Verification

What is verification?

Verification is the process of confirming the accuracy of information that was reported on the Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA). The U. S. Department of Education selects students each year and requires that our office confirm the data that was supplied by the student, spouse and/or parents. Applicants nationwide are selected for verification.

How will I know if I am selected for verification?

After you complete your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If there is an asterisk* next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), you have been selected for verification. You will receive an email from our office informing you to submit additional information before your financial aid can be calculated. Details of what information is required will be found on your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List.

Do not submit documents or tax returns unless they are listed on your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List or you have received an email from the Syracuse University Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs indicating they are needed.

Why was I chosen for verification?

The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects students. In addition, if the FAFSA information was inconsistent, contained estimated information, or was incomplete, you may be selected.

What do I do if I am selected?

If you receive an email from our office, immediately check your Financial Aid To Do List and take steps to complete and submit all items as soon as possible following directions carefully. 

After all your documents are received, your application and verification will be reviewed. Sometimes after initially reviewing your documents, additional information may be required. The student will receive an email if this should occur, so be certain to check your email daily.

It is a good idea to also check your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List weekly to keep abreast of any additional items that may be required.

Until verification is completed, your financial aid will not show as anticipated aid or be disbursed to your account.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), and why is it important?

When completing the FAFSA, a student and parent selects to use the IRS DRT. You will be transferred to a secure IRS webpage with specific information which can be transferred to the FAFSA. The benefit of utilizing the IRS data retrieval tool is that it greatly simplifies and expedites the verification process. If you use this tool when completing your FAFSA, you will not be required to submit a Federal Tax Transcript to our office.

What if the IRS DRT cannot be used?

You cannot use the IRS DRT, and may be required to submit a Federal Tax Transcript if:

  • Your marital status changes after December 31 of the same tax year
  • Your tax return filing status is:
    • Married, filing separately
    • Head of household
    • An amended return was file
    • A Puerto Rican or foreign tax return was filed
    • You were not required to file a tax return

What is an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

Federal regulations prohibit the use of a signed tax return in the verification process. If you cannot use the IRS DRT on the FAFSA, and are required to submit income and tax information, you can obtain a free Federal Tax Return Transcript directly from the IRS online, by calling 1.800.908.9946, or by completing and mailing IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, selecting the “Return Transcript” option. Read more at the IRS site.