The federal government randomly selects FAFSA applicants for a process called Verification. Students may also be flagged for verification if unusual or conflicting information is reported on the FAFSA.
The purpose of verification is to find and correct common mistakes made during the filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A student whose application is under verification must provide the necessary information to complete the verification process before need-based aid financial aid can be awarded. If the verification process is not completed, a student will not be considered for any need-based financial aid. Thus, it is important to return the information and requested documentation as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Verification:
- Why was I selected for verification? - The federal government randomly selects FAFSA applicants for verification. Students may also be flagged for verification if conflicting or confusing information is reported on the FAFSA.
- When will I be notified if I am selected for verification? - You will be notified of your selection for verification approximately 7-10 days after your FAFSA results have been received by UArts. (The result of your FAFSA is referred to as a Student Aid Report (SAR)).
- What will I need to provide if I am selected for verification? - If your application is selected for further review, you will be asked to submit signed statements confirming information you reported when completing the FAFSA. The Office of Student Financial Services will send a letter requesting the needed documentation. Examples of documentation include copy of your tax transcript and the verification worksheets.
To access forms used during the verification process, please visit our Financial Aid Documents webpage.
How to Obtain a Free Tax Return Transcript from the IRS
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to request a tax transcript from IRS and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Service. Personal copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted.
Three ways to request your Tax Transcript: by phone, online, or by mail.
Please make sure you request a Tax Transcript. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account because they cannot be used for financial aid verification purposes.
To order by phone:
- Call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, then select the following prompts:
- Option 2 (Personal Income Taxes)
- Option 1 (Tax History)
- Option 2 (Tax Return Transcript)
- Enter and verify Social Security number (if joint return both SSN’s required)
- Enter and verify number of street address
- Press 2 for Tax Transcript and indicate which year (i.e. 2013)
To order online:
- Go to www.irs.gov, then select the following:
- Click Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript located in the left-hand column
- Click Order a Transcript under Step 3
- Enter your SSN, Date of Birth, Street Address, and Zip Code
- Click Continue
- Select Transcript for Tax Year (i.e. 2013)
- Click Continue
A tax return transcript can be ordered by mail:
- Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return)
- Form 4506-T is available online at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf.
- Mail to the address indicated on the form
Your transcript(s) will be mailed within 5 to 10 days from the IRS.
This brief tutorial shows you step-by-step instructions on how to update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.