(PC: Richard Coca)
Reseda High School

Selected for FAFSA Verification? Here’s a how-to guide

Selected for FAFSA Verification? How do I know if I was selected?

When you received the confirmation email stating that your FAFSA has been successfully processed, did you see an asterisk (*) next to your EFC, as shown above? The asterisk means you have been selected for verification. You can also login to your FAFSA account with your FAFSA ID and access the 2018-2019 Electronic Student Aid Report (SAR).

(Image Courtesy of Richard Coca)

What does verification mean? Am I in trouble?

Verification means that the U.S. Department of Education has randomly selected you to go through a verification process where they’ll review your 2016 Tax Returns more closely with what you reported. Being selected for verification doesn’t mean that you are in trouble nor does it affect your chances of admission. It just means you have more work to do! However, this is how the U.S. Department of Education deters people from reporting fraudulent information on the FAFSA.

What should I do if I was selected?

  1. If you can, go back into your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax return information from the IRS to your application.
    1. If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, request a copy of your 2016 Tax Return Transcripts from the IRS. Do this ASAP so you have them ready for when colleges start asking for them.
    2. If you listed on the FAFSA that you and/or your parent(s) DID file taxes in 2016, your colleges will require a copy of a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. So, try ordering your transcript online by clicking on the “Get Transcript by Mail” option on the IRS’s website. Request a “Return Transcript”
    3. If you listed on the FAFSA that you and/or your parent(s) DID NOT file taxes in 2016 (for example: if you didn’t have a job that year or if you were not required to file taxes based on income), your colleges will require a copy of a Verification of Nonfiling (also known as 4506-T). In anticipation for this, you should request a Verification of Nonfiling with this form so you can make copies and keep them in a secure place for when colleges start requesting them.