About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process, which requires the school to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information.
If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.
Easiest Route: Use the IRS data retrieval process to automatically populate your and your parents’ tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool simplifies the FAFSA filing and may result in quicker processing of your verification.
If using the IRS data retrieval tool isn't possible, you'll need to submit a tax return transcript and submit a verification form asking for a list of household members and sources of other income such as untaxed pensions, IRA distributions, IRA deductions and education credit. If you have filed your taxes with the IRS, you should log into your FAFSA at studentaid.gov and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information. If you do this, you will not be required to submit a tax transcript. Request a tax transcript from the IRS here, or call 1-800-908-9946.
If you are not and will not be required to file taxes, be sure to submit all W-2s to document earnings from work.
Submitting your FAFSA and completing verification is required before aid can be awarded. Failure to meet the verification deadlines may result in certain types of aid not being offered.
Verification is an important step in the process of receiving financial aid. It’s not a process to be feared, yet it is a process to be taken seriously. Quick turnaround in submission of requested documents can ensure your financial aid file gets processed in a timely, accurate manner.