Verification of Presence FAQ

What is Verification of Presence?

The procedure by which NJIT affirms the presence of registered students

Why do we need to verify the presence of students?

The U.S. Department of Education requires that institutions verify that students are in attendance at an academically-related activity prior to disbursing aid. Details on this requirement can be found in the Federal Student Aid Handbook.

How is presence defined?

Presence is defined according to 34 CFR 668.22 which states:

(7)(i) “Academic attendance” and “attendance at an academically-related activity”—

(A) Include, but are not limited to—

(1) Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students;

(2) Submitting an academic assignment;

(3) Taking an exam, an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction;

(4) Attending a study group that is assigned by the institution;

(5) Participating in an online discussion about academic matters; and

(6) Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course; and

(B) Do not include activities where a student may be present, but not academically engaged, such as—

(1) Living in institutional housing;

(2) Participating in the institution's meal plan;

(3) Logging into an online class without active participation; or

(4) Participating in academic counseling or advisement.

(ii) A determination of “academic attendance” or “attendance at an academically-related activity” must be made by the institution; a student's certification of attendance that is not supported by institutional documentation is not acceptable.

If I verify a student "YES" and then s/he stops attending, should I update the verification roster to "NO?"

No, please do not update the roster to "NO" if a student stops attending. The only reason to change from "YES" to "NO" is in the case of an error. If this happens, please also contact the Registrar.

If I verify a student "NO" because the student never attended and he or she did not participate in an academically-related activity, and the student requests the data to be changed to “YES”, should I update the data?

No, please do not update the verification roster to "YES" in this situation as the student does not meet the definition of having performed an academically-related activity or the student has not physically attended class.

Is there a deadline for submission?

Ideally, students should be verified within the first 2 weeks of the semester. However, you will be able to return to the page later to verify the others students who were not present during the initial reporting. For example, at the initial verification, the student may not have been present and was coded as “No” but subsequently attends and meets the definition of “academic activity” as mentioned above; the record will need to be updated to “Yes”.

What type of communication can I expect from the Registrar?

The Registrar will communicate via email if there are students on your roster who do not have a "YES" or "NO" entered on your verification roster. You may also be asked to verify "NO" responses if a student attends and requests aid subsequent to your initial verification. In rare situations, either the Office of Student Financial Aid Services or the Registrar’s Office will contact either the faculty or the academic department for further clarification on the data, if necessary.