Federal Financial Aid Verification
THIS PROCESS HAS CHANGED FOR THE 2012-2013 ACADEMIC YEAR
What is Verification?
Verification is a quality control process required by the Department of Education. Being selected for verification does not necessarily mean the applicant made an error when filing their application. The NWC Financial Aid Office (FAO) is simply required to conduct activities that will verify the accuracy of information provided by students (and parents, if applicable) when they apply for federal student aid.
What Information is required to be Verified?
Students whose applications are selected for verification will be required to submit certain documentation to the Northwest College FAO.
1. Tax Documentation
If the student/parents have filed a federal tax return, there are only two options to provide tax information. Do NOT send photocopies of any 1040/ 1040A/ 1040EZ/ 1040X tax return forms unless they are specifically requested by NWC's Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.
OPTION 1: IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web. If students/parents have not already used the Tool, go to FAFSA.gov and:
- Log in to the student's FAFSA record
- Select “Make FAFSA Corrections”
- Navigate to the Financial Information section of the form
- Follow the instructions to determine if the student is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer 2011 IRS income tax information into the student's FAFSA
It takes two-three weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool see your financial aid administrator.
OPTION 2: IRS tax return transcript
To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go to www.IRS.gov and click on the “Order a Return or Account Transcript” link, or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript.”
Students/parents will need their Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when the 2011 IRS tax return was filed). It takes two-three weeks for IRS income information to be available for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers.
- Request a tax return transcript, NOT a tax account transcript, unless you (or parents, if applicable) have amended the return. Then request both a return transcript and an account transcript.
- It can take up to 30 days for the IRS to process your request. Please plan accordingly.
- If the student (and parents, if applicable) earned income from work and were not required to file a federal tax return, the FAO will need a copy of 2011 W-2 form(s), which the student/parents can request directly from the IRS if copies aren't available. Request a summary transcript of all 2011 W-2 forms.
2. Institutional Verification Form
Visit the Financial Aid Forms page to find separate forms for:
- Dependent Verification Form
- Independent Verification Form
3. Other information, as requested
Items may include, but not limited to:
- A copy of the student's military discharge (Form DD-214).
- A copy of the student's Marriage Certificate.
- Copy of 2011 student and/or parent W-2 forms
- Proof that the student is not in default on a federal student loan.
- Proof that a student has not borrowed more than the aggregate student loan allowance
- Verification of Child Support Paid/Received
- Verification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) received, formerly known as Food Stamps
- A copy of the student's Social Security card.
- A copy of Birth Certificate(s) and proof of dependency for children the student supports.
- Proof of Selective Service registration and/or clearance from the Selective Service for failure to register
- All required documentation must be received and reviewed by the FAO, and any discrepancies must be resolved, before a student's eligibility can be determined.
- Upon completion of the verification process, the FAO will notify the student of the results. If the student is eligible for financial aid they will receive an Award Letter.
- Northwest College does not award federal aid or certify federal student loans until the verification process is complete and all corrections are made, reprocessed, and received by the FAO.