Selected for Verification? Read this for help!
If you are selected for verification, you are not alone! About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process, which requires the school to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information.
What is Federal Verification?
Financial aid applicants may be selected by either the U.S. Department of Education or the Tri-County Adult Education Office to verify the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. You will be notified by our office if you have been selected.
Your offer of assistance is considered tentative, pending the completion of the verification process.
What documentation is required?
If selected for verification, you may be required to submit some or all of the following documentation:
- Verification worksheet
- FAFSA tax filing information for student and parents*
- W-2’s and/or 1099s for all reported earned income
- Signed non-tax filer statement (if applicable)
- Confirmation of SNAP benefits
- Confirmation of Child Support Paid
- Statement of Identity/Educational Purpose
- Other documentation, as required
* Verification of tax filing data can be completed in two ways:
Option 1: Use the IRS Data Retrieval when completing FAFSA or submitting a correction online
Instructions to use the IRS Data Retrieval are provided when completing the FAFSA or filing a correction. Certain data elements such as AGI and taxes paid will be entered for you on the FAFSA.
Financial Aid strongly encourages students and parents to use this option when initially completing the FAFSA, or when making a correction after the required tax returns have been filed.
In order to use the IRS Data Retrieval process, you must have:
- Filed a federal tax return at least 2 weeks (if filing electronically) and 6-8 weeks (if filing a paper return) before using the IRS Data Retrieval Process to allow time for the IRS to process the return.
- You must have a valid social security number.
- You must have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process if:
- Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year.
- You filed married filing separately.
- You filed an amended return.
- You filed a foreign tax return.
Option 2: Submit an official tax transcript
An official tax transcript will be required for tax filers who are not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process or make changes to FAFSA data after using this process.
To request a tax transcript from the IRS, click here. (Link to IRS Tax Return Transcript Process) or call 1-800-908-9946.
Tax filers should NOT request to have their IRS Tax Transcript mailed directly to Tri-County, as it may not contain the necessary identifying student information.
All verification documents should be sent to:
Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School
Adult Education Office (Financial Aid)
147 Pond St.
Franklin, MA 02038
Please be sure to respond to requests for follow-up documentation in a timely manner to avoid delays in receiving your financial aid. Upon receipt of the required materials, we will finalize the review of your application for financial aid. If documentation is not received by the established deadline, your offer of assistance may be canceled. Should the verified financial information differ significantly from the original information provided on the FAFSA, your financial aid may be revised.
What is the deadline to complete Verification?
In order to allow sufficient time for our office to process your verification, we require your documentation to be submitted at least one month before you cease enrollment during the academic year.
What happens if I don’t meet the deadline?
If you do not meet this deadline, we cannot guarantee the availability of your federal, state, or need-based institutional funds.
Once you are no longer enrolled, or enroll less than half-time, you are no longer eligible for federal Direct loans.
What is done with my Verification documentation?
Your financial aid counselor will review your documentation to confirm the accuracy of your FAFSA data. If any changes need to be made to your FAFSA, your counselor is required to make these corrections, and you will receive a revised student aid report from the Department of Education. In addition, if any adjustments are made to your financial aid package as a result of verification, you will receive a revised award letter via mail.
If there are no changes to your financial package as a result of verification, no new communication will be sent.
Important Tips for Completing the Verification Process
• Complete all requested forms in full: Do not leave any questions blank. All questions must have an answer even if it is a “0”. Be sure all required signatures have been provided.
• Be sure that you have used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which allows you to link to the IRS from the FAFSA and retrieve tax information directly from the IRS to populate the FAFSA tax return questions. If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will not have to submit tax transcripts from the IRS. You can log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your tax information.
• If you do not, or cannot, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit the tax transcript from the IRS. To request a tax transcript from the IRS, click here. (Link to IRS Tax Return Transcript Process) or call 1-800-908-9946.
• If you will not and are not required to file taxes, be sure to submit all W-2’s to document earnings from work.
Once verification begins, you may be asked to submit additional documentation. If this occurs, an email will be sent.