So you’ve been selected for verification, huh?
If you’re not sure:
- Log into your FAFSA at fafsa.gov
- Click the blue hyperlink towards the middle of the page that says, “View or Print your Student Aid Report (SAR)”
- See the box towards the top? Next to your EFC should be six digits. If you don’t see six digits here review your FAFSA for errors.
- Look next to those six digits. Do you see an asterisk (*)? If yes, you’ve been selected for verification. You can also skip a few paragraphs down your SAR and it should tell you in the text if you’ve been selected.
But what is verification?
Verification is a process financial aid offices use to verify that the information on your FAFSA is correct. Verification selection is random! It does not mean you’ve done anything wrong. In fact, about 1 out of 3 FAFSA applicants are selected for verification.
Okay…what do I do now?
Be on the lookout for a message from the financial aid offices of the colleges or universities you’ve applied to. They should let you know how to proceed. If you’re notified of verification by a school, you’ll have to complete it before receiving a financial aid award letter.
More than likely they will ask you for financial records such as a Tax Return Transcript, W-2s, or a Verification of Non-Filing. Additionally they may ask you to fill out certain worksheets that are particular to that school. Other schools may ask you to use a verification service like the School Servicing Center.
How do I get a Tax Return Transcript or W-2 or Verification of Non-Filing?
There’s two ways to do this. You can request the forms online at the IRS website. However, the person whose transcript is being requested will need to have either a credit card in their name or the personal account number of their mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan.
A possibly more feasible option is to fill out a 4506-T (click the thumbnail below to see a completed example). Once completed, fax the 4506-T to the IRS fax number that services your state. After about 10 days, you should receive a letter in the mail containing the documents requested!
Okay, so I get my tax documents, then what?
You’ll need to get these to the financial aid office of your school but pay attention to how they ask you to send it. Some may want you to simply fax the documents directly to them. Others may ask that you send the documents and some other worksheets to the office by mail. And still others may ask that you scan and upload the documents.
…I’m still confused.
Feel free to reach out and ask me for clarification! I’d be happy to help. And remember – the faster you complete the verification process, the quicker you can get a financial aid award letter!