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Verification

Verification is Mandated by the Department of Education

The Department of Education randomly selects 30% of all college students who submit a FAFSA for the verification process, and publishes the Federal Register outlining required documentation needed from students to compare the information reported on the FAFSA.

Our office notifies students via AP Email and/or AP OneStop if (1) they are selected for verification, (2) our office needs additional information, (3) our office makes FAFSA corrections, or (4) any award offer changes.

For the most efficient processing time, students must submit all required documentation and meet priority deadlines (June 1st for Fall and November 1st for Spring). Processing time increases significantly during peak periods (July, August, and January).

Processing time is typically 7 to 10 business days, but may exceed 10 business days during peak processing times.

2016-2017 Dependent and Independent Student Requirements

  • Verification Form (read carefully)
  • 2015 Tax Transcript or Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
    • Student and/or spouse, if married
    • Parent(s), if parental information was required when completing the FAFSA
  • 2015 W-2’s and/or 1099 forms
    • Required if employed/worked but did not and will not file a 2015 Tax Return
    • Required for verification if selected under V6 category 
  •  Other Documentation if requested

IMPORTANT NOTE: Frequently check your AP email and AP OneStop for notification of additional needed documentation.

IRS and the Verification of Income

IRS tax information must be submitted to our office and can be obtained by one of the following:

 1)   FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool through FAFSA cannot be used if any of the following tax filing statuses apply: 

    • Married, but filing separate tax returns
    • Dependent student’s parents are unmarried and living together
    • Amended Tax Return
    • Foreign Tax Return
    • Tax Extension
    • Identity Theft

 2)   IRS Transcript 

It may take up to three weeks for IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers.

2015 Tax Filing Statuses

Married but filed separate 2015 tax returns OR parents are unmarried but living together

  • If you are married, but filed separate tax returns, our office will need copies of both your and your spouse’s 2015 tax transcripts. 
  • If you were required to provide parent data when completing the FAFSA, and those parents filed separate returns, they too, must submit both of their 2015 tax return transcripts. 

Amended Tax Return    

  •  If you filed an amended tax return, our office will need a SIGNED copy of the filed IRS Form 1040X and the original IRS tax return transcript.

Foreign Tax Return

  • If you filed a foreign tax return such as, but not limited to: Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, our office will need a signed copy of the tax return.
  • If you filed a foreign tax return from the Freely Associated States (Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia), our office will need a copy of the individual’s Wage and Tax Statement from each employer and a signed statement identifying all income and taxes for the tax year.

Tax Extension

  • A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that the individual filed with the IRS for the tax year (IRS Record of Account transcript can be used in lieu of Form 4868); 
  • If applicable, a copy of the IRS’s approval of an unexpired extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for the tax year;
  • A copy of the tax filer's IRS Form W–2 and/or 1099 forms for each source of employment income received for the tax year; AND
  • If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for the tax year.

Identity Theft

  • A victim of tax-related identity theft must provide a signed and dated statement indicating the tax filer was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.
  • A copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) alternative transcript is also required. Tax filers may obtain a TRDBV transcript and inform the IRS of the tax-related identity theft by calling the IRS's Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490.

Deadlines

Per Federal Law, 2016-2017 verification may be completed 120 days from the last day of a student's enrollment for the award year or the published deadline (September 23, 2017), whichever is earlier. If students fail to submit the requested documentation by the deadline, they forfeit any eligibility for the award year. Student loans cannot be processed after the term or semester ends in which a student was enrolled, unless certain criteria are met for a late disbursement.

NOTE: The above deadline is for verification paperwork purposes only. All other deadline dates remain the same.