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Verification is a process used by the US Department of Education to ensure that certain information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. Ensuring the accuracy on the application improves the accuracy of the EFC (estimated family contribution) which improves the accuracy of the grant amount awarded.
Here are some reasons you may have been selected by the Federal Central Processing System:
- You were randomly selected
- Your FAFSA contains inconsistent data
- Your FAFSA is incomplete
- Your FAFSA contains estimated data
What is required?
All students who are selected for verification are required to:
1. Submit a 14-15 Verification Worksheet
2. Submit the required 2013 tax information
The type of worksheet and tax information required depends on whether you are a dependent student or an independent student. You are required to submit only one worksheet, not both.
14-15 Dependent Verification Worksheet: Submit this if your parent’s information was required to complete the FAFSA. You will also need to submit your tax information if you filed taxes along with your parent’(s) tax information.
14-15 Independent Verification Worksheet: Submit this if parental information was not required to complete the FAFSA. You will also need to submit your (and your spouse’s if you are married) tax information if you filed taxes.
The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) that is part of FAFSA on the Web to import data from your tax return. This is the fastest, easiest, and most secure method. In most cases, no further documentation is needed to verify IRS income tax return information that was transferred into the student’s FAFSA using the IRS DRT if that information was not changed. For the retrieved data to be acceptable documentation of tax data, it is necessary that neither students nor parents change the data after it is transferred from the IRS.
Go to FAFSA , log in to the student’s FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections”, and select the tab across the top of the FAFSA called Financial Information. From there, follow the instructions to transfer the tax data directly from the IRS into the student’s FAFSA.
Please note: the corrections will not be processed unless you go to the end and sign your FAFSA electronically using your federal pin number and at least one parent also has to sign with their federal pin number for dependent students.
Please feel free to view this short 2 minute video which shows the data retrieval process:
In most cases, for electronic filers, IRS income tax return information for the IRS DRT is available within 2–3 weeks after the electronic IRS income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally, for filers of paper IRS income tax returns, the IRS income tax return information is available for the IRS DRT within 8–11 weeks after the paper IRS income tax return has been received by the IRS.
What if I cannot use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?
If either you or your parents are unable to use the data retrieval tool on your FAFSA, it will be necessary to submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript. Under certain conditions, some applicants will need to submit an IRS Tax Transcript instead of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Click here to view these specific conditions. You may request this free transcript by one of the following ways:
- Request a copy in person. Go to a local IRS tax office in your area. Click here to locate an office or for the Erie tax office information.
- Request a copy on line at the IRS website. Click on the “Order a Return or Account Transcript” link. Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and not the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.” Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on the IRS income tax return, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the IRS income tax return). In most cases, for electronic filers, an IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested from the IRS within 2–3 weeks after the IRS income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally, for filers of paper IRS income tax returns, the IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 8–11 weeks after the paper IRS income tax return has been received by the IRS.
- Request a copy by phone. Please call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
- Request a copy via mail. Please submit to the IRS the Form 4506T-EZ which can be printed from the IRS website.
**Step by step instructions on the different ways to request the Tax Transcript.
What if I need additional copies of the Tax Return Transcript?
The easiest way to have multiple copies is to make a copy of the original transcript sent to you for future use. A person can request multiple copies of an IRS Tax Return Transcript for a single aid year, however if they request a second copy within a short timeframe of requesting their initial copy, the person may get a message denying their second request, stating that a transcript has already been processed for them. To avoid this situation, a person can walk into an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center with a photo ID (driver's license) and obtain a copy of their IRS Tax Return Transcript in person. Or a person can wait approximately 3 weeks before submitting an additional request in order to allow the first request to be processed before making a second request.
How do I turn in the required documents?
You may use any of the following methods to submit the required documentation. Our office does not have a preference so you may chose whichever method is easiest for you.
Fax - You may fax the documents to 814-732-2129 (You do not need to put it to anyone’s attention) Our fax is in service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is in a secure location accessed by employees only.
E-mail -You may scan and send the documents as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail -You may mail the documents to Edinboro University, Financial Aid Office, 210 Glasgow Rd. Edinboro, PA 16444
In Person -You may turn in the documents to our office. We are open from 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. Please note during the summer, we are only open until 4 pm.
How long does the process take?
Verification of required documents is generally completed in two weeks after submission of all documents. During peak periods (March-September) more time should be allowed. It is important to submit complete and correct information as soon as possible to avoid any delay in the processing and disbursing of your financial aid. Please remember that verification must be completed prior to any of your financial aid being disbursed to your account.
Edinboro's Verification Policy
For more detailed information on Verification, please view Edinboro's Verification Policy.
What if I do not complete verification?
If a student’s application is selected for verification, the student must complete the verification process or forfeit federal student aid and the student will be responsible for any charges incurred.
If the student selected for verification does not provide the required documentation by their deadline, then the university cannot:
- Disburse federal financial aid on behalf of the student. This includes: the Pell grant, FSEOG grant, Stafford Loans, Parent Plus Loans, Perkins Loans, or allow a student to participate in the Federal Work Study program.
- Future registration of classes will be delayed.
- The student is responsible for any late charges incurred because the financial aid has not been disbursed.
- The student must repay any Perkins or FSEOG funds she received during the academic year.
For more information view the Unsual Circumstances and Exceptions for Tax Returns.
What is the deadline to turn in documents?
Generally students may submit 2013-2014 documents by the anticipated deadline of September 26, 2014 or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment, whichever is earlier.
Universities are required to verify any information they have reason to believe is incorrect on any application. As a result, Edinboro may require a student to verify any FAFSA information and to provide any reasonable documentation in accordance with our consistently applied verification policy.
Referral of Fraud Cases
If it is suspected that a student or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal funds, Edinboro University is required to refer these cases to the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Education. If it is determined that you have purposely given false or misleading information, you may be fined, sent to prison, or both.
What happens after my documents are submitted?
The Financial Aid Office will send an e-mail notification to the student’s Edinboro e-mail account and the e-mail addresses listed on the FAFSA if additional documents are still needed to complete the verification process. Please check these accounts frequently.
If all the documents are submitted, the information on your required documents will be compared to the information you submitted on your FAFSA. The school will make any corrections if necessary and you will receive an e-mail from the US Dept. of Ed. notifying you if changes are made by the school. If your financial aid changes as a result, you will also receive an e-mail from Edinboro to your Edinboro email account notifying you of the change in your award.
What if I need help?
Please contact our office for any assistance by calling 1-814-732-3500 or 1-888-611-2680 between 9 am and 4:30 pm (or 4 pm during the summer). You may also e-mail any questions to email@example.com. We are happy to guide you through this process.
Please do not view this as a negative process because it is required by the US Dept. of Ed. And remember, that the process does not automatically reduce your aid eligibility. In some cases, it may potentially increase your eligibility for aid.