Guide to FAFSA Verification
What is Verification?
Every academic year, students and their families apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help meet college expenses. This information is sent to the United States Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education some FAFSA's for verification. Every school, including Gallaudet, is required to verify every student selected for verification, before financial aid is disbursed to the student. There are many reasons why you can be selected for verification:
- You can be chosen at random.
- Your FAFSA contains estimated information.
- Your FAFSA was incomplete.
- There were inconsistencies found in the information you provided on the FAFSA.
- Income reported is insufficient to support the household size.
Verification is not optional if you want to receive financial aid. The Financial Aid Office is not allowed to release federal aid to you if you have been selected for verification, and have not completed it. If you are selected for verification, The Financial Aid Office will notify you by email and let you know what is needed to complete verification. It is important to complete verification within 20 days of being notified. The Financial Aid Office may be required to verify the following items on your FAFSA:
- Adjusted Gross Income (parent and student, if the student is a dependent).
- Taxes Paid (parent and student, if the student is a dependent).
- Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers).
- Certain Untaxed Income Items (parent and student, if the student is dependent).
- Household Size
- Number in College (excluding parents for a dependent student).
- Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit
- Child Support Paid
- Any other inconsistent or conflicting information.
How do I know if I was selected for verification?
You will receive a copy of your Student Aid Report (SAR) once your FAFSA has been processed (3-5 days after you complete it). If you were selected for verification , there will be a message on your SAR stating that you were selected and instructing you to contact the Financial Aid Office. In addition to your SAR, the Financial Aid Office will send you a notification through your Gallaudet issued e-mail with information related to verification and requesting the documents required for you to complete the verification process. Do not ignore the email!
What happens if I do not provide the verification information requested?
Participation in the verification process is not optional. If the student does not provide the verification documentation, the student is not eligible for federal or state financial aid. The student is also ineligible for many forms of financial aid that Gallaudet may have to offer. So, please submit the requested verification information promptly to avoid a delay in your financial aid application processing.
If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was selected for verification, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before need-based Federal financial aid will disburse. Every verification is different, with different requirements. The Office of Financial Aid will notify you through Gallaudet E-mail, about which documents you need to complete. Verification CANNOT be completed without your assistance, by providing the required documentation. Please check your Gallaudet e-mail for an e-mail from The Office of Financial Aid, which will give you a list of documents we need you to bring to us. Do not ignore the verification e-mail from the Office of Financial Aid. If you have any questions, please stop by the Financial Aid Office for assistance or clarification.
I received a verification E-mail from the Financial Aid Office.
I received a verification e-mail from the Financial Aid Office. How do I follow the instructions on the e-mail?
Students will be asked to submit several documents as part of verification. Please read the e-mail you received from the Financial Aid Office carefully for a list of items you need to submit. You will be asked to complete and submit a worksheet. The e-mail will let you know which worksheet we need from the items below:
Verification Category and Required Documentation
V1: Dependent Standard Verification, OR
Independent Standard Verification
V4: Dependent Custom Verification
Independent Custom Verification
V5: Dependent Aggregate Verification
Independent Aggregate Verification
V6: Dependent Household Resources Verification, OR
Independent Household Resources Verification
You also may be asked to submit other documentation. Here is how to obtain the documents you have been asked for:
We Prefer the Data Retrieval Tool
This option is recommended by Gallaudet University and provides you with the fastest, easiest, and most secure way to verify your tax data.
Not all tax files can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. To use the IRS Data Retrieval Option, you must:
- Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
- Have a valid social security number.
- Have a Federal Aid Personal Identification Number (PIN)
You will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Option if:
- Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year
- You filed as "Married Filing Separately".
- You filed an amended tax return.
- You filed a foreign tax return.
- You filed your taxes within the last 8 weeks, and submitted it by mail
- You filed your taxes within the past 3 weeks and submitted it electronically.
How do I Obtain a Tax Return Transcript?
There are several ways to obtain this document:
- Order a copy on-line at https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript (This will take approximately two weeks to arrive at the home address you used on your tax return).
- Go to any IRS Office and ask them to give you an official, computer-generated copy of your return transcript. (You will receive a copy the same day you go to the IRS Office.)
- Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 (This will take approximately two weeks to arrive at the home address you used on your tax return.)
Federal financial aid regulations do not allow us to accept a copy of your 1040 federal income tax return. If you submit a tax return instead of requesting the tax return transcript through the IRS, this will delay completing of your verification because we will not be able to complete it until we receive the return transcript.
Note: We cannot accept a Tax Account Transcript. This form has limited information on it and we will ask you to request the correct return transcript documentation.
Tax Account Transcript: Incorrect document
Return Transcript: Correct document
Please submit verification worksheets and Tax Return Transcripts to the Financial Aid Office using one of the following methods:
- Fax- 202-651-5740
- E-mail attachment: email@example.com
- Drop Off: Chapel Hall, Room G-02
- Mail: Gallaudet University Office of Financial Aid
800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington DC 20002
Keep copies of any documents you send to the Financial Aid Office.
- Once verification begins, you may be asked to submit additional documentation. If we need additional documentation we will let you know via your Gallaudet e-mail.
- Keep copies of everything you send us, including worksheets and tax documents.
1) I have VR support. Do I still need to complete verification?
Yes! All students selected for verification must complete it if they want financial aid, including VR.
2) I don't live with my parents and they don't support me, so I don't have to include them on my FAFSA and verification.
If you are under the age of 24 and single, you are required to include your parent(s) tax information on your FAFSA. To help determine if you are a dependent or independent student, review this link: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa/filling-out/dependency.
3) The Financial Aid Office will complete verification for me, so I don't have to do anything.
This is false, and the worst thing you can do! By ignoring e-mails from the Financial Aid Office and not submitting requested documents, there is no way for the Financial Aid Office to complete verification. If you choose to do this, financial aid will not be released to you, so it is very important that you provide requested verification documents.
4) I completed my FAFSA already, so you can find all my information on the FAFSA.
You still need to submit additional items, even though you completed your FAFSA. This is how you were chosen for verification. Your FAFSA was submitted to The U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Education selected you for verification based on your FAFSA. We need you to submit documents separate from your FAFSA, so you can complete verification. Please respond to the email Financial Aid sent you, regarding what documents we need from you.
5) I submitted my verification documents. Will my financial aid be added to my account as soon as I submit the documents?
Once all the required documents have been submitted, the Financial Aid Office will review and compare the verification data with the information reported on our FAFSA. If the data is accurate, your financial aid eligibility will be determined, and you will be notified of any financial aid awarded to you. If there are inconsistencies between the verification data you submit and the FAFSA reported data, the Financial Aid Office will make the necessary changes to your FAFSA, and will proceed with any financial aid awarding once corrected FAFSA results are received from the U.S. Department of Education. In some cases, we may need additional documentation from you in order to clarify information, or request that you make FAFSA corrections that cannot be made by Financial Aid Office staff.