The Department of Education selects students for a process called verification. Verification is confirmation that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CADA is correct. The law requires colleges to obtain information from the family to verify the accuracy of the information that was reported on the FAFSA/CADA (Example/ income, household size, identity, high school completion). College of the Desert verifies files identified by the Department of Education using worksheets based on federal regulations and guidelines. Additionally, if College of the Desert encounters conflicting information concerning a student’s eligibility or it is determined that additional information is needed, College of the Desert will request additional documentation. Students will receive an email to their MyCOD email account requesting additional documentation and the missing documents will show on the student’s self-service portal. Once the documents are received, College of the Desert will review the account within 4-6 weeks from the date the documentation was turned in, and make corrections, if applicable. If there is a change on the award letter, students will receive notification on their student self-service portal.

A student selected for verification will have 120 days from their last day of enrollment for that award year or College of the Desert’s deadline, whichever is earlier, to turn in the required documentation on their account. If a student is selected for verification after they received a disbursement for that award year, and they are still enrolled with College of the Desert, failure to turn in documentation will result in the student having to pay back funds they received for that award year. Failure to pay back the funds within 30 days of the notification will result in an overpayment. A student that has been referred to the U.S. Department of Education’s Borrower Services, can reach the U.S. Department of Education’s Borrower Services at the following number 800-621-3115.

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