Verification

The U.S. Department of Education selects students for verification. During the verification process, we validate the information about you and/or your parent/spouse that you included on your FAFSA. This information is vital to your student financial aid eligibility, and SFS is committed to ensuring these items are accurate. The verification process must be completed prior to the disbursement of any federal or state funding to your student account.

To ensure your student financial aid is processed and ready for disbursement by the first day of classes, all valid and completed documents must be received by June 1 for the Fall semester and December 1 for the Spring semester. Summer students must complete the verification process by the stated deadline.

Prospective students: if you do not complete the verification process prior to the established deadline, your aid will be suspended.

Current students: you will not be eligible for financial aid for the next school year unless your documents are submitted by the established deadline.

Depending on whether or not you were required to file federal taxes, there are different things to keep in mind for the verification process:
  • Tax Filers

    If the individuals listed on your FAFSA were required to file taxes and you are selected for verification, you are required to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript for each tax filer on the FAFSA.

    You may visit irs.gov/transcript to view and download your most recently-filed tax return transcript (for example, your 2017 year return for the 2019-20 FAFSA). You must verify your identity to use this tool. You may also call 800-908-9946, and your tax return transcript will be delivered to your address of record in 5-10 days. More information about the IRS Get Transcript service can be found at irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript-faqs

    If your FAFSA was selected for verification and you have filed or will file a tax return, you must either:

    • Use the IRS Data Retrieval tool available at fafsa.gov in order to complete the verification process, OR
    • Submit a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript to SFS, OR
    • Submit a signed paper copy of your Federal 1040/1040A/1040EZ tax return filed with the IRS

    IRS Data Retrieval is an optional tool students and families can use when completing the FAFSA that allows the tax filer to transfer their tax information directly to the FAFSA via a secure web link. It is the fastest way to submit information to our office. However, in certain circumstances, students and/or parents should not use the IRS Data Retrieval feature, as it will not accurately reflect their most recent tax information. 

    For the 2019-20 Award Year: Tax filers with the following exceptions should submit a 2019-20 Tax Filer Exception form along with the required documentation listed for your circumstance:

    • Filed a 2017 Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
    • Filed 2017 a tax filing extension (applicant must submit a copy of form 4868 and all W2s to SFS)
    • Is a victim of IRS identity theft/fraud 

    For the 2018-19 Award Year: Tax filers with the following exceptions should submit a 2018-19 Tax Filer Exception form along with the required documentation listed for your circumstance:

    • Filed a 2016 Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
    • Filed 2016 a tax filing extension (applicant must submit a copy of form 4868 and all W2s to SFS)
    • Is a victim of IRS identity theft/fraud 

    2018-19 Tax Filer Exemption Form

  • Non-Tax Filers

    All non-filers with earnings in the relevant year (for example, 2017 wages for the 2019-20 FAFSA) are required to submit copies of that year's W2s to SFS. In addition, independent students and parents of dependent students are also required to submit an IRS confirmation of non-filing. Students or parents who indicate they did not file, but were required to file, will risk delays in the processing of the student's financial aid file. 

    Information about filing limits can be found at irs.gov

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