Verification Process

Selected for Verification? 

If you are selected for verification, you are not alone! About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process, which requires the school to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. Read the information below to ensure that you complete verification successfully.

What is Verification?

Verification is a process where the Financial Aid Office is required to check the accuracy of the information the student provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).Continuing or returning students, if selected, must complete the verification process before financial aid can be awarded. 

When selected for verification, the student will be notified by e-mail via their WPU student e-mail account. The student will be directed to their WP Connect account to review a list of the documents that must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid before financial aid can be awarded.

The Office of Financial Aid may be required to verify the following data elements on your FAFSA:

  • Adjusted Gross Income 
  • Taxes Paid
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items 
  • 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

To verify these elements, we may ask for the following documents: 

  • Tax return transcripts from two years prior (i.e. if selected for 2018-2019 verification, submit 2016 tax information)
    • If dependent, parent and student tax information is required. If independent (over 24 years of age, married, orphaned and/or graduate students), only the student's tax information is required.
    • If eligible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filling out your FAFSA. More information on this below.
  • Verification Worksheet
  • W-2s showing wages
  • Statement of child support paid
  • Verification of Net Worth
  • Documentation of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit 

Please note that this is not a complete list. Specific documents requested will be based on a family's individual case. 

We may need to ask for additional documentation during the verification process based on the tax return transcript. If this occurs, an email will be sent to the student's WPU email account. Requested documents can also be viewed on the student's WP Connect account.

Once verification has been completed, students will be notified of an original financial aid award package or changes to a financial aid award package by e-mail. The student will be sent instructions to review the original or revised award package, and take any appropriate action.

IRS Data Retrieval

The best action you can take to help finish verification is to use the IRS Data Retrieval process to automatically populate your and your parents' tax information directly from the IRS onto your FAFSA!

Once you have filed taxes, you – and your parent(s) if you are a dependent student – should log onto your FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov and make updates or corrections by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This will allow you to link to the IRS from the FAFSA and retrieve the tax information to populate the FAFSA tax questions. By using this tool, tax information is considered verified, so you will not have to submit any tax documentation to our office.  

Some students and/or parents will be ineligible or will choose not to use IRS Data Retrieval. In these cases, only the tax return transcript will be accepted as documentation to verify tax information. The tax return transcript must be requested directly from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946 or visiting the IRS website. Be sure to request the tax return transcript, and not the tax account transcript. We cannot accept a 1040 form to verify tax information.

Verification Forms

In addition to the tax return transcript, there may be other documents that we are requesting. Check your WP Connect account to determine what verification documents are needed:

  1. Log in to WP Connect.
  2. Click on the "Students" tab.
  3. Under Financial Aid, click on My Eligibility.
  4. Select the appropriate aid year.

Common Verification Documents Requested:

Click here for a full list of financial aid forms. 

State Verification

If you are a New Jersey resident receiving state aid, the NJ Tuition Aid Grant (TAG) program or other state aid, the state may select your file for state verification.  In some cases, HESAA may request the same information that was requested by WPU Financial Aid Office.  You must forward the same information and documentation to HESAA to avoid a delay in awarding, disbursement or loss of your state aid altogether.  To ensure that your financial aid funds disburse as scheduled please submit all required documentation before state deadlines.

For your convenience, you may now link directly to the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) to report the required additional information to be considered for state aid. If you did no fill out the Additional Information Request upon completing your FAFSA click here to report Additional Information for State Aid. 

Failure to meet the verification deadlines may result in certain types of aid not being offered. In addition, delays in sending documentation may result in the student not having aid by the time their bills are due each semester. In this case, the student is obligated to pay the account balance on the student account, or their registration may be canceled.