This Electronic Announcement provides, in APPENDIX A, suggested text for each of the required 2020–2021 verification items that were identified in the May 24, 2019, Federal Register Notice. While use by an institution of the suggested text fulfills the regulatory verification requirements, institutions are not required to use the Department’s suggested text and formats, except as noted below. Instead, institutions may develop and use their own text, forms, documents, statements, and certifications that are specific to the items required to be verified for a particular student or group of students. The one exception is that institutions must use the exact language provided in the "Statement of Educational Purpose" in APPENDIX A for students who are placed in Verification Tracking Groups V4 or V5.
We suggest that each page of an institutionally developed verification document include appropriate headings and numbering that identify the item(s) being verified. Institutions should ensure that the verification document collects the student’s name, ID number, and other identifying information, and that each page is identified as belonging to that student. Also, institutions may have difficulty matching the tax account information with the student because the last names may be different or because portions of the tax filer’s identifiers are redacted. Therefore, we recommend that institutions advise students to write the student’s name on the tax information prior to submitting it to the institution. The verification document should include any special instructions necessary so that students will know when and how documents are to be submitted to the institution. Institutions are reminded that documentation obtained as part of the verification process must be maintained at the institution for at least the required Title IV record retention period as outlined in Volume 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook.
Dear Colleague Letter GEN-19-02, posted to IFAP on June 7, 2019, describes the Verification Tracking Groups established for 2020–2021: V1-Standard; V4-Custom; and V5-Aggregate. Note that Verification Tracking Groups V2, V3, and V6 are reserved and will not be used for 2020–2021.