What is Verification?

What is Verification?

Verification is a Federal aid eligibility requirement operated by the Financial Aid Office in which students are requested to support 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. If selected, this process must take place prior to the payment of your Federal aid to your account at Swarthmore. 

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 Federal Verification by the Department of Education.  You had been sent this SAR soon after you completed your FAFSA. If you have been selected, you will see an asterisk (*) next to your Expected Family Contribution number (EFC).

The Financial Aid Office will also reach out via email correspondence to notify you that you have been selected. This email will be sent to your Swarthmore College email address only.

How do I complete the Verification process?

  • First, if you, the student, and/or your parent(s) filed a 2016 Federal Tax Return, you must use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in your 2018-19 FAFSA so that the correct tax information is transferred to our Office. If you had already used this Data Retrieval Tool successfully when you first filed the FAFSA, you do not have to use it again. If you and/or your parent(s) are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must go to the IRS website to request a copy of your 2016 Tax Return Transcript for you and/or your parent(s). An IRS account must be created to obtain the transcript. You will submit this document via the College Board IDOC Service.
    • For independent students or for a parent who did not file a 2016 Federal Tax Return, they must obtain and submit a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” from the IRS, attesting that they did not file a 2016 IRS income tax return. Complete Form 4506-T and check Box 7 to request this Letter.

  • Next, complete the Federal Verification Worksheet. The Federal Verification Worksheet is an online document that will have been sent to you, the student, in an email from the Financial Aid Office in late May 2018 and is designed to help ease the process for you. You have been sent a personalized link, which you may share with your parent in order to have them sign the online document. If you are having trouble using the Federal Verification Worksheet online, you may alternately complete the 2018-19 Verification Worksheet [PDF]. You will submit this document via the College Board IDOC Service.

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?

If the process produces a change to your Federal aid eligibility, you will be notified of the result of Verification via an updated award notice and email from the Office.