Financial Aid: Verification
Verification is a review process in which the Office of Financial Aid determines the accuracy of the income and asset information provided on the student's financial aid application. During the verification process the student and family/spouse will be required to submit documentation for the amounts listed (or not listed) on the FAFSA.
Documentation can include (but is not limited to):
- Verification Worksheet
- Updated Tax Information on the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and leaving the information untouched after being imported
- Federal tax transcripts for you, your spouse (if any) and your parents
- Documentation of income such as W2s, schedule C or K-1, 1099s
- Proof of citizenship
- Proof of registration with Selective Service
- Additional Information requested by the Office of Financial Aid
You will be notified by UP in writing (mail or email) if you are selected for verification. The Office of Financial Aid will inform you of what forms and documents are required. Please submit only what is requested of you.
Your award may change as a result of verification. If you are selected for verification, your award is considered an estimate until verification is completed for the year.
If we do not receive the required documentation, you will not be eligible for federal, state and some institutional aid. Verification is not required if the student will only receive a Parent or Graduate PLUS Loan or an Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan since those loans are not based on need. However, a student cannot chose to avoid verification by choosing to borrow an Unsubsidized Direct Student Loan if he or she is eligible for a Subsidized Direct Student Loan.
Verification Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Education selects students for verification – some at random, others based on the likelihood that an error was made. You may also be selected by the Office of Financial Aid. Don’t assume that being selected means you did something wrong. We just want to make sure your application is accurate to give you the maximum amount of aid you are eligible to receive.
The verification process is required to receive all federal and state aid as well as some institutional aid. While verification is not mandatory to attend classes, it is required to receive most forms of financial aid. Failure to complete the process will result in cancellation of a large portion of your award.
The verification process ensures that students and families receive all of the aid they are eligible for. Your aid may be adjusted, up or down, depending on the accuracy of the information reported on your FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, your award is considered an estimate until verification is complete.
Once all forms have been completed and submitted to the Office of Financial Aid, verification can take 2-4 weeks (longer during peak processing times) to complete. Submitting incomplete or unsigned documents will delay the process.
- Tax information was entered manually (i.e. by typing) instead of using the data match
- Changes were made to the data imported from the IRS Data Retrieval
- The FAFSA was not signed and resubmitted after you imported the tax information from the IRS. Please return to your FAFSA to sign and resubmit.
Applicants must have a valid Social Security Number to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The applicant will need to authenticate himself or herself to the IRS in order to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
You cannot utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- Applicant is married and files separate federal income tax returns or a dependent applicant's parents are married and file separate federal income tax returns (e.g., married filing separately or head of household)
- Also, if there has been a change in the marital status of the applicant or parent (if
the applicant is a dependent student) after the end of the tax year
- Foreign income tax return instead of or in addition to a US income tax return will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. For example, taxpayers who file both a US income tax return and a Puerto Rican tax return will be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- Taxpayers who file income tax returns using a Tax ID Number (TIN) will not be able to use the tool
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