US Dept. of Education Announces Changes to Pell Grant Verification Process

Applicants for US Pell Grants will have fewer hurdles to climb under temporary changes announced by the US Department of Education on Tuesday.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the verification process will focus on identity theft and fraud. Additional items to verify income, such as transcripts of tax returns, will not be required according to a press release

Typically, more than three million potential Pell Grant recipients are selected for verification each year. Unfortunately, due to the challenges they face in acquiring the required documentation, some students never complete verification, and thus do not receive the financial aid they need to enroll. Targeting verification for the 2021–22 FAFSA cycle will make it easier for millions of students from low-income backgrounds to access federal financial aid. It will also alleviate some of the burden faced by financial aid administrators, allowing them to focus their time and resources on administering emergency relief funds, getting students into and through higher education, including by updating FAFSA information for students who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and by helping students learn about and access emergency financial aid grants provided under the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund…

Today's announcement builds upon the Biden Administration's commitment to addressing inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and targeting resources and relief efforts toward the colleges and communities that need it most. Under the American Rescue Plan, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Department has provided $76 billion in economic relief for students and colleges impacted by the pandemic.


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