In addition to reviewing the application and data match information provided by the Central Processing System (CPS), a school must have an adequate system to identify conflicting information regardless of the source and regardless of whether the student is selected for verification. The school is responsible for reconciling any conflicting information that it has.
All such discrepancies must be resolved before any Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds are disbursed to the student. If a discrepancy is discovered after disbursing FSA funds, the information must still be reconciled and appropriate action must be taken.
Discrepant Data with Enrollment Services
Individuals who have completed high school, college or university course work in a country other than the United States must obtain a complete evaluation of foreign transcripts, degrees, and other relevant documents, even if the foreign coursework has been accepted by a college or university in the US.
High School Diploma/GED:
- If a student did not state on their FAFSA application completion of HS/GED but did so on their admission application or vice versa, we want a copy of their High School diploma.
- If a student does not indicate that he/she has a Bachelor’s degree or higher on the FAFSA but does on the enrollment application, a graduation clarification form is requested.
Program of Study:
- Students must be in an eligible program of study for financial aid purposes. If not, a Program Declaration is requested.
- If a student did not state on their FAFSA application California residency but did so their admission application, we will request clarification from Enrollment Services and the student to determine the correct residency status to determine eligibility for the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver.
Discrepant Tax Data
Financial aid administrators are required to know whether a person is required to file a tax return, what the correct filing status for a person should be and that an individual cannot be claimed as an exemption by more than one person.
If an individual is required to file taxes and did not file, he or she will be required to complete the appropriate tax form and submit a tax transcript or utilize the IRS Data Retrieval on the FAFSA before the processing of the financial aid application can be completed.
If it is discovered that a student and/or spouse, or a dependent student’s married parents have each filed as “head of household” or claimed a spouse as a dependent, the individuals will be required to amend the tax return and file under the correct filing status. It is not acceptable to simply add the two tax returns together. A copy of the IRS tax return transcript will be required before the financial aid application can be completed.
Publication 17 of the IRS, Your Federal Income Tax, is an excellent resource which may be viewed at www.irs.gov.
Cal Grant Eligibility
It is necessary to verify financial eligibility for all Cal Grant recipients who have been selected for verification or who have an ISIR loaded into our system with a transaction number of 2 or greater. The purpose of this review is to ensure that changes to a student’s application do not result in the student’s information exceeding the Cal Grant income and assets ceiling.
Other Discrepant Information
No FSA funds will be disbursed until there is resolution on all conflicting information. If the conflict involves a previous year’s award, it must also be resolved as long as the student is attending MSJC.
The resolution is considered to be complete when a determination has been made as to which information is correct and that determination is noted on the student’s file.