The Department of Education selects approximately 30% of students who complete the FAFSA for verification. Verification is a process where the school confirms the data reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Students selected for verification will receive notification from the Department of Education on their Student Aid Report (SAR), a letter or an email from the Financial Aid Office, and the required documents will appear on the To Do List on WINS. The type of documents a student is required to submit will vary for each student. Check with the Financial Aid Office if you are not sure what documents to submit.
If students and parents of dependent students utilize the IRS Data Retrieval tool while completing the FAFSA, this could reduce the number of documents required. Beginning the first week of February, this tool transfers tax data directly from the IRS. In general, if you filed your taxes electronically, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will be available in approximately 2-3 weeks. If you filed a paper tax return, it may take 6-8 weeks for the information to be available via the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Individuals who owe the IRS and have not paid may experience a delay in obtaining tax data. Depending on the situation, the data is available in May or June.
Here's how it works:
If the IRS Data Retrieval is unavailable during the initial filing of the FAFSA, you can update this information at a later date by going back to fafsa.gov, logging in, and clicking Make Corrections to a Processed FAFSA.
For step by step instructions, watch this video*:
*We recommend you click view full screen for a better view of the text in the video.
When the Financial Aid Office requests documents, it is important to submit these documents in a timely manner. Any documents which are incomplete or illegible will be returned to the student. If our office needs additional information after reviewing the documents, an email or letter will be sent to the student.
All worksheets are available in our online forms section. Check the To Do list or the communication from the Financial Aid Office to determine which worksheets you need to submit. Be sure you are downloading worksheets for the correct aid year.
The Financial Aid Office must collect tax return transcripts for anyone selected for verification who did not use the IRS Data Retrieval or if the data from the IRS was updated after it was transferred. We are unable to accept a copy of the tax return in place of a tax transcript. The IRS will provide a tax return transcript free for any tax filer. You can order a transcript to be mailed or call 1-800-908-9946. Be sure to order a Return Transcript. If you need to speak to a person at the IRS, call 1-800-829-1040; however you cannot order transcripts using this phone number.
If you are struggling with obtaining IRS data, contact the Financial Aid Office to schedule an appointment with your administrator.
If you have submitted an amended return to the IRS, please send the Financial Aid Office a signed copy of the amended return (1040X form) along with the IRS Tax Return Transcript.
If you have been the victim of identity theft and you cannot obtain tax transcripts, you must provide the following documents:
If you did not save a copy of your W-2 form(s), you can contact your employer(s) for copies. You only need to submit W-2s if they are requested.