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Verification FAQ

The purpose of verification is to check the accuracy of the information reported by you and/or your parent(s) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and correct any discrepant data in accordance with the Code of Federal Regulations, 34 CFR 668, subpart E. required policies – 34 CFR 668.53. Corrections will be consistent with the instructions on the FAFSA, IRS Tax Return Transcript (s) and Federal Verification Worksheet(s).

What is the IRS data retrieval tool and how do I use it?

    The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a helpful resource that allows applicants to pull their tax data directly from the Internal Revenue Service in order to auto-fill the tax portion of the FAFSA. Click here to view a video on how this works.

Why should I use the IRS data retrieval process?

    Simply put, it speeds up the FAFSA completion process by reducing manual data entry and increases data accuracy. You do not have to provide copies of your and your parent's federal tax transcripts.

Why are tax return transcripts required?

    The U. S. Department of Education has determined that copies of income tax returns are no longer acceptable for satisfying verification requirements. Consequently, if you do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will have to request a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

Who gets selected for verification?

    Applications are selected for verification by the federal processor. At least 30% of all applications will be selected. If you feel you made a mistake on your FAFSA, you can request to be selected for verification and we can fix the errors for you.

How am I notified if I am selected for verification?

    If your application is selected for verification you will be notified after we receive your FAFSA through your OASIS account. If additional documentation is needed at a later time, you will be sent another letter/email.

What documents am I required to turn in?

There are several documents that may be required of you.  They include but are not limited to:

  • Completed Federal Verification Worksheet(s).  Independent and Dependent applicants must complete the student version of the verification worksheet online through OASIS.  Parents of dependent students will also complete the parent verification worksheet.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcript
    • IRS Tax Return Transcript
  • For Non tax filers
    • W2s for each source of income earned from work
  • Statement of Educational Purpose: Independent and Dependent applicants must appear in person at University Scholarships and Financial Aid Services (USFAS) to verify identity as well as complete a form.

Do not give us your only copy of anything submitted. Write your University ID # on the top of every page. All original documents are imaged and shredded.

It is important to check your email and your OASIS account regularly. We may ask for other documents in addition to the ones you first turned in.   To see if you have any outstanding requirements, go to the My Requirements link in the Financial Aid section of OASIS.

Is there a deadline for turning in verification documents?

    If you are selected for verification you must complete all requirements no later than your last date of attendance at USF.

How long does the verification process take to be completed?

The entire process can take up to 10 business days to complete.  This is why it is imperative that you submit all requested documents as soon as possible. Some important things to keep in mind to help you with this are:

  • Make sure your FAFSA is submitted and received by us early in March.  The priority deadline is March 1st.
  • Submit required documents as soon as possible.
  • Regularly check your email and OASIS accounts so that you may see any additional required documents as soon as they are requested.
  • Completing your file early will allow us to start the verification process sooner, thus your eligibility can be determined before you start school.

What happens if I don’t turn in the verification documents?

    You will not receive any federal funds if you fail to submit any required documentation.

    If you are selected for verification after financial aid has disbursed you will have 30 days to submit all verification documents or your file may be referred to the Office of Inspector General and reported to the National Student Loan Database System (NSLDS). This could affect your ability to receive further federal aid at USF or any other institution.   

Can I get any aid before my verification is completed?

    Federal regulations prohibit the disbursement of need based federal student aid until the verification process is complete. If you were selected for verification after aid paid, you will not receive any additional disbursements until verification is complete.

svincent - 2/25/15