Verification Process

Selected for Verification? Read this for help!

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.

The best action you can take to help finish verification is to use the IRS data retrieval process to automatically populate your and your parent(s)' tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA!

*The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is currently unavailable. The IRS is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.* 

Once you have filed taxes, you and your parent(s) (if you are a dependent student) should log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make an update or correction by using the IRS data retrieval. This will allow you to link to the IRS from the FAFSA and retrieve the tax information to populate the FAFSA tax questions. When you use the IRS data retrieval, the tax information is considered to be already verified so you will not have to submit any documentation, like tax return transcripts, to our office. Much simpler for you! View the IRS Data Retrieval Tool Tutorial at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiNkqyCIuro.

There may be other documents that we are requesting (like a Verification Worksheet) that you will still need to complete and submit. Check your WP Connect account to determine if there are other verification documents that are needed.

Some students and/or parents will be ineligible or will choose not to use the 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

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). For continuing or returning students, if selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. This is new starting 2017-2018 award year.

When selected for verification the student will be notified by e-mail. 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 (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Taxes Paid (parent and student, if the student is 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

To verify these elements, we may ask for the following documents; however, this is not a complete list. Specific documents requested will be based on a family's individual case. 

  • The prior year* tax return transcripts for both parent and student, if the student is dependent OR preferably, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool from your FAFSA.  Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA and Verification process will be looking at tax information from two years prior (for example, the 2017-2018 aid year will be based on the 2015 tax year)*
  • A Verification Worksheet (downloadable from this web site)
  • W-2s showing wages (parent and student if the student is dependent)
  • Statement of child support paid
  • Verification of Net Worth
  • Documentation of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit 

Once verification begins, we may need to ask for additional documentation based on the tax return transcript. If this occurs, an email will be sent to the student's WPU email account and all requested documents can 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 log into their WP Connect Account to review the original or revised financial aid award package and take any appropriate action as instructed.

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.