FAFSA Verification is a process the college uses to make sure your information is correct. You may have been selected for one of the following reasons:
The college(s) that you are interested in will need additional information from you in order to process your FAFSA and send you your College Financing Plan. The additional information needed will depend on your reason for being selected for FAFSA Verification.
The college will let you know what you need to do via mail, email, or your student account. You may have the option to mail, fax, email, or upload the requested documents
You will need to complete the steps necessary ASAP in order to prevent any delays or loss of aid.
15-20% of Dependent filers are selected each year for the verification process. All independents must complete the process. Also, some colleges may require all students to complete the process.
The college will contact you and ask you to complete additional paperwork and provide documents. Be sure to check your email and mail for communications from the college. If your college has given you a login for a student portal, the information can be found there as well.
Typically, the college will have a Household Worksheet for you to complete. On this worksheet, you will need to list everyone who lives in your home and their relationship to you (ex: parents, siblings, grandparents, ect).
In addition, you will need a copy of your 2020 taxes or a 2020 tax transcript for you and your parents. You can request a tax transcript from the IRS website.
If the student or parent did not file taxes for 2020, the college may ask for a non-filing letter.
The college may ask for a variety of different documents depending on why you qualify as an independent. Examples may include: Proof of adoption or guardianship, court documents, or letter from the school district.
The college may ask an independent student to complete a Household worksheet and a copy of their 2019 taxes (or a non-filing letter if they did not file).
Tax transcripts can be requested on the IRS website (irs.gov). Click “Get Transcripts of your Tax Records” and provide the information for the first person listed on the taxes (Social Security Number, birthdate, and street address). Choose “Return Transcript” and the transcript will be mailed in 5-10 days to the street address on the taxes. The request is free.
If a parent or parents do not file taxes, they will most likely need a “Verification of Non-Filing Letter” indicating they do not need to file taxes. To get this letter, they will need to submit the 4506-T form to the IRS.
Obtaining this letter can be difficult, and the college may accept a Tax Non Filing Statement that indicates you have attempted to obtain a Non-Filing Letter.
Contact the financial aid office of the college with any questions you may have. The verification process is completed by the college (not FAFSA or the U.S. Department of Education).
Your college adviser and school counselors are great resources too!
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