Verification is a process used to validate certain information entered on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students are selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education for a variety of reasons including random selection, incomplete data, or conflicting information.

Verification Process:

  1. You’ll receive an email saying that you’ve been selected for verification. 
  2. You must verify your identity to access the portal.
  3. You will be directed to complete an online process where you’ll submit required documents. 
  4. Once your information has been reviewed and verified, your financial aid will be applied to your student account no earlier than the start of the semester for which you are enrolled.

Note: Provide all requested documentation as soon as possible but no later than 30 days before the official close of the semester in which you are enrolled to receive all aid that may be available, including Federal Pell Grant and Direct Student Loans. Your aid will not pay to your student account until you have completed this process.

Tax Documentation

  • Dependent students must provide their parents’ tax return or complete the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA. In addition, if you filed your own taxes, you must provide your own tax return or complete the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
  • Independent, married students who used the “married filing separate” tax filing status must provide their spouse’s IRS tax return.
  • Independent students who are currently married but were not married for the tax year requested by the FAFSA must provide a copy of their spouse’s IRS tax return (or IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter) for that tax year.
  • If you did not file a tax return for the tax year used on the FAFSA, you must submit the IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter, which provides proof that the IRS has no record of your tax return for that year. You can request this letter online (if you have filed a tax return in previous years) or by mail (if you have never filed a tax return) using the IRS Get Transcript Service.

Data Retrieval Tool

When completing the FAFSA, we encourage you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). This tool allows you and your parents to transfer tax information from official IRS tax records onto the FAFSA. This eliminates the risk of entering the wrong data. Additionally, you will be asked for less documentation if you are selected for verification. 

IRS Tax Return Transcript

Tax transcripts are used to validate income and tax filing status to complete Financial Aid Verification. 

Click here to request your IRS tax transcript.

Acceptable Tax Transcript

Not Acceptable

acceptible tax transcript not acceptable tax transcript

 Discrepant Information

Upon receiving your documentation, we will compare your paperwork against the information collected on the FAFSA. If discrepancies exist, we will make the necessary changes and submit for correction. This process may result to changes in your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and financial aid package. 

Verification Processing

Processing usually takes two to three weeks but can take up to four weeks during the peak season.  Because verification must be completed in advance of disbursing funds from any financial aid program, it is vital to send complete and correct information as soon as possible.