2016-2017 Financial Aid Forms
What does it mean to be selected for verification?
Verification is a process to confirm that the information you and your parents provided on your FAFSA is accurate. The Department of Education selects FAFSAs for verification. Others may be selected by schools to clarify information. If selected, a student cannot receive the financial aid that has been awarded until verification is completed. If selected, any award information disclosed to the student about their eligibility is considered tentative until verification is completed.
What do I have to do if I have been selected for verification?
The Financial Aid Office will request certain documentation from you to verify that the information you provided on your FAFSA is correct. A key aspect of completing verification is confirming that the income tax information provided on the FAFSA matches the income tax information on record with the IRS. To do this, a family must either collect and submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript or submit their income tax information on the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
What is a tax return transcript and how can I get it?
A tax return transcript is a line-by-line accounting of your tax return as it was originally filed with the IRS. Any schedules or additional forms filed will also be in the tax return transcript. This can only be obtained through the IRS and is used as verification that your tax information on your FAFSA matches what is on file with the IRS. Access it online and order the “return” transcript.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how do I use it?
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is an online tool used to transfer a student’s or parent’s income tax information from the IRS’s records directly onto the FAFSA in order to confirm the tax information’s authenticity. In most cases, if the IRS DRT is used to collect income tax information on the FAFSA then a tax return transcript will not be required. To use it go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to file your initial FAFSA or to correct it. Under the “Financial Information” tab, a student or parent must indicate that they have Already Filed their taxes. If the student or parent can answer “no” to the three subsequent questions about their filing status, then the application will indicate that they may be eligible to use the tool and provide prompts for doing so.
What else might be required for verification?
There is verification worksheet that must be completed and signed by the student (and parent if the student is a dependent). If either party received SNAP or TANF benefits during the prior tax year, then documentation of that person’s eligibility must also be included. Other documents may be required depending on the student’s application. The Financial Aid Office will notify the student about what is required to complete their application for verification.