What is the Verification Process?
Verification is a process required by Federal law (23 CFR, Part 668) in which we determine the accuracy of various data elements which were reported on your FAFSA. This quality-assurance tool is utilized by the Department of Education and by colleges and universities to insure students are consistently awarded not only the correct types but also the correct amounts of federal student aid. The federal government selects a number of students’ FAFSAs to undergo the verification process. The Louisiana Tech Financial Aid Office also has authority to select applications.
During the verification process, we will compare tax information on your FAFSA with your federal tax information. Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, financial aid offices will no longer be allowed to accept signed copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for FAFSA verification purposes. There is an easier, faster way to provide your tax information. While completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)on-line, you will be prompted to enter your Federal PIN number and link directly to the IRS web site. If you have filed your 2011 tax return prior to completing the FAFSA, the IRS Retrieval Process will display your tax information and allow you to transfer certain data elements to your FAFSA. We encourage all applicants to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process to obtain their tax data. Families who do not use the IRS Data Retrieval Process may be required to submit an IRS Tax Transcript directly from the IRS to complete the federal verification process.
Option 1: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Process when completing the FAFSA online.
- To successfully use this 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)
FAFSA provides instructions to link to the IRS while completing the FAFSA. Certain data elements such as AGI and taxes paid will be entered for you on the FAFSA. The data is considered "verified" for FAFSA purposes, but this may not be all the data that we must verify.
- Students and parents should apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN). The PIN is an electronic signature necessary for quick completion of the online process. To apply go to: www.pin.ed.gov.
- The Federal Tax Return must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) and 6 -8 weeks (if filing paper return) before using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process to allow the IRS time to process the return.
- Our office will still need to collect an Louisiana Tech Verification Worksheet to verify data not provided by the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Process .
Option 2: Certain tax filers may not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process during the completion of the FAFSA. If selected for verification, those applicants will be required to provide our office with an official IRS Tax Transcript.
- You will have to use this option if:
- Applicant (or parent) did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Process-either at initial FAFSA filing or through the FAFSA on the Web correction process.
- When information included on the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Process was subsequently changed.
- When a married independent applicant and spouse filed separate tax returns.
- When the parents of a dependent student filed separate tax returns.
- When an applicant or applicant's parent had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31, 2011.
- When the applicant, or parent or spouse, as applicable, filed an amended tax return.
- When the applicant, or parent or spouse, as applicable, filed a foreign tax return.
Please note: All applicants who are selected for verification in the 2012-2013 academic year will also be required to provide information to verify the following elements:
- Child support paid, the child(ren) for who it is paid, the person to whom it is paid.
- Food Stamp Benefits.
- Other income and household information as part of the general verification process.
The Division of Student Financial Aid appreciates your patience as we implement this new requirement of the U.S. Department of Education.