What is the verification process and why was I selected?
The verification process allows schools to verify the accuracy of
the information you submitted on your FAFSA. You are required to submit
signed copies of your (and/or your spouse’s or parents’)
federal income tax returns for the previous calendar year and a verification
worksheet. Our office compares this information to the information
on your FAFSA. If corrections are necessary, we’ll send them
electronically. The corrections usually take 3 to 5 business days
Effective July 1, 2012, signed copies of Federal Tax returns can no longer be accepted for the 2012-13 academic year. Students/Parents must request a tax transcript from the IRS. For more information, click here.
The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students for verification.
Approximately 30% of aid applicants are selected. Additionally, colleges
and universities may choose to verify applicants who were not selected
originally by the Federal Processor.
Why do I have to submit my (or my parents’ or spouse’s)
Military Leave and Earnings statement for verification?
BAS allotments are listed on your MLES and are untaxed.
Therefore, these amounts must be listed as untaxed income under Worksheet
B on your Verification Worksheet. In the past, the BAS and BAQ figures
were listed on military W-2s. However, this is no longer the case and
Financial Aid Offices must use the MLES to verify these figures.
What steps should I take if I didn’t file a tax return?
If you did not file a tax return, you should indicate on your Verification
Worksheet that you did not file. If you did work the previous calendar
year, you should list your employer and earnings in the designated
area of the worksheet. Please keep in mind that the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) does have certain filing requirements. If we verify
your application and see that your earnings meet or are above these
requirements, we will not be able to continue the verification process
unless you file a tax return.
Why am I being asked for proof of nonfiling?
You are asked for proof of nonfiling because there is conflicting
information on your FAFSA and Verification Worksheet. More than likely,
you indicated on your FAFSA that you did file or would file a tax
return, and you indicated on your Verification Worksheet that you
did NOT file.
Why am I being asked to submit copies of W-2s?
Sometimes, information on tax returns does not match the amount under
“earnings from work” reported on the FAFSA. In these cases,
we must request W-2s. For example, you and your spouse filed a joint
tax return. Your total wages, salaries and tips on your tax return
was $30,000. However, on your FAFSA, your income was listed as $10,000,
and your spouse’s was listed as $25,000. This total is different
from the amount on your tax return, so we must verify the information
by requesting W-2s. (The Verification Worksheet does state that our
office may request copies of your W-2s.)