Verification is the process of confirming the information you provided on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as required by Institutions participating in Federal Financial Aid programs. Not all students are selected for verification. Your FAFSA may be selected for verification because your FAFSA contains estimated information or inconsistencies, was incomplete, or was selected at random.

How will I know that I have been selected for verification?

If you are selected, in order to comply with Federal regulations, we may ask you to provide information that verifies the data you provided on your FAFSA. Please note that the need-based portion of your financial aid offer is only an estimate until verification of your financial aid file is completed. 

Required Documentation

Required documentation varies depending on the reason(s) your application was selected. Typically, if your FAFSA is selected for verification, you and your parent(s) must complete the following:

  • Verification Worksheet
  • From the tax year used when completing your FAFSA:
    • If your parent(s) have filed federal taxes, they will need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
    • If you have filed federal taxes, you need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
    • If you and/or your parent(s) earned income from any source, submit a copy of each Form W-2 received or if no W-2, a list of the source(s) and total earnings

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

If you did not choose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when you initially filed your FAFSA, please complete the following:

  • Log-in to fafsa.gov toMake FAFSA Corrections
  • In the “Financial Information” section, click “Link to IRS”
  • On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”. Once you complete the IRS information, the system will bring you back to the FAFSA
  • Make sure you submit the corrections and sign your FAFSA using your FSA ID

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

  • The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as married filing separately
  • The student/parent is married, and either the student/parent or his/her spouse filed as Head of Household
  • The parents’ marital status is “Unmarried and both legal parents living together”
  • The student/parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
  • The student/parent filed their tax return electronically within the last three weeks, or through the mail within the last 11 weeks

Additional information about using the DRT is available from the Department of Education.

IRS Tax Return Transcript Request

Tax filers selected for verification and unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval must request a Tax Return Transcript (NOT an Account Transcript) of their tax return from the IRS in one of three ways:

  1. The IRS website by selecting “Get Transcript ONLINE” or “Get Transcript by MAIL”
  2. The IRS automated phone transcript service at 1-800-908-9946
  3. Complete and submit Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T to the IRS by mail

Note: For electronic filers, an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS. The IRS Tax Return Transcript may take up to 8 weeks to be available for those who file paper tax returns.

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 along with a signed and dated statement by the tax filer indicating you were a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.

What happens if I do not complete verification?

If you choose not to, or fail to submit verification documents, we will be unable to complete the review of your eligibility for financial aid. Failure to comply with the verification requirements will result in your aid being canceled and any future aid not disbursing to your student account. If financial aid had already disbursed to your student account, your financial aid will also be canceled which may result in a balance on your University student account.

If you are selected for federal verification but do not wish to complete the process and want to cancel your aid application, you should send written notification to the Office of Financial Aid.

If verification determines any of my FAFSA information to be in error, how will the information be corrected?

Our office is required to submit all changes resulting from verification to the Federal Student Aid Processor. The Processor sends a revised electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student. The revised SAR highlights the data that was changed and states that the changes were made by your school.