The number of people that lie on their college financial aid application is surprisingly high. Students and parents believe that it is impossible to be caught but this is not actually the case. There are people that do get away with it but the truth is that most students will get caught.
Kevin Rolle, university management specialist, highlights the fact that any college can audit both you and the family if there is reasonable doubt about what was added to the form. Similarly to what the IRS does when it believes that you do not properly pay taxes, colleges can audit you. The only difference is that they are interested in seeing if the student receives or will receive too much assistance in covering college tuition. Universities and colleges refer to the audit process with the term “verification”. Many students will be required to detail and submit financial information for families every single year.
The current estimations are that around 1 third of students that apply for financial aid will be verified. This is not something that is connected with gender, age or race. In many cases everything actually boils down to luck. Colleges then require you to bring paperwork that was used for FAFSA fill out. Such information is utilized to compare with original numbers. When these are off, expected family contribution and EFC are changed. The student’s ability to borrow money and go to college is going to be immediately affected.
The college cannot do anything but check information offered. Governments require random verification for students that do apply for aid. You could be a veteran that now goes to college or a teenager that is 18 years old. This simply does not matter.
Questions are also going to appear when there are red flags that are identified on financial aid applications. For instance, when the report states that there is $250,000 present in a bank account but the income is $30,000 per year, it is an automatic red flag. In this case it is normally the college that is interested in auditing the application. The process is not related to government requirements.
As you can easily notice, there are many different situations in which your current situation will be analyzed. This is why it is a really bad idea to lie on your financial aid application. In the event that you were caught, even if what you did happened a long time ago, it is possible that colleges would demand the money back because of the dishonest nature of what you did. A failure to do this can lead to going to trial or having all future classes stopped.
The best thing you can do is to be completely honest about all you add in the application form. There are always other ways in which you can get more financial aid than through the application you submit to the college. If you are honest, people are going to help you. If not, problems are surely going to appear.