What is Verification?
Verification is a
review process in which the Student Financial Aid office determines the
accuracy of various data elements reported by the student/parent on the FAFSA.
The U.S. Department of Education selects approximately 30% of all aid
applicants for verification. The verification process ensures that eligible
students receive all the financial aid they are entitled to receive and
prevents ineligible students from receiving aid they are not entitled to
receive. Those selected are required to complete the verification process
before financial aid eligibility can be determined.
How do I know if I was selected for the Verification Process?
- Look for an asterisk* on the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to the e-mail address you provided on your FAFSA. Click here for a sample.
- Your ACES will also list unsatisfied requirements (as red flags) in the Financial Aid Checklist section of the 'Start Here' tab.
What if I was not selected?
If you are not selected, you could still be asked to provide other information to complete your file (i.e. Citizenship or Selective Service confirmation). Your ACES Financial Aid Checklist displays any required documents or additional information needed.
What unsatisfied requirements will I see in ACES?
The financial aid office will post all required documents to your ACES account.
What is a tax return transcript?
A tax return transcript is an official document from the IRS listing all income tax information. Information on how to obtain a transcript is listed below.
Can I submit a 1040 or tax transcript from a third party agency (H&R Block, TurboTax)?
2017-2018 Award Year: Yes. You may submit a SIGNED copy of your tax return OR an official tax return transcript due to a change by the Department of Education in late April 2017. The change aimed to provide relief to students/parents during the time the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) was offline.
2018-2019 Award Year: No. For 2018-2019, Tax Return Transcripts are again required to complete federal verification. Information on how to obtain a transcript is listed below.
What if I did not file taxes?
2017-2018 Award Year: Any individual who is subject to verification and who did not file taxes, regardless of the amount of income (even zero), will be required to provide a SIGNED statement certifying that they did not file and are not required to file an income tax return.
2018-2019 Award Year: Independent students and parents of dependent students who are subject to verification and who did not file taxes, regardless of the amount of income (even zero), will be required to submit a Verification of Non-filing (VONF) letter from the IRS. To obtain a VONF, go to www.IRS.gov and complete IRS Form 4506-T. Select Box 7 and submit the letter with your verification documents when received.
What if I am undocumented and cannot request a Verification of Nonfiling Letter (VONF) from the IRS?
Individuals without a Social Security
Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or
Employer Identification Number (EIN) must provide a signed and dated statement
certifying they do not have any of these. In addition, they will need to
list the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and resources used to support
the household for the 2016 tax year. If applicable, a copy of the W-2,
1099, or other equivalent document for each source of employment must be
How long does verification take to process?
If you submitted your completed verification documents by the Priority Date, your documents will be reviewed and eligibility determined before classes begin.
For students who are not priority applicants, the verification process can take up to six (6) weeks. Visit the Priority Date page for more information on non-priority date applicants.
How can I monitor the status of my verification?
Once documents are submitted you can monitor the status of verification by going to ACES.
How can I obtain a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS?
You may obtain a Tax Return Transcript either by logging into the IRS website HERE, or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
What is DocuSign?
DocuSign is a process that allows students and parents to electronically fill out and sign required verification documents inside their ACES account, and subsequently send them to the district financial aid office for processing.
How do I sign a DocuSign Document?
For instructions on signing a DocuSign document, please see the tutorial here, or video tutorial here.
May I still submit a paper copy of my verification form, or do I have to use DocuSign?
Yes, you still have the option to obtain and submit a paper copy of any requested form from your College's Financial Aid office.
How long after I submit my documents via DocuSign will my status change in my ACES portal?
After submitting your electronic documents, please allow up to 6 days for your status to be updated in ACES.
Steps to complete Verification
- Access ACES and check outstanding requirements from Financial Aid.
- Complete all fillable PDF(s)/Docusign Documents requested from Financial Aid.
- Submit all requested documents (in person, fax, mail, or scan and email) to the college with which you are applying for financial aid. Remember to bring appropriate proof of identity if required to complete the Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose form.
Click here for a list of all the Priority Dates and Deadlines.
September 1 is the final date to submit verification documents for the most recently ended academic year.
Verification documents for the current academic year may be submitted at any point during the academic year, however, you will not receive a financial aid award until you have completed this process.
Common Mistakes When Submitting Documents:
Missing Banner ID on Documents
Unresolved Issues on your FAFSA