The Federal Verification Process

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal financial aid form that students complete to apply for all federal student financial aid.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education, you are required to provide documentation that verifies the information you entered on your FAFSA. Reasons for being selected for verification include: your FAFSA contains estimated information or inconsistencies, was incomplete or was selected at random.

Required Documentation

If your FAFSA is selected, you and your parent(s) must complete a Verification Worksheet.

Follow the "documents" link from the top left menu of the Financial Aid Portal to determine which verification form is required of you. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, complete the verification requirements as soon as possible so your federal financial aid can be finalized.

Income Documentation

You and your parent(s) must provide documentation regarding income and tax filing status. 

For 2023-24, if you or your parents filed a 2021 federal tax return, you may submit signed copies of the 2021 federal tax returns, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or submit a Tax Transcript from the IRS

Non-tax-filers must complete a non-filer statement indicating that they did not, and were not required to file a 2021 federal tax return. Non-tax filers must also submit a verification of non-filing letter from the IRS that they did not file a 2021 federal tax return.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

We strongly encourage students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you did not choose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you initially filed your 2023-24 FAFSA, you can still utilize DRT by:

  1. Logging into yur FAFSA and selecting “Make FAFSA Corrections"
  2. In the Financial Information section of the FAFSA, click “Link to IRS’”
  3. At the IRS site, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”
You will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
  • Your marital status changed after December 31, 2021
  • You filed an amended return - Submit a signed copy of your return directly to our office
  • You filed married filing separately
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN)
  • You filed a foreign tax return - Submit a signed copy of your return directly to our office
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return

IRS Tax Transcript Request Process

The IRS webpage Transcript Types and Ways to Order Them provides an overview of IRS transcript options and how to obtain them. The IRS truncates information that appears on the IRS tax transcript, so please be sure to include the student's full name on any IRS tax transcript uploaded to IDOC.

Tax Filers
Tax filers selected for verification but unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool may request a Tax Return Transcript (NOT an Account Transcript) of their 2020 tax return from the IRS.

1. Request one online from the IRS
2. Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts 
3. Complete and file IRS Form 4506-T or IRS Form 4506T-EZ

Non-tax filers-
Independent students and parent non-tax filers selected for verification must request a Verification of Non-filing Letter:

1. Request one online from the IRS 
2. Complete and file IRS Form 4506-T and checkbox #7.

The Verification of Non-Filing Letter provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040 for the year you requested (2020). Dependent student non-filers are not required to obtain the Verification of Non-Filing Letter.

Note: Electronic filers may request an IRS Tax Return Transcript within 2-3 weeks after the tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Paper filers may take up to 8 weeks after the paper tax return was filed. 

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. In the meantime,  please provide a copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) tax transcript to our office. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.

Your Financial Aid Offer after Verification

We are required to resolve any conflicting information discovered during the federal verification process. As a result, the amount and type of your financial aid may change after the verification process is completed. You will be notified by email to check the Financial Aid Portal ("awards" link) if there is any revision to your award. 

This page was last updated on March 17, 2023.