Verification is a quality-control method used by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to check the accuracy of information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The federal processor determines who is selected for verification. The Office of Student Financial Assistance also has the authority to select files for verification if there appears to be a conflict of information.
Students selected for verification by the federal processor are notified on their Student Aid Report (SAR). Student Financial Assistance will also notify students of their selection via an email communication to the student’s Knight’s email. Documents required to complete the review process are listed on the student’s “To Do List” on myUCF in the Student Center. Students must click on the “details” of the items to read the instructions for each item. In order to avoid processing and disbursement delays, we have established May 30 as a priority deadline date for submitting verification documents. This institutional deadline is to aid students with the timely processing of their financial aid file.
Student Aid Report
The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a paper or electronic document that gives students some basic information about their eligibility for federal student aid and lists their answers to the questions on the FAFSA. It also provides the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number which is used by institutions to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid.
If a valid email address is listed on the FAFSA, students will receive an email with instructions on how to access an online copy of their SAR. Typically, students can access their SAR within two weeks of filing their FAFSA.
Note: Any student with a Federal Student Aid PIN can view or print his/her SAR by clicking Login on the FAFSA on the Web home page to log in, then selecting either the PDF or HTML version of the SAR from the “My FAFSA” page.
The United States Department of Education requires Office of Student Financial Assistance to resolve any conflicting information on a submitted FASFA.
The 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 FAFSA both utilize 2015 tax and financial information to determine students’ eligibility for financial aid. If information reported for the 2016-2017 FAFSA conflicts with information from the 2017-2018 FAFSA, this information must be resolved to continue the processing of financial aid.
NOTE: Students who are required to submit documentation to resolve conflicting information will receive an email communication to their Knight’s Mail requesting the appropriate documentation to resolve the conflict. Conflicting information and failure to resolve conflicting information can impact financial aid processing and disbursement. This impact can include reduction and/or cancellation of previously disbursed financial aid awards as well as delayed disbursement of aid for the current and future semesters.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows financial aid applicants to upload the previous year’s federal tax data from the IRS to the FAFSA. Tax data will be available for transfer through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option within a minimum of 2-3 weeks after electronic submission and acceptance of a Federal Tax Return by the IRS. Using this option may reduce the amount of documentation that our office will need to request.
Tax Return Transcript or IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter
If the IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used and the verification of tax information is requested on your “To Do List,” you will need to obtain a 2014 Tax Return Transcript.
Beginning with the 2017-18 award year, the IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter will be required if student, spouse, if applicable, or parent(s) indicate on the FAFSA or the Verification Worksheet that a 2015 IRS Tax Return was not filed. Each nontax filer is require to provide the letter.
You can obtain the 2015 Tax Return Transcript or the Verification of Non-Filing Letter from the IRS by one of the following methods:
- Online at www.irs.gov under the Tools section, click on “Get a Tax Transcript”, then click on “Get Transcript Online” or “Get Transcript by Mail”.
- By telephone at 1-800-908-9946
- By mail using IRS Form 4506-T-EZ
Upon the receipt of the 2015 Federal Tax Return Transcript, attach the Verification Worksheet and any requested supporting documents, such as W2s, and fax or mail the documents to our office.
If you are selected for verification, it is essential to complete the verification process within specified deadlines to prevent any negative consequences that might affect the processing of your financial aid. Please refer to the Notification of Verification email for specific deadlines.
Federal regulations require the following:
- Federal financial aid cannot be disbursed until verification is complete.
- Verification may result in corrections that change your award amounts which may affect the deferment of your tuition and fees.
- Estimated financial aid awards may be removed if verification is not completed within specified deadlines. As a result, any deferred tuition and fees become due immediately.
The Office of Student Financial Assistance may require other documentation on a case by case basis for certain data elements, such as child support, proof of separation or divorce, or any other items deemed necessary.
Corrections also need to be made for information that is not accurate, which could affect your ability to receive aid. If you completed your FAFSA online, then simply follow directions to make corrections. If you did the paper FAFSA, you will need to send your SAR to the federal processor for corrections. Updated SARs are provided to you by the federal processor.
- Deadlines are provided to students via email in the Notification of Verification.
Further details and information concerning UCF’s Verification policy are available in the Verifications F.A.Q. section of our website.