2020-2021 Verification Information
Verification is Mandated by the Department of Education
The Department of Education randomly selects at least 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.
If the student has granted electronic consent, 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.
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.
2020-2021 Dependent and Independent Student Requirements
- Verification Form
- Select the appropriate form as indicated in the student’s AP OneStop. Go to Verification Forms and complete the form electronically. If required, 'Verification of Identity and Educational Purpose' and 'Affidavit of Citizenship/Immigration Documentation Originality' forms must be printed, completed, and submitted to our office.
- Household Size and Number in College: Household size is the number of people for whom you or your parent(s), if dependent,
will provide over 50% support during the school year. The number in college includes
household members enrolled in a program that leads to a college degree or certificate at least half-time during the academic year.
- NOTE: Dependent students claim parents as household members. However, if parents are enrolled in college, students may not include parents in number in college.
- 2018 Signed Tax Return or IRS Tax Return Transcript
- A tax return must be signed by at least one filer.
- IRS tax information should be submitted to our office. If you do not have a signed
copy of your tax return, tax return transcripts can be obtained by following these instructions.
- Student and/or spouse, if married
- Parent(s), if parental information was required when completing the FAFSA
- 2018 W-2’s and/or 1099 forms or wage and income statements from IRS
- Required if employed/worked but did not and will not file a 2018 Tax Return
- Verification of Non-Filing
- Independent students who indicate they were not required to file a 2018 Tax Return must request an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS and submit to our office.
- Dependent students who did not file are not required to supply this letter for themselves.
- Parents of dependent students who indicate they were not required to file a 2018 Tax Return must request an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS and submit to our office.
- Verification of Nonfiling Letter must be dated on or after October 1, 2019.
- High School Completion
- In some cases, the Department of Education requires verification of high school completion. The Financial Aid Office works with the Office of Admissions to verify high school graduation. Our office provides estimated financial aid award packages prior to verification completion; however, APSU must receive a student's final high school diploma, or its equivalent, prior to verification completion and disbursement of federal funds. Financial aid awards may change once verification is complete. Students are notified of changes to awards via AP Email and may review changes in AP OneStop.
- Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose
- If requested, students may complete this requirement in one of two ways. (1) provide government-issued photo id in person to our office along with the form, or (2) present a government-issued photo id and sign the form in front of a notary public to send along with the affidavit signed by the notary public.
- Other Documentation if requested
IMPORTANT NOTE: Frequently check your AP email and AP OneStop for notification of additional needed documentation.
If required, IRS tax information must be submitted to our office. Follow these instructions to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
Married but filed separate 2018 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 2018 IRS Tax Return 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 2018 IRS 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.
- These requirements are loaded to a student's account if IRS data retrieval indicates an amendment was filed, regardless if a student's FAFSA was selected for verification.
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.
- 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);
- 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.
- 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.
Conflicting information exists if one or more data elements appear to be incorrect. If conflicting data is determined during the course of verification, it must be resolved. Inaccurate information will be corrected and transmitted to the federal processor. If a correction is processed, an email will be sent to you.
Our office reviews 400/401 codes to determine if further review is required. This review is completed via an electronic process. If the reason for the code requires further review, appropriate documentation is loaded as required, and you will be sent an email notification. If the reason for the code does not require review, the requirement will be waived.
The 2020-2021 FAFSA permits a student/parent to include the amount of a rollover when using IRS DRT. If IRS DRT was utilized, and the IRS Distributions flag indicates a change was made, our office requests a statement concerning the rollover from you or your parent (if dependent). The statement must include the amount of the rollover and indicate the rollover was IRS authorized.
A student is not eligible for federal student aid if the student owns property that is subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States. A parent can’t receive a PLUS Loan if either the student or the parent has property subject to a judgment lien for a debt owed to the United States. If it is determined a judgment lien exists and aid has already been processed, it will be canceled.
Per Federal Law, 2020-2021 verification may be completed 120 days from the last day of a student's enrollment for the award year or the official published Federal Register deadline, 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.