Federal Verification

What is verification?

Every year, a sample of students are selected for federal verification. The student may see this indicated on the Student Aid Report or via a notification from the Office of Financial Aid. Verification is the process used to confirm the data reported on a student's FAFSA. The Department of Education provides us with the authority to request any documentation necessary to complete verification.

The student and/or parent must provide the requested documentation by the deadline indicated in the notification. Failure to complete the verification process will result in ineligibility for federal student aid, including grants, loans and work-study. Federal Verification does not impact eligibility for institutional scholarships, state grants and/or outside awards.

Required Documentation

All students selected for verification must provide the following:

  1. Verification Worksheet: either a Dependent Verification Worksheet or an Independent Verification Worksheet. 
  2. Some students may be required to complete this form at the Office of Financial Aid: Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose. This form must be completed in the presence of a financial aid staff member! Do not complete before coming to the office.
  3. Verification of Parent/Student Income & Taxes: Families have 4 options for verifying income information. You are required to complete 1 of the 4. 
    1. IRS Data Retrieval
      • When completing the income sections of the FAFSA, the applicant and parent are given the option to have data retrieved directly from the IRS. This is called the IRS data retrieval tool. Families that completed the FAFSA using the IRS data retrieval tool should not need to provide additional tax information. Since this is the QUICKEST and MOST ACCURATE way to complete the verification process, it is HIGHLY recommended that families use the data retrieval tool. 
    2. Signed copy of Federal Tax Returns (The verification worksheet will indicate which tax year is required.) 
    3. If you did not save a copy of your federal tax return, you can request a Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.
    4. Non-Filers Statement from the IRS
      • Non tax filers (except for dependent students) will have to provide documentation of non-filing. This can be obtained from the IRS using Form 4506-T and checking box 7. ALL non-tax filers (parents and students) that worked must also provide copies of all W-2 forms from all employers,

Verification & Billing

Financial aid will not pay to the student's semester bill until the verification documents have been submitted and reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. As a result, a student may not receive a refund from excess federal student aid until the process is complete. Credit from financial aid will be removed from the student's account as of October. Unpaid accounts may result in late fees and a hold may be placed on the student's registration until the bill is paid. Therefore, it is imperative that students/families complete the verification process before the deadline in their notice.

The Verification Review

Once all appropriate documentation has been provided, a staff member from the Office of Financial Aid will review the information and make corrections to the FAFSA as necessary. We may also request additional documentation to complete the review. Students will receive an updated financial aid award if changes have been made to their financial aid package.


Documents pertaining to verification should be submitted as soon as possible but no later than September 1 of that academic year, (February 1 for new spring admits) in order for financial aid to remain as anticipated credit on a student's account. The final deadline is 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 15 of the next academic year, whichever comes first.  Note that federal loans cannot be certified after the student ceases to be enrolled, whether due to withdrawal or the end of the enrollment period.