What is Verification?

What is Verification?

Verification is a requirement placed upon the Financial Aid Office by the U.S. federal government in which students, selected by random selection, are requested to document certain data elements of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our Financial Aid Office verifies all students who are selected by the Department of Education to be verified, and we may use discretion in selecting students on an individual basis as well. Some items that are required to be confirmed include: taxable income, family size, and untaxed income.

How do I know if I have been selected for Verification?

You can check your Student Aid Report (SAR) to see if your FAFSA was selected for Verification by the Department of Education.  If you have been selected, you will see an asterisk (*) next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

How do I complete the Verification process?

There are three main steps in the Verification process:

1. If you (student) and/or your parents filed a 2015 Federal Tax Return, you must obtain an official tax return transcript online or by phone: 800-908-9946. 

The IRS Data Retrieval tool, located in the Financial Information section of the FAFSA, is currently unavailable for the 2017-18 academic year filing period and cannot be used for Verification.

2. Complete all sections and sign the verification worksheet.

2017-18 Verification Worksheet [PDF]

2016-17 Verification Worksheet [PDF]

3. Submit the completed Verification Worksheet and your 2015 tax return transcript(s) to the Financial Aid Office together. You may submit these documents via email by including “VERIF (your ID number)” in the subject line of the email to finaid@swarthmore.edu 

What is the deadline to complete the Verification process?

If you are selected for Verification, you have 30 days from the date of notification to submit the required documentation. No federal financial aid funds will be credited to your account until the Verification process is complete. Failure to submit the required documentation within 30 days may result in loss of all federal financial aid as well as any other aid that could be affected by the result of the Verification process.

How will I learn the results of the Verification process?

You will be notified of the result of Verification via an updated award notice, even if the verification process resulted in no change to your financial aid.