Verification & Conflicting Information
Each year, approximately 30 percent of financial aid applications are selected for federal verification and an additional amount require additional review due to conflicting information. As a result, you'll need to provide additional documentation so we can ensure the information provided on your financial aid application is accurate. If your file is selected, you must complete the process before we can provide you with a financial aid award letter.
Being selected for federal verification or additional review is not a reason to panic as long as you filled out your financial aid application accurately and to the best of your abilities. Below, you'll find instructions on how to proceed if you're selected, along with answers to several of our most frequently asked questions.
Federal Verification vs. Conflicting Information
Applications selected for federal verification are chosen by the U.S. Department of Education, while applications that have conflicting information between the FAFSA and CSS Profile are selected for additional review by the University of Denver. In both cases, further documentation is required before we can offer financial aid.
Overview of the Process
If you're selected for federal verification or have conflicting information, we'll notify you via email so you can help us verify that the information you submitted on your financial aid application is accurate.
However, if you do not wish to apply for any need-based assistance, this process is not required. It's also not required if you plan to take part only in the Federal Parent PLUS or unsubsidized loan programs, or if you are certain you will not be attending DU within the academic year. If you're selected and any of these circumstances apply, please contact us.
What to Submit
If you're selected for federal verification or have conflicting information, you'll receive an email from our office indicating what you (and your parents, if applicable) need to submit. Required documents may include:
- Verification Worksheet
- 2017 student and/or parent tax return transcripts (obtained directly from the IRS)
- 2017 student and/or parent W-2s
- 2017 student and/or parent tax returns
If applying for aid for the 2019-20 academic year, tax returns, tax return transcripts and W-2s should be from 2017. Not all documents will be required of all students. Prospective students should log into www.du.edu/appstatus to view the specific requirements needed to complete their application. Current students should check through PioneerWeb.
Note: If a tax return transcript is requested, you may be able to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your FAFSA. To use this tool—which will import your tax return data directly into your application—log into your FAFSA online at www.FAFSA.gov and click "Make FAFSA Corrections". For more detailed instructions, review the Guide to Using IRS Data Retrieval. Once your FAFSA is correct and you've waited an additional 3-4 business days for processing, use the methods described above to check your application status to see if a tax return transcript is still required.
When to Submit
Make sure to submit your documents as soon as possible! We're unable to generate your award package until we complete the review process.
The final deadline for federal verification is the student's last day of attendance during an academic year or June 30 of the academic year, whichever comes first. Students submitting documents after the final deadline will not be eligible for financial aid for that year.
Getting Your Tax Return Transcript
If you're unable to use IRS Data Retrieval (see "What to Submit"), you can request a copy of your tax return transcript through the IRS website. To do so, go to www.irs.gov and click on "Get Your Tax Record." Learn more with our how-to guide.
If you're having trouble ordering your tax return transcript online, you can call 1-800-908-9946 to request a copy be mailed to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if the verification process finds an error in my financial aid application?
If verification documents reveal inaccuracies in your FAFSA, a member of our office will correct your application electronically. If and when those corrections are made, the FAFSA processor will send an email to the address listed on the FAFSA indicating a change has been made to the file.
If incomplete or inadequate verification documents are submitted, we'll notify you of discrepancies by email and provide instructions on how to correct them.
Federal verification or institutional review may result in a change to your financial aid award. If so, we will notify you of any changes. We encourage you to contact us for an explanation of corrections and amended awards.
Should our review reveal you may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with your application, we're 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.
What's the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?
A tax return is the form you're likely familiar with—it's what you send to the IRS when you file your taxes (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ).
A tax transcript is a different document that lists your tax return data line-by-line and must be obtained directly from the IRS.
Tax transcripts can be requested through the IRS website. Go to www.irs.gov and click on "Get My Tax Record." Be sure to request a tax return transcript (not a tax account transcript).
What if my parent(s) were self-employed and/or did not receive W-2s?
If your parents are self-employed or do not receive W-2s, please contact our office and we can waive this requirement for you.
What if my parent(s) were unemployed and/or did not file taxes?
If you've been selected for Federal Verification and your parent(s) did not file taxes, your parents must submit a verification of non-filing letter to our office. This letter must come directly from the IRS. To obtain a verification of non-filing letter online, go to www.irs.gov and click on "Get My Tax Record". In addition to this letter, your parent must also submit a Non-Tax Filer Statement Form.
What's the best way to submit documents to your office?
If you're a prospective student, the easiest, most secure way to submit documents is to upload them through your application status page. Get step-by-step instructions by downloading our how-to guide. You can also email them to [email protected] or fax them to 303-871-2341.
If you're a current student, we recommend uploading documents through PioneerWeb as it's the most secure. We'll accept documents via email or fax as well.
2197 S. University Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80210
M - F 8am-4:30pm
Drop-In Advising: 8:30am - 4pm
FAFSA Code: 001371
CSS Profile Code: 4842