.13 Verification of Eligibility.

A. In-House Verification by OSFA.

(1) OSFA annually shall verify a percentage of all new Educational Excellence Award applications to determine if they contain accurate information.

(2) OSFA shall verify Educational Excellence Award applications for recipients identified by OSFA, or by institutions, based upon:

(a) Whether the information contained in the application has discrepancies from the information contained in the FAFSA or alternative application; or

(b) Whether the applicant misreported dependency status, State residency status, or status related to eligibility for in-State tuition.

(3) OSFA may randomly select applications for verification.

(4) Selected recipients are required to provide documentation of financial data and to verify dependency and State residency or eligibility for in-State tuition.

(5) OSFA annually shall verify the eligibility status of at least 25 percent of GA Grant award recipients.

(6) New and renewal GA Grant recipients shall provide documentation of financial data to verify eligibility as requested by OSFA.

(7) OSFA shall notify a student who has been selected for verification in writing, and shall advise the student that the student is required to provide the following documents within the time specified in the notification:

(a) A Maryland Office of Student Financial Assistance Dependent or Independent Verification Form to verify:

(i) Child support;

(ii) Other untaxed income; and

(iii) State residency or eligibility for in-State tuition for non-tax filers;

(b) The federal IRS Tax Transcript, or IRS data retrieved through the FAFSA, and W-2 forms, 1099, or Schedule C of the student, studentís parents, and studentís spouse, to verify:

(i) Income and federal taxes paid; and

(ii) State residency or eligibility for in-State tuition; and

(c) If deemed necessary by OSFA, a Non Tax Filer Statement for the student, studentís parents, or studentís spouse.

(8) Awards shall not be issued for students who fail to provide the requested information by the deadline pursuant to this regulation.

(9) Students who provide the requested documentation shall be verified in accordance with the procedures established by OSFA. Awards for students with errors shall be recalculated and adjusted or canceled in accordance with this chapter.

(10) OSFA annually shall perform an independent review for a select percentage of GA Grant recipients that were verified in-house. This process shall occur between July 1 and December 1. If a discrepancy is found during the review process, OSFA reserves the right to make necessary adjustments to a studentís award and shall notify the student in writing.

B. Institutional Verification.

(1) The institutions annually shall verify application information for a percentage of all new Educational Excellence Award recipients to determine if students are submitting accurate financial data.

(2) OSFA shall select a minimum of 25 percent of all students who have received an EA Grant and were flagged for federal verification. Lists of the selected students shall be submitted to the institutions the students are attending.

(3) After students are selected, each applicable institution shall use the U.S. Department of Educationís Title IV financial aid rules and regulations to verify the:

(a) Taxable and non-taxable income of the student and, if a dependent student, the studentís parents;

(b) Household size;

(c) Number of individuals in the household that will attend or are enrolled in college;

(d) Enrollment status (undergraduate or graduate);

(e) Housing status;

(f) Dependency status;

(g) Expected Family Contribution; and

(h) Transaction number of Institutional Student Information Report used.

(4) Institutions shall provide updated and verified data to OSFA by the date established by OSFA annually.

(5) Information verified by the institutions shall be used to update OSFA records.

(6) Awards for students with corrections and errors shall be recalculated and adjusted or canceled as specified in this chapter.