Frequently Asked Questions
What is Verification?
Verification is a process used to check the accuracy of certain information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a fancy word for "audit". Some students are selected for verification by the US Department of Education and others are selected by the school.
Why was I selected for Verification? Did I do something wrong?
Each year, about 30% of all FAFSAs submitted to the federal processor are selected for verification. Selection for verification may be random or as the result of missing, inconsistent, or seemingly incorrect information. Just because you were selected for verification does not mean you did anything wrong.
My parents are separated/divorced. Which parent do I list on the verification worksheet?
If your parents are separated or divorced, provide the family information for the parent the student lives with the most. It does not matter which parent claims the student on their federal tax return.
Why can't I transfer my or my family's tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval tool to my 2021-2022 FAFSA?
There are several reasons why you may not be able to transfer your or your family's tax information:
- If you or your family owe taxes, your tax information will not be available until the tax bill is settled.
- If you or your parents are married and filing separate returns, you are unable to use the Data Retrieval Tool. Instead, you must request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.
- If you or your parents have amended their tax return for 2019, you must request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.
- If your or your parents' marital status has changed as of January 1, 2019, you must request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.
I or my family owe taxes to the federal government. When can we get a Tax Return Transcript?
You or your family will be unable to get a copy of your Tax Return Transcript until your tax bill is paid or a payment plan has been established with the IRS.
I am not required to file taxes. How do I report my income information for verification?
If you are an independent student or the parent(s) of a dependent student and did not file and were not required to file a 2019 Federal Tax Return, you must provide the Office of Student Financial Services with a statement from the IRS that confirms you did not file taxes in 2019. To receive this statement, you must submit IRS Form 4506-T to the IRS. Additionally, you must provide copies of all W2s for all income earned during 2019.
If you are a dependent student and did not file and were not required to file a 2019 Federal Tax Return, you must indicate so on the verification worksheet by checking the appropriate box. Additionally, you must provide copies of all W2s for all income earned during 2019.