What is Verification
Verification is a process to confirm the information you provided on your FAFSA.
The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial aid And Scholarships may at any time select your application for verification based on the information you provided. We are required to make sure that all aid is awarded according to federal and state regulations.
Watch this short video:
If your application is selected for verification
If your application requires verification, we will send you an e-mail that explains how to access AidLink and read the instructions that explain how to submit the required documentation.
- Check your e-mail and AidLink regularly.
- Once you have submitted the required documentation, we will correct any discrepancies and send changes electronically to the federal government.
- Your award amounts will be determined after we receive the corrected and verified application.
Information You May be Asked to Verify
You and/or your parents may be asked to submit documentation or clarification of information you provided on your FAFSA.
Use IRS Data Retrieval
The IRS Data Retrieval process will be faster and easier than ordering a Tax Return Transcript.
In some cases, you may still need to order a Tax Return Transcript.
A personal copy of your tax return is not acceptable.
IRS tax return transcripts
You and your parents may be required to order Tax Return Transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Because of a change in federal law, personal copies of tax returns are no longer accepted as verification of income. A Tax Return Transcript may document —
- Taxable income
- Federal income tax paid
- Certain untaxed income and benefits received
Other information you may be asked to document
You may be required to document or clarify other information, such as —
- Income earned from work if you were not required to file a tax return
- Assets such as bank accounts, rental properties, value of a business or investment
- Untaxed income and benefits received
- Food stamp/SNAP benefits received
- Child support paid and to whom
- Number of family members in the household
- Number of family members enrolled in college
- Citizenship status
- Your name and your social security number
- Any information needed to clarify your status and determine your aid eligibility
File your federal income tax return early
Complete your IRS tax returns as soon as possible so that you can use the IRS Data Retrieval process when you complete your FAFSA.
- According to the IRS, tax return information will be available online from the IRS Web site 1-2 weeks after you electronically file your return.
- If you file a paper tax return, the data will be available in 6-8 weeks.
IRS Data Retrieval
- Return to fafsa.gov and use the IRS Data Retrieval process to update and document the income on your FAFSA.
- Watch "IRS Data Retrieval Tool" for a short video guide on how to do this.
Order an IRS Tax Return Transcript - It's Free
If your application is selected for verification and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when completing your FAFSA, you will be required to order a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
If you are required to order a Tax Return Transcript —
- The IRS will mail the Tax Return Transcript to the tax filer within 5-10 days of the request once the IRS has a completed tax return.
- NEW "Get Transcript" application allows you to view and print your Tax Return Transcript the same day.
- You can order a free IRS Tax Return Transcript online or by phone. (To view and print the same day, you must order online.)
Order online - it takes less than 10 minutes
- Go to the IRS Web site.
- Follow the online prompts and instructions to receive a Tax Return Transcript by mail OR, select "Get Transcript ONLINE" to view and print one online the same day.
- Order a "Tax Return" transcript; do not order a "Tax Account" transcript.
Order by phone
- Call the IRS toll free at 1-800-908-9946.
- Follow the voice instructions and prompts, using your telephone keypad to request your Tax Return Transcript.
How to Return Completed Forms and Documents to Us
Through your AidLink account, you will be able to submit some of the requested information online. When a signature is required on the information you submit online, you will be instructed to print and sign a Summary and Certification page. Some forms you will download, complete, sign and submit. Follow the instructions on all forms, in your e-mail messages, and on AidLink.
- Answer all questions. Read each form carefully and completely so you don't miss anything.
- Make sure you include the required completed documentation with signatures.
- Sign all forms and documents.
- Return all needed documents as quickly as possible.
- Incomplete, inaccurate, or illegible responses from you will cause a delay in when or if you receive any funds.
- Keep a copy for your records of everything you submit.
- Mail the required documents to our address included on all of our forms.