JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Verification for MAP: FAFSA Data

{ISAC Rules, Section 2700.50}

2022-23 Verification Information
Overview
Eligibility Adjustments
Payment

2022-23 Verification Information

Implementation of ED's High School Completion Status Removal from Verification

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) GEN-21-06 on September 1, 2021, announcing the removal of high school completion status as a verification item under the V4 and V5 tracking groups, starting with the 2022-23 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) processing year. As a result, institutions are no longer required to obtain high school completion documentation to complete V4 or V5 verification. However, institutions remain obligated to evaluate the validity of a student’s high school diploma if there is reason to believe that the high school diploma is not valid or was not obtained from an entity that provides secondary school education (refer to Volume 1, Chapter 1 of the FSA Handbook for more information).

Changes to Verification Requirements Due to COVID-19

ED's DCL GEN-21-06 also references COVID-19 flexibilities and waivers relating to verification that were originally announced in a January 15, 2021 electronic announcement, which states that verification flexibilities explained in that and earlier electronic announcements are extended through the end of the first payment period that begins after the date that the COVID-19 national emergency is rescinded.

Published on May 18, 2022, DCL GEN-22-06 confirms that ED is continuing the waiver of certain verification requirements into the 2022-23 award year (i.e., verification requirements strictly focus on identity and fraud for the remainder of the 2022-2023 award year; all other verification requirements are waived). DCL GEN-22-06 also states that ED will continue to monitor and review the federal verification process for the 2023-24 award year and beyond to consider what adjustments may need to be made to verification long-term to ensure that it is robust and equitable, and takes into consideration the burden on students, families, and institutions of higher education.

Consistent with ED's continuing action, ISAC is not requiring colleges to complete federal verification for students receiving ISAC program benefits for the 2022-23 award year, and advises schools to follow ED guidance in regard to when verification must be completed. However, colleges are still required to confirm Illinois residency for all students receiving ISAC program benefits for which Illinois residency is a requirement. Further details are provided in a July 14, 2022 e-Message.

Overview

The college or university’s is responsible to ensure that the FAFSA data is accurate for all MAP recipients and that there is no conflicting information. If a student is selected for verification for federal student assistance, that student must also be verified for MAP. A selected student must be verified for MAP even if the student is ineligible for federal student assistance.

Eligibility Adjustments

When an institution adjusts an applicant's eligibility pursuant to Title IV, Part F, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 USC 1087kk et seq.), the institution shall retain documentation that demonstrates the appropriateness of the adjustment.

Payment

A school may request first term payment even though verification is not yet complete. If, after verification, a MAP payment adjustment is appropriate, the school must submit the appropriate refund. If verification is not completed within 60 days after the conclusion of the regular school year, the school must return the first term payment to ISAC. For periods other than the first term of eligibility in an academic year, the verification process must be completed before the school may request payment.