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FAFSA Verification

What is Verification?
Verification is the process through which the information from your FAFSA is checked for accuracy. If there are differences between your FAFSA and the documents you’ve submitted, corrections may be made to the FAFSA by our office. Your financial aid process is not finished until verification has been completed.

What Must I Do to Complete the Verification Process?
Student Financial Services will notify you by mail or email regarding your verification selection. Please refer to our correspondence to determine which documents we have requested.

The following documents may be required in order to complete the verification process:

August 2018–July 2019

  1. 2018–2019 Verification Worksheet Form
  2. Tax and Income Information
    • Tax Filers:
      1. Successfully use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing or correcting the FAFSA (recommended), OR submit a 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript – see Instructions below
      2. Submit all related 2016 W-2s
    • Non-Filers:
      1. Complete Non-Filing Statement
      2. Submit an “IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter” for 2016 as instructed in the above form (for independent students and parents only)
      3. Submit all related 2016 W-2s
  3. Other Documents as Requested by the SFS Office
    Please refer to SFS correspondence for specifics
  4. High School Completion and Identity Verification
    The completion of this process will require submission of a final high school transcript or its equivalent, and identification documentation in person. Students will be notified if they are required to provide this type of verification information.

When selected for Verification, SFS may request one of the following documents from you:

  1. IRS 2016 Tax Return Transcript (for those who did file taxes)
    Note: a tax return (1040/1040A/1040EZ) is not acceptable documentation for the Tax Return Transcript Requirement
  2. IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter (for those who did not file taxes in 2016)
    Note: letter must be dated after October 1, 2017

The best way to satisfy these requirements is to request them directly from the IRS, and then send them to the SFS office.

When successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive an IRS Tax Return Transcript or Non-Filing Letter at the address included in their request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the request was successfully transmitted to the IRS. Click here for Instructions on Requesting an IRS Transcript.

Tax Transcript examples

(Click to enlarge tax transcript examples)

As an alternative to requesting the IRS Tax Transcript, you may use the FAFSA's IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
The U.S. Department of Education created an enhancement to the FAFSA filing process by allowing students and parents to retrieve tax data directly from the IRS. In order to use this option, log in to your FAFSA at (www.fafsa.ed.gov) and click on “LINK TO IRS.” This import process needs to be done by both students and parents if you each filed taxes. The tax information will automatically be entered from the Internal Revenue Service database onto the FAFSA.

Please note that electronically filed tax return information will be available through the DRT approximately 10 days after the return has been submitted to the IRS. Paper filed tax returns will be available through the DRT in approximately 6-8 weeks.

Data Retrieval Tool Instructions

Important Note: The following filing situations will not permit the use of DRT so the IRS tax return transcript will be needed to satisfy the requirement:

  • IRS filing status is "Married Filing Separately".
  • If a parent had a change of marital status after December 31, 2016.
  • If you or your parents filed an amended tax return.