Verification is a process to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Verification selection can be random or because your FAFSA data was incomplete, estimated or inconsistent. The U.S Department of Education selects some students for the verification process. The Sage Colleges may select a student for verification if we find conflicting information reported on the FAFSA.
We are required to ask you to provide documentation to confirm the information on your FAFSA. This will include a verification worksheet and may include a signed copy of your (your spouse’s) 2012 IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you are a dependent student, we may also request a signed copy of your parent's 2012 Tax Return Transcript. Not all students will be required to verify the same information, please only submit the documentation that is requested by the financial aid office.
When verifying your FAFSA, we are no longer allowed to accept a signed copy of a 1040 tax return form to complete the verification process. This is a federal regulation that we must follow.
To document your tax return, you may:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax data to your FAFSA , OR
- Request an IRS Tax Transcript
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you filed your FAFSA, you may still do so.
- Login at fafsa.gov to “Make FAFSA Corrections”
- On the FAFSA, in the Financial Information section, click “Link to IRS’”
- On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”
You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- Your marital status changed after December 31
- You filed an amended return (See Instructions below)
- You filed married filing separately
- You filed a foreign tax return - Submit a signed copy of your return to the financial aid office
- The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return
Note: Tax information electronically filed within the last 2 weeks or submitted by mail within the last 8 weeks may not be available.
IRS Tax Transcript
If you are selected for verification of your FAFSA, and are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit an official IRS TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT, (not an Account Transcript.) There are 3 ways to do this:
- Request one electronically on the IRS website at www.irs.gov
- Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts to request a Tax Transcript for 2012
- File Form 4506T-EZ by paper.
If you filed an Amended Return:
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used to update the 2013-14 FAFSA when the applicant and/or parents have filed an amended return. Tax documentation to be submitted when 2012 taxes have been amended include: a signed 2012 IRS Income Tax Return or signed 2012 IRS Tax Transcript *and* a signed 2012 IRS Form 1040X.
Victims of Identity Theft
If you are a victim of IRS identity theft and are unable to obtain a 2012 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must provide a signed copy of the 2012 paper IRS 1040 Federal Tax Return and a signed copy of IRS Form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit or a copy of the police report if it was filed related to the IRS identity theft.
REMEMBER: Include your student ID number on your tax transcript before you submit it to our office.
IMPORTANT DOCUMENT NOTE: If you are applying for aid at other schools, please make a copy of your tax transcript for your records before you submit to us. The IRS will currently only accommodate one request.
In order for your financial aid to be processed and a financial aid package to be generated within a timely manner, you are strongly encouraged to submit all verification documentation within 30 days of receiving the initial verification request.
The verification review process can range from 2-3 weeks, once all required documentation has been received by the financial aid office.
Verification documents must be received and processed before the end of the semester in order to receive financial aid. To ensure the deadline is met, all information should be submitted no later than 30 days before the last day of the semester this will allow sufficient time for processing.
REMINDER: All aid must be processed and credited to a student’s account before the last day of the semester.
All document requests must be completed before any financial aid can be disbursed to your account.