Most university students have enough hassle as it is with classes, bills, keeping in touch with family and making sure financial aid is in order every semester.
However, each year a percentage of us are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for a review of our financial aid information and must go through a verification process. Students selected for verification cannot receive any federal aid funds until it is completed.
For students at MSU, this process is handled by the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, or KHEAA, which does this through KHEAA Verify, an electronic verification service that according to their website, “conducts student verification needs quickly and easily."
I’ve gone through this horrendous process twice now, and neither time was quick when it came to KHEAA verifying my information or easy when it came to gathering the information I needed to give them.
Selected students submit information regarding adjusted gross income, federal income tax paid, household size, number of house members in college, sources of untaxed income, receipt of federal need-based benefits, identity, high school completion and more, according to Morehead State University’s website.
Navigating KHEAA’s website and filling out information on there wasn’t hard, but then they asked me to give them tax transcripts from the previous year, which meant having to order them from the IRS website.
Both times that I went through verification, I had to order them through the mail, which took about 5 business days for each one to arrive and would delay the process for about a week. I couldn’t submit the documents online the first time, so I mailed them to KHEAA which meant waiting even longer.
I called them at least three times to see if they received my documents, and was frustrated by being put on hold and waiting just for a simple yes/no response. Once I finally submitted everything that was requested, it began and lasted a little over two weeks.
The first time, I didn’t get my CAP Grant that semester. I eventually received it in the form of a check the next semester, but at the time it made protecting my class schedule cost more than it should have. The second time delayed MSU for two weeks from beginning the process of determining my eligibility for a Parent Plus Loan, which I needed in order to protect my schedule this semester.
I’m not the only student that verification has been an inconvenience for. I found going through it to be incredibly frustrating and time-consuming. I hope to never have to deal with it again.