If you have been selected for Verification, you are not alone! About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the Verification process, which requires the school you are attending to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the information you put on the FAFSA.
NOTE: If you have been selected for Verification, you are required to complete the process before any federal financial aid can be processed. If you have not been selected for Verification; the information below does not pertain to you.
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Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.
The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather, verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified.
If you are selected for verification after completing the FAFSA, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR acknowledgment letter, which will be included with your SAR documents.
Millersville University notifies all students via the MAX Student Portal regarding outstanding requirements. You can be selected for verification at any time during the academic year so it is very important you check your email and your financial aid requirements on a regular basis.
If you have been selected for verification, you can view the required documentation requested by logging into your MAX account and selecting Financial Aid > My Eligibility > Document Requirements/Holds.
You and/or your parents may be asked to submit documentation or clarification of information for one or more of the following data elements on your FAFSA:
- Adjusted Gross Income
- Taxes Paid
- Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
- Certain Untaxed Income Items
- Number of family members in the household
- Number of family members enrolled in college (excluding parents for a dependent student)
- Citizenship status
- Compliance with Selective Service registration requirement
- Any other inconsistent or conflicting information (including name, date of birth, social security number, etc.)
The documents required will vary based on each student. You can view the specific documents requested from you by logging into your MAX Student Portal and selecting Financial Aid > My Eligibility > Document Requirements/Holds.
Possible Documentation Required:
- Tax information
- Asset information
- Completion of required forms
The best action you can take to help finish verification is to use the IRS data retrieval process to automatically populate your and your parents’ tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA!
Once you have filed your taxes and received confirmation from the IRS that your return has been accepted, you and your parents (if you are a dependent student) should log into your FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov and make a correction to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This will allow you to link directly to the IRS from the FAFSA and retrieve your tax information to populate into the FAFSA tax questions. When you use the IRS data retrieval, the tax information is considered to be already verified so you will not have to submit any documentation, such as Tax Return Transcripts, to our office. Much simpler for you! If your account currently shows that we are requesting tax transcripts, this will be removed about 1 to 3 weeks after you correct the FAFSA to use the IRS data retrieval.
Some students and/or parents will be ineligible or will choose not to use the IRS data retrieval. In these cases, only the Tax Return Transcript will be accepted as documentation to verify tax information. We cannot accept 1040 forms to verify tax information. The Tax Return Transcript must be requested directly from the IRS. To request your Tax Return Transcript online or by mail, you can go directly to the IRS website. If you are having difficulties obtaining your Tax Return Transcript(s) you can call 1-800-TAX-1040 for assistance. Be sure to request the Tax Return Transcript and not the Tax Account Transcript.
Please note that there may be other documents that we are requesting that you will still need to complete and submit. Check your MAX account to determine if there are other verification documents that are needed
For detailed instructions on how to obtain a Tax Return Transcript, please click here.
Once you submit the documents to our office, you can continue to check the status of your documents by going to your MAX Student Portal and selecting Financial Aid > My Eligibility > Document Requirements/Holds. If we have received your documents, the status will go from "Required" to "Document Received and Not Yet Reviewed." Once the document is reviewed the status will be updated to the appropriate status: "Incomplete", "Additional Info Needed", "Waived" or "Ready for Processing." If the requirement is incomplete or showing additional information is needed, you should contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine how it can be resolved. It is important you check the status of your requirements so you can make sure they all verification documents have been coded as "Ready For Processing."
If you submit the documents to our office, please allow two to three business days for the status to be updated. There is no need to send multiple documents unless you have given it sufficient processing time.
Once the Office of Financial Aid has received all your verification requirements and they are coded as "Ready for Processing" we can now begin the verification process. This can take anywhere between six to eight weeks during the months of May through August. After the verification process is complete, you will receive an email informing you that you have a revised award package available. This will only occur if changes have been made to your financial aid package (based on the additional documents requested). Revised award letter/notices replace any award letters/notices previously received.
The verification process is a federal regulation and must be completed in order for a student to receive federal aid. If you do not wish to complete the verification process, and therefore not receive financial aid, please notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing that you do not wish to comply with the verification requirements and that you understand you will not be eligible for federal aid, so that we can update your status.