The Verification Process
- What is Verification?
- Why was my FAFSA selected for verification?
- What do I need to do now?
- What tax information should I provide?
- What if I didn't file a Tax Return?
Approximately 30% of all FAFSAs are selected by the US Department of Education for a process called "verification." If selected, the Financial Aid Office will be required to verify some of the information contained in your application before any financial aid can be awarded. This process is mandatory and it is suggested that you respond as soon as possible.
|Failure to provide the Financial Aid Office with the requested documents will prevent you from receiving federal aid. You will be responsible for all tuition and charges due to the College.|
Being selected for verification does not mean you have done anything wrong. Some of the reasons that could cause you to be selected are:
- You were selected randomly
- Your FAFSA is incomplete
- Your FAFSA has been changed
- You used estimated tax information prior to filing your tax return, but failed to update it after filing
- You were eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but chose not to
If you are selected for verification, you will be required to provide certain documents as soon as possible. The Financial Aid Office will provide you with a list of required documents needed for verification. Documents could include, but are not limited to:
- a signed Verification Worksheet
- proof of child support, SNAP benefits, marital separation, etc;
- Wage Statements (W2)
- Federal Tax Information
|When submitting verification documents to our office, be sure that they are signed and no answers are left blank. It is recommended that you submit copies of any original documents.|
Verifying federal tax information is an important part of the verification process. Federal guidelines no longer allows us to accept copies of tax returns. Currently, there are two options available, an IRS Tax Transcript and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
We highly recommend you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option on the FAFSA if you are eligible. This is the fastest way to complete the verification of your tax information. Click here for instructions or watch the IRS Data Retrieval Tool video above. If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you originally filed your FAFSA, we encourage you to go back into your FAFSA and do so now. The tax information will be transmitted to the Financial Aid office within two business days.
IRS Tax Return Transcript
An IRS Tax Transcript must be requested directly from the IRS. They are typically available three weeks after a tax return is filed. There are five ways to obtain a copy of your transcript from the IRS, but there could be significant delays so please plan ahead.
Option 1: Online request at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
If requesting a transcript online, you will first need to create an account and verify some identity information. A copy of your transcript will be available immediately.
If requesting a transcript by mail, make sure you request "Return Transcript" and enter the appropriate tax year. You will be asked to provide the tax filer's SSN, DOB, street address, and ZIP Code (these must exactly match the data provided on your tax return).
Option 2: IRS2Go Mobile App - Download through iTunes or Google Play.
- Option 3: Automated Telephone Request: 1-800-908-9946. Live Person Request: 1-800-829-1040 (be prepared for significant holds). Enter Option 2 for "Tax Return Transcript".
Option 4: IRS Form 4506T – Must be used if you were not required to file a tax return or if you moved since filing your taxes. You can also use this form if you want the transcript sent directly to the College
Click here for IRS Form 4506T.
- Option 5: Visit your local IRS Office. Click here for office locations.
Be sure to request a Tax Return Transcript NOT an Account Transcript. The wrong transcript will further delay the verification process.
You will be asked to verify this on the Verification Worksheet. Under some circumstances you may be asked to file Form 4506T with the IRS. The Financial Aid Office will advise you when additional documentation is required.