Federal Verification Process


When you submit the FAFSA on the Web, you may be randomly selected by the Federal processor for a process called “verification.” This means the Department of Education requires our office to determine the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA on the Web application. If you receive this notification, please complete the following steps in compliance with Federal guidelines.

NOTE: The following steps must be completed before each term priority deadline to be considered for priority awarding. Review deadlines on the FAFSA Information/Application page.

Review Deadlines

Verification Steps:

Visit FAFSA.ed.gov

What is the IRS Data Retrieval?

The IRS Data Retrieval is a feature of FAFSA on the web, which links your FAFSA with your already filed federal tax information through the IRS. You may update your FAFSA by linking to your federal taxes and pulling your tax data directly from the IRS ‘auto-filling” the tax portion of your FAFSA. Taxes submitted electronically require 2-3 weeks before they can be requested. If they were submitted by paper, they will require up to 8-11 weeks. If you do not wish to complete the IRS Data retrieval and are required for verification, you must contact the IRS to request a copy of student and/or parent’s IRS tax transcript to provide to The Office of Financial Aid (See below, “Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript”).

How to use the IRS Data Retrieval:

See our IRS Data Retrieval Step by Step Guide.
NOTE: The student and parent must go to the IRS separately. Student and parent must have an FSA ID username and password to use IRS Data Retrieval.

View the IRS Data Retrieval Guide

What if I Cannot Complete the IRS Data Retrieval?

If you cannot complete Step 1 (above), you may request an IRS Tax Transcript and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. (See below, “Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript”).

You must request an IRS Tax Transcript if:

  • You (or your parent) did not use the IRS Data Retrieval process either at initial FAFSA filing or through subsequent corrections.
  • You changed information after using the IRS Data Retrieval process.
  • Your tax status is ‘Married, filing separately.’
  • Your parents filed separate tax returns.
  • You (or your parent) had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31.
  • You (or your parent) filed an amended tax return.
  • You filed taxes outside the U.S.

Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript:

  1. On the IRS website choose “Get Your Tax Record”. (See our guide on Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript.)
  2. Select the “Get Transcript Online” OR “Get Transcript by Mail” option.
  3. Fill in the requested information and request the Return Transcript.
  4. Once you receive your transcript submit it to the Office of Financial Aid for verification.

Guide on Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript

Alternate methods for requesting an IRS Tax Transcript are:

  1. Call 800.908.9946 and request the transcript by phone. Listen closely to the available options. You will need to choose Option 2 to “Request a Transcript of your Tax Return.” A paper copy will be mailed to you, (usually within 5 to 10 days).
  2. You may also request one in writing by completing the IRS form 4506T and mail or fax it to the IRS.

NOTE: You will need your Social Security Number and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when your 2016 IRS tax return was filed).

Non-filers: Requesting an IRS Statement of Non-filing:

  1. WEB: Go to www.IRS.gov website and click the “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records” link under the Tools section to receive an electronic copy or a paper copy by mail (usually mailed within 5 to 10 days).

    Visit IRS.gov

  2. PHONE: Call 1-800-908-9946. Listen closely to the available options. You will need to choose Option 2 to “Request an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter.” A letter will be mailed to you, (usually within 5 to 10 days).
  3. PAPER REQUEST: Complete IRS Form 4506-T. Mail or fax the completed form to the IRS following instructions on page 2 of the form. A letter will be mailed to you, (usually within 5 to 10 days).

    IRS Form 4506-T