Campus Blog

Financial Aid Blog: Prepare for the verification process

April 10th, 2014 | Financial Aid Counselors

If you had a 30% chance of being reviewed by the government for something, would you pay attention? Those are exactly the odds you face in the world of student financial aid with a process called verification.

Verification is a federal regulation that at least 30% of all FAFSA filers will be selected for by the Department of Education. Some are chosen at random and some are chosen because the data provided on their FAFSA is incomplete or inconsistent.

Verification is designed to ensure that eligible students receive all the aid that they are qualified for, and to prevent ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information.  If selected, you will verify your FAFSA through one of two options:

    • IRS Data Retrieval Tool
    • Tax Return Transcript

Data Retrieval Tool

This is a fast and convenient way to verify your earnings data directly from the IRS. Electronically filed tax return information is typically available about two weeks after the return has been filed.

Short instructional video on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

You may only use this tool if you are the parent of a dependent student who filed a separate tax return, are married and had a spouse file seperately, have a parent who changed marital status after Dec. 31, 2013 or if you filed an amended tax return.

If you are not required to file a federal income tax return, simply mark the verification worksheet accordingly and be prepared to submit all W-2 forms.

Important Dates
January 1 First day that the FAFSA is available for completion
February 1 IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available on the FAFSA
April 15 Deadline to file a federal income tax return
July 1 Priority Deadline to submit verification documents

Tax Return Transcript

The IRS Tax Return Transcript if offered with three formats: online, by phone at 1-800-908-9946 or  by submitting a hard copy. There is no fee for requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within five to 10 business days from the time the IRS receives their request.  All requests will be sent to the tax filer, not the university.

Students may log in to “My Financial Aid” and select the Documents tab to view the status of their verification documents.

Verification must be completed before federal aid can be awarded. A student who does not submit verification documents cannot use federal grants and loans to pay for the school bill. You will not be eligible to receive federal financial aid until the verification process has been completed.

Federal financial aid will not be listed on the student’s billing statement during financial registration until after verification is completed.  Payment will be required to complete financial registration. Contact our office with any other questions about verification.

Financial Aid Counselors

Hector, Shannon and Christy

The financial aid blog addresses some of the most pressing questions when it comes to paying for college. Straight from the desks of our financial aid counselors, these posts are intended to provide clarity and resources for students and families.

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