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Verification Process


Verification Process

The Federal Government or a Financial Aid Office Administrator may select students, either at random or for one of the following reasons:

  • Student made errors on the FAFSA
  • Student did not use the Data Retrieval Tool
  • Student submits income information that seems inconsistent with family size and poverty-level guidelines
  • Student’s residency or citizenship status is unclear
  • Male student has not filed with Selective Service
  • Student under 24 years of age claims independent status
  • Conflicting data on FAFSA or information that has been submitted to the college.


In general, all applicants who have already filed but elect to not use the Data Retrieval Tool will be subject to being selected for verification based upon the risk they pose to federal funds. If selected applicants will be required to support their reported FAFSA data with information obtained directly from the IRS. The process of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will greatly simplify and expedite the verification process. You will no longer be allowed to submit complete copies of your federal tax returns to our office.

Families must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool:

  • You will need to authenticate your identity before any personal information is displayed.
  • Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA. You can also choose NOT to transfer the data to the FAFSA.
  • Transferred data will have a notation - “Transferred from the IRS" on the Student Aid Report.
  • Electronically filed tax return information will be available on-line from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed,
  • Data from paper tax returns that are filed will be available to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in 6-8 weeks.


Some Families Will Not Be Able to Use This Tool:

  • A married independent applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns;
  • When the parents of a dependent student filed separate tax returns.
  • An applicant or applicant’s parent who have had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2014.
  • The applicant, or parent or spouse, where applicable, who have filed an amended tax return, will not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool. These families will need to provide Tax Transcripts Directly from the IRS. To provide information obtained directly from the IRS.


FAFSA Corrections:

We know that many of you, will not have your federal tax returns completed when filing the FAFSA. You can use "estimated income" information on the initial FAFSA. You will be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool once your tax return is completed.

Using e-mails and other communications Federal Student Aid Processor’s will remind applicants that once they have filed their income tax return they should use the FAFSA corrections process to update their FAFSA using the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process. If you are selected for verification this will help expedite your verification process. Subsequent messages will be sent every 45 days until mid-September then every 60 days until the end of the processing cycle.


  • Click on the link in the middle of the page "Make FAFSA Corrections"

FAFSA Website