​Verification of FAFSA


 What is FAFSA Verification?

Federal verification is a process that requires institutions to verify the accuracy of the information provided on a student’s FAFSA in an effort to ensure federal aid is distributed to those who are eligible. If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you are required to provide documentation to the school verifying the information you entered on your FAFSA. After submitting your FAF​SA, you will receive an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR), which will have indicated whether your application has been selected for federal verification. In addition, you will receive a notification from our office regarding the required documentation that must be submitted in order to satisfy this federal verification requirement. 

 Why was your FAFSA selected to be verified?

The most common reasons why your FAFSA was selected for verification:   
  • When completing your FAFSA you were not eligible, did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, or you did but then subsequently changed the data
  • Your FAFSA has incomplete data
  • Your FAFSA includes estimated information
  • Random selection 

 Is there a deadline to complete the verification process?

Yes! It is a federal regulation that our institution receives the required documentation regarding the verification of a student's FAFSA no later than 120 days after their last date of enrollment for the award year.  Financial aid cannot be awarded after a term for which you are enrolled (and meet all eligibility requirements) has ended. However, in order to receive the best available financial aid for which you are eligible, it is very important for you to submit the required documentation as soon as possible.  Even though you may have submitted all required documentation and signatures to complete verification of your FAFSA, we may not have enough time to process your file and award you aid before the last day of the term. Failure to provide the documentation will prevent a financial aid award from being processed.  Should a student's FAFSA be selected for verification after already receiving an award and the student fails to complete the verification, financial aid will be retracted and the student will be billed. 

 What needs to be done after your FAFSA has been selected for verification?

  • View your checklist(s) via accesSPoint. Students who are unable to access this form online may contact the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services by email (finaid@uwsp.edu) or by telephone at 715-346-4771 for options that may better meet their needs. 
  • Submit copies of documents requested by our office. These documents may include IRS-supplied federal tax return transcript(s) and/or Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement(s). The type of documents required will vary from student to student and not all students whose FAFSA is selected for verification will have to submit the same documents. 

 What happens if there are discrepancies between the FAFSA application and the requested documentation?

After you submit all required documents, our financial aid office will compare them with your Student Aid Report (SAR).  If necessary, correction(s) will be made by our office based on the documentation you provided to us.  If correction(s) to a student's FAFSA results in a change in the amount of financial aid that was initially awarded, our office will generate a revised financial aid award. 

 What if I used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option when I completed my FAFSA but then changed the data?

Request an official IRS-supplied Tax Return Transcript online at IRS.gov or call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts in the recorded message, or complete and mail or fax an IRS Form 4506-T to request a transcript free of charge.

If you filed an amended federal tax return, please contact our office.

 Where do I need to sign and date?

Please include all required signatures and dates where requested.  Failure to do so will delay the processing of your financial aid award.  If you are a dependent student, parental signatures and dates are required. If you are a married independent student, your spouse's signatures and dates are optional.

 What happens after all my documentation and signatures are submitted?

Once you have successfully submitted all required documentation and signatures, the data you provided will be verified for accuracy.  This process can take up to three weeks but possibly longer if reviewed during periods of high volume.  Should any discrepancies exist, corrections will be made and your financial aid award will be based upon this corrected information.  

 Will selection for verification prevent my aid from disbursing?

Financial aid cannot be disbursed until you have submitted all requested documents, the information has been verified by the Office of Financial Aid and Veteran Services, and the Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the original FAFSA information. 
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