The Federal Verification Process
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the federal financial aid form that students complete to apply for all federal student financial aid.
If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education, you are required to provide documentation that verifies the information you entered on your FAFSA. Reasons for being selected for verification include: your FAFSA contains estimated information or inconsistencies, was incomplete, or was selected at random.
Required documentation varies depending on the information we're required to verify. If your FAFSA is selected, you and your parent(s) must complete a specific Verification Worksheet.
You and your parent(s) must provide documentation directly from the IRS regarding income and tax filing status. If you or your parents have filed federal taxes, you must submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript to our office. Non tax-filers must provide IRS documentation as well. See below for applicable options.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is unavailable for 2017-18. More information is available from Update: Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Federal Student Aid (FSA) Statement on IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) publication.
Check the "documents" tab on NetPartner to determine which verification form is required of you. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, complete the verification requirements as soon as possible so your federal financial aid can be finalized.
IRS Tax Transcript Request Process
The IRS webpage Transcript Types and Ways to Order Them provides an overview of IRS transcript options and how to obtain them.
Those tax filers selected for verification but unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool must request a Tax Return Transcript (NOT an Account Transcript) of their 2015 tax return from the IRS:
Those non-tax filers selected for verification must request a Verification of Non-filing Letter:
The Verification of Non-filing Letter provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ for the year you requested (2015).
An IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 2-3 weeks after the return has been accepted by the IRS. The IRS Tax Return Transcript may take up to 8 weeks to be available for those who file paper tax returns.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
DRT is currently unavailable for the 2017-18 school year. Here is the latest release from the Department of Education.
If you did not chose the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when you initially filed your FAFSA, but want to do so now:
- Login to fafsa.ed.gov to “Make FAFSA Corrections"
- On the FAFSA, in the Financial Information section, click “Link to IRS’”
- On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”
You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- Your marital status changed after December 31, 2015
- You filed an amended return - submit a signed copy of your return directly to our office
- You filed married filing separately
- You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN)
- You filed a foreign tax return - submit a signed copy of your return directly to out office
- The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return
More information about DRT
Identity Theft Information-
If you have been a victim of identity theft, you cannot obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved by the IRS. Since resolution can take a significant amount of time, please provide a copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) tax transcript to our office. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.
Your Financial Aid Package after Verification-
We are required to resolve any conflicting information discovered during the federal verification process. As a result, the amount and type of your financial aid may change after the verification process is completed. You will be notified to check NetPartner (awards tab) if there is any revision to your award.
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.