What is verification?

Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid may, at any time, select your application for verification based upon the information you have provided. We are required to make sure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. Students selected for verification will not be packaged for financial aid until the Financial Aid Office has received all requested required documentation and the verification process has been completed.

Depending on the time of year, the verification review process can take up to 20 business days from the time the Financial Aid Office receives all requested required documents. The process can take longer if additional nonstandard documentation is required. Individuals who have filed extensions or are self-employed and file their taxes later in the year are not excused from the verification process. It is recommended that federal income tax returns be filed as soon as possible if selected for verification, since no aid or estimates of aid will be offered until the verification process is completed.

Participation in the verification process is not optional. If the student does not submit the requested documentation, the student will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional need-based financial aid and the parents of dependent student will not be eligible to receive a PLUS loan.

Why is am I being chosen for verification?

There are several possibilities for being selected for FAFSA verification. Keep in mind that more possibilities exist, but the following are the main reasons for being selected:

  • You were selected randomly.
  • The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
  • The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
  • The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.

How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to request a tax return transcript from IRS and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted.

Three ways to request your Tax Return Transcript: by phone, online, or by mail.
Please make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript.

To order by phone:
· Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946, then select the following prompts:
· Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
· Enter and verify Social Security number (if joint return both SSN’s required)
· Enter and verify number of street address
· Press 2 for Tax Return Transcript and indicate which year (i.e. 2013)

To order online:
· Go to www.irs.gov, then select the following:
· Click Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript located in the left-hand column
· Click Order a Transcript under Step 3
· Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code
· Click Continue
· Select Transcript for Tax Year (i.e. 2013)
· Click Continue

A tax return transcript can be ordered by mail:
· Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return)
· Form 4506-T is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf.
· Mail to the address indicated on the form
Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.

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