The Verification Process
Verification is the process established by the Department of Education (ED) to check the accuracy of financial aid applications. Schools are authorized to collect certain documentation, for review, in order to complete this process. If the information submitted conflicts with the information provided on a FAFSA, schools are authorized and obligated to make a correction to the FAFSA before financial aid eligibility can be accurately determined and funds disbursed. In some cases, these adjustments will require a revision to your award. A notice will be emailed promptly to the student if there is an adjustment to the award.
If you are selected for verification, you will need to complete the worksheet specific to your verification group for the aid year requested. After all of the questions on the form are completed, be sure to provide all required signature(s) and attach requested supporting documents. If additional information is required, we will contact you.
As part of the verification process, taxable income for all tax filers from the previous year must be validated. To verify taxable income, you must either:
- Select the IRS data retrieval process link through the FAFSA online, or
- Request Tax Return transcripts through the IRS. THE IRS WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT REQUESTS IN PERSON AT YOUR LOCAL IRS REGIONAL OFFICE. You can obtain your tax return transcripts, wage and earnings statement (W2) or account transcript in one of the following ways:
- ONLINE at: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. Beginning with tax year 2013, the IRS will return, in real time, the IRS Tax Return Transcript as a PDF response. The tax filer can print, save, and/or forward the PDF IRS Tax Return Transcript as necessary.
- PHONE Call 1-800-908-9946 request by the automated system. Your information will be mailed to you within 10 days.
- FORM 4506 and mail it or fax it to the address/number on the form. Your information will be mailed to you.
***As of June 2015, the IRS online Get Transcript service is currently unavailable. Transcripts may still be ordered using the Get Transcript by Mail service.***
When you receive the transcript please sign it and submit a copy to our office.
Additional information on obtaining your prior year tax information can be found here.
**Please note: if you are married and have filed separate from your spouse, you will need to request the above information for both you and your spouse. Additionally, you will not be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval process.
- If the IRS requires you to file a tax return based on your earnings and you have not filed, you will need to file your tax return in order to complete the verification process and receive federal financial aid.
- If you submit a tax transcript with errors, it must be amended by completing and submitting a 1040X to the IRS before we can proceed with the verification process. If you filed an amended tax return with the IRS, you will need to submit an account transcript along with your original tax transcript.
- If the IRS granted you an extension on filing your federal tax returns we are not able to take further action on the verification process until after October 15.
Additionally, certain types of untaxed income and other items must be verified. For example:
- Child support received must be verified if the institution has reason to believe that child support was received – If the parent (of a dependent student) or student with child(ren) is unmarried, separated, or divorced, the institution has reason to believe child support was received and must verify this item whether or not an amount was reported on the federal aid application.The amount reported should be the total amount of child support received for all children who were minors (or still in high school) in 2014.
- Child support paid can only be included on the FAFSA if it is paid for children not listed in the household and if the amount paid is verified with the payor’s last pay stub for 2014 or a payment summary from the county showing the amount paid in 2014.
- If the total household income of a parent (of a dependent student) or student with child(ren) is below $5,000, attach a letter to the verification paperwork detailing how household expenses such as housing, food, utilities, etc., were paid throughout the year.
- If food stamps (SNAP) were received in 2013 OR 2014, a letter from the county showing you as a recipient of food stamps is required.
- A student may be required to document his/her high school completion status or verify their identity and complete a statement of educational purpose. This must be done in person at the financial aid office or through a notary.
The verification process can take up to two weeks, so it is important to submit all requested documents prior to July 1 or within 14 days of the initial request so that your award can be finalized prior to the start of the term. Once the verification process is complete, your financial aid will appear as a credit on your billing statement.
The deadline to submit verification for 2014-2015 is September 1, 2015 or no later than 120 days after the last date of attendance, whichever is first. Student loans must be originated before your last day of attendance. If verification is not complete by this date, a loan cannot be originated and you will forfeit your right to these funds.
If changes are made to your award based on the results of verification, you will be notified via email and will be directed to view your new award online through your BannerWeb account. You can check the status of verification anytime through your BannerWeb account under the Eligibility and Requirements tab.
If you are selected for Verification, but do not complete the process, no federal financial aid funds, including loans, will be credited to your student account.