What is verification?
Each academic year, approximately 30% of financial aid applications are selected by the U.S. Department of Education for review. This process of review is known as verification.
If you are selected for verification, we are required to verify that the information you submitted on your FAFSA is true and correct. We will notify you via email if you have been selected, and we cannot generate a financial aid award for you until the verification process is complete.
However, if you do not wish to apply for any need-based assistance (work-study or the Perkins loan), verification is not required. It is also not required if you plan to take part only in the Grad PLUS or unsubsidized loan programs, or if you are certain you will not be attending DU within the academic year. Contact us if you are selected for verification and any of those circumstances apply.
What do I need to submit?
If selected for verification, you will receive an email from our office indicating you (and your spouse, if applicable) must submit one of more of the following items:
- Federal Verification Worksheet
- Tax return transcript (obtained directly from the IRS)
Tax return transcripts and W-2s should be from the year prior to the academic year for which you are applying for aid (for example, for the 2013-14 academic year, you should submit your 2012 tax return transcript and/or W-2s). Not all documents will be required of all students, and you may be able to utilize the IRS data retrieval tool to update your FAFSA instead of submitting a tax return transcript. In addition to reviewing the email sent from our office, you can view outstanding requirements by logging into webCentral.
How do I get a copy of my tax transcript?
Once you have filed your taxes, you can obtain a copy of your transcript through the IRS website:
- Go to www.irs.gov.
- Click on "Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript" in the Tools section of the homepage.
- Click on "Order a Transcript" under step 3, enter your personal information and click "Continue."
- In the Type of Transcript field, select "Return Transcript" and select the appropriate year in the Tax Year field.
- Alternatively, you may also call 1-800-908-9946 to request your tax transcript.
If successfully validated, you can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address you entered in your online request within 5-10 business days.
Using IRS Data Retrieval Instead of Getting a Tax Transcript
Using the IRS data retrieval tool may eliminate the need to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript because it will import your tax return data directly into your application. Generally, you can use this tool 1-2 weeks after submitting your taxes electronically (6-8 weeks if you filed a paper tax return). To use data retrieval to correct your FAFSA after you have already submitted it:
- Log into www.fafsa.ed.gov.
- Click "Make FAFSA Corrections," enter your login information and click "Next."
- Click on the "Financial Information" link toward the top of the page.
- Choose "Already completed" from the drop-down box, check the "None of the above" box (provided this is appropriate for your tax return) and click "Next."
- Enter your PIN and click "Link to IRS." You'll be taken to the IRS website.
- Enter the required information and click "Submit." If your information was successfully validated, your tax return information will appear. Click "Transfer Now" and then "OK" to return to the FAFSA website.
- Click on the "Sign and Submit" link toward the top of the page and submit your corrections.
When do I need to submit this documentation?
The priority deadline for new students to submit requested documents is March 1st; the priority deadline for continuing students is April 1st. All students, including transfer students, who submit verification documents after the priority deadline may not be considered for all sources of need-based assistance, as some funds are limited. The sooner requested documents are submitted, the sooner we will be able to generate an award package for you.
The final deadline for verification is the student's last day of attendance during an academic year or June 30 of the academic year, whichever is first. Students submitting documents after the final deadline will not be eligible for financial aid for that year.
A Note About Verification Results
If verification documents reveal inaccuracies in your FAFSA, your application will be corrected electronically by a member of our office. If a correction is made, an email may be sent to the address listed on the FAFSA indicating a change has been made to the file. If incomplete or inadequate verification documents are submitted, you will be notified of discrepancies by email and instructed on how to correct them.
Verification may result in a change to your financial aid award. If so, you will be notified of any changes. You are encouraged to contact us for an explanation of corrections and amended awards.
Should our review of your financial aid application reveal you may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with your application, we are required to report this information to the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Education for investigation. Examples of such information include (but are not limited to) false claims of independent student status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures or certificates and false statements of income.