This afternoon I finally decided to call Financial Aid Services at my very large university in order to discuss the hold on my account. The hold has been there since May, but I’m really slow at dealing with these things. Also, this is the first week all summer that I’ve been in town for more than 5 days at a stretch.
I had this conversation with the helpful but not cheerful woman at FAS:
Me: “Hi, how do I get this hold to go away and get an aid package awarded?”
Woman: “It looks like you’ve been chosen for tax verification. Please send a copy of your W-2s from 2011 and fill out the verification form found online. You must mail or fax these documents.”
Me: “And then you’ll award me an aid package?”
Woman: “Your documents will be processed in 5-7 business days.”
Me: “Alright. Thanks.”
She hangs up and I hang up and that’s that. I guess. I have no idea if this will actually get me any financial aid, but it will, I suppose, take care of the hold on my account.
The woman’s tone suggested this was a semi-random process. Some people have to verify their taxes, and some people do not. I suspect that I was chosen for this verification process because I’m being paid by two departments at this very large university for very different jobs. This university is not only paying me two salaries, but they awarded me a very nice financial aid package last year. All of my money is from them, and here I am wanting more. So I sort of get why my account probably made someone go, “What’s happening here?”
But here’s what I don’t understand about this entire situation: I submitted my FAFSA, which pulls my income information from my IRS tax thing, which is filled out in accordance with my w-2, which is the document Financial Aid Services now wants me to send to them. They want to see the first step to verify that the last step isn’t…. what? fraud? I have no idea what they could possibly need to verify, considering how all the documents link up together to become the FAFSA document I submitted. Or maybe it’s because I moved just after submitting my FAFSA, and so now my university account has my permanent address as something different from my permanent address on my taxes. But that was my address during tax time, and during FAFSA time, and I really have no idea what’s going on here.
Does anyone out there understand taxes and FAFSA and financial aid at all? I certainly don’t, and that frustrates me because I don’t like filling out paperwork and completing red-tape steps that I don’t understand. I like to know why I’m doing things before I do them. But the helpful lady on the phone wasn’t very cheerful and she hung up on me before I could ask why.