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. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

Please note the deadline for submitting these documents is 5/21/2021 for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Failure to provide the requested documents could result in the delay or denial of financial aid.

Why was I chosen for verification?

While there are several reasons why a student may be selected for verification some leading causes are:
  • 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
  • Random selection​

How do I verify my income?

The documents that we can now accept to verify your tax information have changed based on policy changes from the U.S. Department of Education. Either a tax transcript from the IRS, your Tax Return, or your FAFSA filed using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool are the only ways to verify tax data.

If you have filed your taxes with the IRS, you should log into your FAFSA and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information. (see below for information on using the Data Retrieval Tool)  If you do not, or cannot, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to obtain a tax transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Financial Aid Office.
Personal copies of tax returns can be accepted as long as there is a valid signature and all schedules are included.

Dependent vs. Independent

Students who apply for federal financial aid are classified as either dependent or independent. Dependent students are required to provide parental information on their application. Independent students must list information for a spouse (if applicable).

For information on determining dependency status, check out the Federal Student Aid’s dependency status page. 

If you are considered dependent, but believe you should be considered independent due to extenuating circumstances, please contact our office for assistance.