What is Verification?

What is Verification?

Verification is a federal procedure in which students, if selected, 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 may use its discretion in selecting students on an individual basis. Some examples of items that are required to be confirmed might 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 whether your FAFSA was selected for Verification by the Department of Education.

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 use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool located in the "Financial Information" section of your FAFSA in order to submit the required tax information to Swarthmore. Note: If you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you first completed your FAFSA, you do not have to repeat this process.

If you (student) and/or your parents are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must obtain an official tax return transcript online or by phone: 800-908-9946.

2. Complete all sections and sign the verification worksheet.

2016-17 Verification Worksheet [PDF]

2017-18 Verification Worksheet [PDF]

3. Submit the completed Verification Worksheet (and, if you are ineligible for IRS Data Retrieval Tool, your tax transcripts) to the Financial Aid Office. You may submit this information via email by including “VERIF (your ID number)” in the subject line of the email. Alternatively, you may mail copies of these documents to the following address:

Financial Aid Office
Swarthmore College
500 College Ave.
Swarthmore, PA 19081

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.