0.00).

Recipients Not Selected for Verification by the CPS

A school may or may not choose to verify recipients not selected for verification by the CPS.

  • A school should ensure that it has 1) reported a verification status code of “V” if it chose to verify or 2) has left the field blank if it did not choose to verify.

  • A school should ensure that it has not reported a verification status code of “S” for recipients in this category.

2012-2013 Verification Status Code “W” Warning Message Processed on April 8, 2013

A school that has made an interim Pell Grant disbursement to a student selected for verification should be concluding verification activities and changing a student's verification status code from “W” to “V” or “S”, as appropriate. In the following two cases, it is acceptable for the verification status code field to be blank:

  • If the student was not selected for verification or if a selected transaction was received by the school after the student was no longer enrolled and the school has reported the verification status code as “W”, the school should change the “W” to blank (nil = “True”).

  • If the student was not selected for verification or if a selected transaction was received by the school after the student was no longer enrolled and the school has reported no verification status code to date, the school does not need to submit a verification status code and should leave the field blank (nil = “True”)

On April 8, 2013, we began processing a message to schools that have one or more 2012-2013 student records still reported with a verification status code of “W”. The message is a warning that disbursements to all students with a verification status code of “W” will be considered overawards and reduced to a zero dollar amount ($0.00), even though the disbursements were previously accepted in the COD System. The reduction of the affected disbursements is scheduled to occur on April 22, 2013.

We will send the April 8, 2013 warning message to schools' Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) mailboxes in the message class PGTX13OP. Additionally, we will send a file of 2012-2013 student records reported to the COD System with a verification status code of “W” in the Reconciliation Report message class PGRC13OP. A school that receives the warning message should review the accompanying Reconciliation Report and submit appropriate changes to the verification status codes for affected students before April 22, 2013.

Note Regarding Quality Assurance Program Schools: Schools that participate in the Quality Assurance Program and that have one or more 2012-2013 student records still reported with a verification status code of “W” will receive the April 8, 2013 warning message and will be subject to the reduction if the “W” status is not changed before April 22, 2013.

Note Regarding Verification Deadline:

Some of the student records included in the Reconciliation Report may be for students who are still within the allowable timeframe for submitting verification documentation/completing the verification process by the deadlines specified in the “Applications, Reports, and Other Records for the 2012-2013 Award Year Notice” published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2013. The February 28, 2013 notice is also posted on the IFAP Web site.

Following the April 22, 2013 reduction, if a school needs additional time to complete verification for an individual student in accordance with the allowable timeframe in the Federal Register notice, the school may resubmit a disbursement record with a value greater than zero ($0.00) until September 30, 2013. After September 30, 2013, the COD System will no longer accept “W” as a valid verification status code for 2012-2013 Pell Grant awards.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the warning message or about reporting verification status codes to the COD System, contact the COD School Relations Center at 800/474-7268. You may also e-mail CODSupport@ed.gov.

   

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