Financial Aid & Scholarship Office


What is Verification?

What is Verification?
The verification process is like an audit of your FAFSA, comparing household and income information from documents we request with the figures you submitted on the FAFSA. The Department of Education requires that we resolve all conflicting information.

Our staff will review information including the following essential areas:

  • Household size
  • Number enrolled in college (siblings only, until the age of 24; does not include parents in college)
  • Adjusted gross income (AGI)
  • U.S. income tax paid
  • Income earned from work
  • Certain untaxed income and benefits
  • Receipt of SNAP/CalFresh (food stamps)
  • Child support paid
  • High school completion status
  • Identity and Educational Purpose

Some other areas that can conflict may have to do with tax filing status and asset information.

Please note:  If an applicant uses the IRS Data Retrieval Option to transfer federal income tax return data to the FAFSA without modification, the unmodified data elements will not be subject to verification.  Accordingly, applicants who use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool are less likely to be selected for verification. 

If your file is selected for verification, all forms of aid, including loans, will be held until you submit all requested items, your file is completed, and verification is concluded.

Deadline to Submit Verification Documents

Aid at CSU, Chico is provided on a rolling basis. Once a student submits all required verification documents, the file will be reviewed and aid is disbursed. Students are encouraged to submit requested verification documents by the following priority deadlines or as soon as possible:  Fall term – June 1,  Spring term – November 1.  If all required verification documents are submitted by the priority deadlines, funding will be ready by the time school starts. Submission of documents late in the term may result in loss of loan eligibility as well as other limited sources of aid. Information about loans (Direct, PLUS, Grad PLUS loans) must be provided to the loan center (originated) by the last day of the student’s eligible term or the student will need to forfeit loan eligibility.

For purposes of Federal Pell Grant, the submission dates are determined by the Secretary of the Department of Education as a date not to exceed the earlier of 120 days after the last day of enrollment or the published federal cut off dates.

Failure to provide required verification documents and all other supporting documents will result in forfeiture of aid for that award period.

Required Corrections Resulting From Verification and Notification of Award Changes

CSU, Chico will review all verification documents and make all the necessary corrections when there are discrepancies between verification documents and the FAFSA information. Corrections will be submitted electronically to the FAFSA Central Processing System. The student’s FAFSA will be updated and the student will be notified about corrections by the Central Processing System. If there are changes to the student’s award as a result of verification, the student will be notified by e-mail from the CSU, Chico Financial Aid and Scholarship Office.

Verification Tips

  • Follow directions when completing the FAFSA. Instructions and an explanation for each question is located on the right-hand side of the screen.  Carefully review the application and provide accurate information.
  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Option on the FAFSA. If you estimated your income, update the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval tool. Once our office receives the original retrieved IRS information, you will not be required to submit a tax return transcript.  This option will streamline and expedite the processing of your financial aid application.
  • Student Aid Report (SAR). After the federal processor receives and processes your FAFSA, they will e-mail you a SAR. The SAR lists each question and your response from the FAFSA. The SAR also notifies you if there was an error in processing your FAFSA. Review your SAR right away for accuracy. Follow the instructions if you need to make corrections or update tax information filed for the current year. If you did not receive your SAR within three weeks of submitting your FAFSA, go to
  • Check your Student Center "To Do List" to see what financial aid documents are needed from you and what requirements you must meet. A full explanation for all requests is available by clicking on “more” and then opening the link to each requested item.
  • Submit all requested items on your "To Do List" by June 1 in order to have your file complete before the first possible disbursement. The summer and early fall are our busiest times for file review and verification. Beat the crowd by getting your documents in early. Always print your name and Chico ID at the top of all forms.
  • Be on top of all requests. Continue to check your "To Do List" for additional documents that may be requested.
  • Follow through on all requests promptly. If you have questions, consult this website, call us at 530-898-6451, email us at, or stop by our office in Student Services Center 250.


Offers are estimated based on full-time enrollment. If you are not enrolled full-time, or drop below full-time, you may be eligible for prorated financial aid based on the number of units in which you are enrolled at the University census date. Please view Enrollment Requirements for financial aid full-time status.