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The Verification Process

Selected for Verification? Read below for help!

What is verification?
Verification is a process in which information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is reviewed by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid to check the accuracy and completeness of the data supplied by the student and/or parent(s). Federal guidelines require that verification be performed on applicants selected by the Central Processing System (CPS) or by the school. At CVCC, federal verification is performed on all applicants selected by the CPS and any other application selected by the college. If selected for verification, the student should immediately submit all requested documentation to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for review.


How will I know if I am selected for verification?
If selected for verification, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR). Students selected for verification will also receive an e-mail from the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid identifying what documentation will be required before a financial aid award is made. Students may also be selected for verification by the Office of Scholarships Financial Aid.


Where do I send my documents?
All forms and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Failure to submit the requested documents will result in a delay of your financial aid.


If I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
If your FAFSA is selected for verification, participation in the verification process is mandatory and must occur before federal and state aid is disbursed. Students must submit the required documentation. Please note that during the process of verification, new or additional information may be required in order to clarify inconsistencies. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will contact you via your CVCC student e-mail if additional clarification or documentation is needed. It is important to respond to any information requests immediately.

Verification will be completed when all required information is received by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. Financial aid will not be awarded until all submitted documentation has been verified by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid Office, and the US Department of Education has received and processed any changes to the latest FAFSA data. If the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid makes corrections to your FAFSA, you will be notified by e-mail.


What documents are required to complete the verification process?

  • The IRS tax transcript is required for anyone who filed a tax return but did not complete the IRS Data Retrieval
  • A verification worksheet
  • W-2's showing wages (parent and student if the student is dependent)
  • Statement of child support paid
  • other documentation as needed

Students and parents should ensure that all documents are signed and the student's name and ID Number is noted on all pages.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is Unavailable

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool will remain unavailable until the start of the next FAFSA season. We regret any inconvenience. To fill out a FAFSA, you can manually input your tax information. Remember, if you're filling out the 2017–18 FAFSA form, your 2015 tax information is required (not 2016).


What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) and why should I use it?
Per federal regulations, the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid cannot accept copies of tax returns for verification purposes, except in rare, special circumstances. Therefore, if tax and income data are requested, students should either update the FAFSA application by using the IRS DRT within the online FAFSA website or provide an official IRS Tax Return Transcript. The IRS DRT may be used to import processed income tax information already within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) database directly into the FAFSA. Students and parents may elect to use IRS DRT when initially filing a FAFSA. They also may file the FAFSA with estimated data, later utilizing IRS DRT to update the FAFSA after their Federal tax return has been processed. For assistance with the IRS DRT for the FAFSA, visit the FAFSA HELP webpage and click on “IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL.”

A free IRS Tax Return Transcript may be obtained directly from the IRS by online request or by mail, calling 1 (800) 908-9946, or by completing and mailing Form 4506–T (PDF). Visit the IRS Get Transcript Frequently Asked Questions for more information.


When is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) available for use?

The IRS DRT is only available once a Federal income tax return has been filed and processed by the IRS. In general, income and tax information will be available for import by the IRS DRT within 3–4 weeks if a Federal return is filed electronically. Federal income tax returns submitted by regular mail may need to wait 8–11 weeks for tax information to be available via the IRS DRT. Filers who owe taxes may experience longer wait times before they may access the IRS DRT in the FAFSA, particularly during peak tax filing season.

When do I need to submit the verification documents?
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will not disburse Federal Title IV or need-based institutional aid until the verification process has been completed. Thus, it is very important for students to submit required documentation as soon as possible.


Will my financial aid change due to verification?
During the verification process, information is compared to the original data on the FAFSA and corrections may be made. Once the corrections are made, the corrected data is submitted electronically to the Department of Education. Processing may take 3–5 business days after a corrected FAFSA is received. These corrections may lower or raise the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) figure. Financial need is determined by the EFC, therefore a change to the EFC could impact aid eligibility. If the verification process is completed after a student is initially awarded financial aid, changes to the original aid package may occur. The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will notify you of any changes to aid via your CVCC student e-mail account. You may also view your financial information via "MYCVCC Portal" online. In some cases, when financial aid has already been disbursed and the EFC increases after a late verification process, certain forms of aid may have to be returned to the Department of Education.


What happens if an amended tax returns needs to be filed?

If an amended tax return is filed, the following documents are needed:

  • A signed copy of the original tax return that was submitted to the IRS
  • A Tax Return Transcript from IRS
  • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was submitted to IRS.


If my parents do not claim me on their taxes, why am I still considered dependent? For federal and state financial aid purposes, a student is only considered independent if one or more of the following are true:

  • you are 24 years old;
  • you are enrolled in a graduate degree program;
  • you are married;
  • you have children or other dependents who receive more than half of their support from you;
  • both of your parents are deceased;
  • you are (or were until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court; or
  • you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

If none of these statements applies, you must provide parent information on your FAFSA and other financial aid documents. Extenuating circumstances may be reviewed by on a case by case basis to determine whether or not professional judgment may be granted.


Will being selected for verification prevent my aid from disbursing?
YES! Your financial aid will not be disbursed until you have submitted all requested documents and the information has been verified by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. In addition, the US Department of Education must receive and accept changes to the original FAFSA information prior to disbursement.


What if I am selected for verification, but will not file a Federal Income Tax Return?
Whether or not you are required to file a Federal income tax return depends on many factors, including your filing status, citizenship, income amount, income sources, age, etc. The IRS website may be used to obtain directions, forms, and answers to frequently asked questions or a qualified tax professional. Students and/or parents whose income falls below the minimum filing threshold for a given tax year should complete the required Verification Worksheet and submit all W-2 forms and/or other statements of income. If evidence suggests that a student or parent should have filed, but did not, this represents conflicting information and must be resolved.


When is the Verification Process Complete?
The verification process is complete when all requested documents have been submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid and necessary corrections have been made with the Department of Education. Once the verification process is complete, students will be notified of their award package generally within 5–7 days. The student will be directed to log into "MYCVCC Portal" to review their award and other notifications.


What if I do not want to complete the verification process?
Students and parents are under no obligation to complete the verification process; however, you are not eligible for federal or state financial assistance. If you do not wish to complete the verification process, you should notify the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid via e-mail or letter. We will stop the communication process.


What if Fraud is suspected?
CVCC is required to notify the U.S. Office of Inspector General if it is suspected or reported that a student, employee or other individual has misreported information or altered documentation submitted in order for a student to fraudulently obtain federal funds. Knowledge of fraudulent information should be reported to the director in the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at (828) 327-7000, ext. 4860 or to the Office of Inspector General at (404) 974-9430.

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