Verification is the process a school follows to check the accuracy of the information reported by a student on The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is done by collecting documents used to complete the FAFSA and comparing them with the answers the student provided on the FAFSA.
If your application is selected for verification, you must complete the verification process before your eligibility for need-based financial aid can be determined and before need-based financial aid can be awarded to you (including Federal Stafford and Federal Perkins loans).
Selection for verification
Effective 2012-13, all applicants who do not utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) provided by the FAFSA on the Web (FOTW), will have an increased possibility of being selected for verification by the Department of Education. Concordia also reserves the right to select a student for verification. Students are typically selected for verification for the following reasons:
- Applicants did not utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
- The submitted application has incomplete data.
- The data on the application appears to contradict itself.
- The application has estimated information on it.
Tax Transcript is required IF:
- You or your parent(s) did not use IRS data retrieval at initial FAFSA filing or through the FOTW process.
- Information received from IRS is subsequently changed.
- Married independent applicant and spouse file separate tax returns.
- Parents of dependent student file separate tax returns.
- Applicant or parent had a change in marital status after the end of the current year.
- Applicant, parent or spouse filed an amended tax return.
Documents needed to complete verification and what is verified
If verification is required, you will receive a notification via mail from Concordia’s Student Financial Services office outlining exactly what documents must be submitted. The following are the FAFSA verification documents that normally must be provided:
Verification worksheet Download the appropriate PDF version here:
The worksheet must be signed by student and parent (if the student is a dependent). It verifies:
- family size (as defined on the FAFSA) of student and parent(s) or student and spouse, if married,
- number of college students (at least half-time and pursuing a degree) in student’s household, and
- funds paid for child support, documentation of amount received in food stamps and other untaxed income of students and parent(s) or student and spouse, if married.
IRS tax transcript for student and parent(s) or student (and spouse, if married) which verifies:
- Adjusted gross income
- Taxes paid
- Tax-exempt interest
- Untaxed IRA/Keogh distributions/deductions
- Untaxed pensions and annuities
- Education tax credits
If you and/or your parent(s) did not file and are not required to file a federal income tax return, be sure the second page of the Verification Worksheet is fully completed. A separate letter of explanation may be submitted with the Verification Worksheet if you wish to more completely explain the taxed and/or untaxed income and benefits received by you, your spouse, and/or your parent(s), or provide any other clarification.
|The FAFSA uses a rigid formula with no provisions for exceptions when it calculates the EFC. If you believe that your family has “special circumstances” affecting its ability to pay for a college education that is not reflected in the information provided on the FAFSA, then you may be eligible for a “professional judgment.” See Concordia's Professional Judgment page for further information on the professional judgment process. Please note that the verification process must be completed first before professional judgment is exercised.|
Process after verification is completed
If the accuracy of the data reported on your FAFSA is confirmed, then your eligibility for need-based financial aid will be determined and you will receive a financial aid award letter. The award letter will list all of the financial aid that you are eligible to receive with detailed instructions on how to accept the aid.
If verification indicates material differences between the data reported on your FAFSA and the information that you submitted with your Verification Worksheet, then a correction to the data will be submitted electronically to the Department of Education. You will receive a new Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education within three days. Once the correction is processed and sent back to Concordia then your eligibility for need-based financial aid will be determined and you will receive a financial aid award letter.
Tips for saving time with verification processing
During the verification process, the information submitted on the FAFSA is compared to the information you submit on the verification worksheet and the corresponding financial documents. You can view the information you put on the FAFSA by retrieving your Student Aid Report (SAR) at the www.fafsa.gov Web site. If the information on the FAFSA does not match the verification documents, then a correction must be processed, thus delaying the processing of your aid.
Please do the following:
- Respond to each section of the Verification Worksheet, as accurately and completely as possible.
- Sign the Verification Worksheet
- Submit all documents requested at the same time.
- Make photocopies of all documents for your records.
Failure to supply all necessary documents will result in the forfeiture of all need-based financial aid. The Fall semester FASFA deadline is November 1st. The Spring semester FAFSA deadline is March 15th.
Still have questions?
Please review our FAQ regarding Verification.
If you have further questions about FAFSA verification, please call 800-535-5494, ext. 7270, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.