The FAFSA Verification Process

The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the federal financial aid form that students complete online to apply for federal grants and loans.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education you are required to provide documentation to us that verifies information you have entered on your FAFSA. Reasons for being selected for verification include: your FAFSA contains estimated information or inconsistencies, was incomplete or being chosen at random. 

Required Documentation

Required documentation varies depending on the information we're required to verify. Typically, if your FAFSA is selected, you and your parent(s) must complete a specific Verification Worksheet and, if you and your parent(s) have filed federal taxes, you will need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (Note: The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable for 2017-18) or submit a Tax Transcript from the IRS. (Copies of federal tax returns are not acceptable forms of documentation for verification.) Please check your financial aid online account to determine if you are required to complete verification documents which verification form is required.  You may download required forms from your financial aid documents page or by selecting the appropriate link below. (If you select a form below, be sure to select the correct verification form required from you. Please check financial aid online first to determine which, if any verification form is required from you.) If your FAFSA was selected for verification be sure to complete the verification requirements as soon as possible so the determination of your eligibility for financial aid or the disbursement of your federal aid is not delayed. We also advise students to check financial aid online periodically as requirements may change.

Verification of Nonfiling: Non-tax filers selected for verification must request a Verification of Non-filing letter:
         1. Request one online from the IRS website  or
         2. File IRS Form 4506-t (and check box #7) 



IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Most students and parents should use the IRS Data retrieval tool. (Note: The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is currently unavailable.) If you did not chose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you initially filed your FAFSA please do the following:

    1. Login to to “Make FAFSA Corrections"
    2. In the Financial Information section of the FAFSA, click “Link to IRS’”
    3. At the IRS site, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”

You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:

    • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2015
    • You filed an amended return - Submit a signed copy of your return directly to SFS
    • You filed married filing separately
    • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN)
    • You filed a foreign tax return - Submit a signed copy of your return directly to SFS
    • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return

    IRS Tax Transcript Request Process

    Tax filers selected for verification who are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval must request a Tax Return Transcript (NOT an Account Transcript) of their 2015 tax return from the IRS. This may be done in one of three ways:
             1. Request one online from the IRS website
             2. Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts 
             3. File IRS Form 4506-T or IRS Form 4506T-EZ

    Non-tax filers selected for verification must request a Verification of Non-filing letter:
             1. Request one online from the IRS website  or
             2. File IRS Form 4506-t (and check box #7) 

    Note on Timing: Electronic filing-an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Paper filing- may take up to 8 weeks after the paper tax return was filed. 

    Identity Theft Information: If you have been a victim of identity theft, you cannot obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved by the IRS. Since resolution can take a significant amount of time, please provide a copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) tax transcript to our office. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.

    Your Financial Aid Package after Verification

    We are required to resolve any discrepancies found during verification.  As a result, the amount and type of your financial aid can change after verification is completed.