Q1: I’ve been selected for verification, what does that mean?
A1: The U.S. Department of Education is requiring Oregon State University (OSU) to review your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information and verify the data entered on your FAFSA is accurate. We complete the verification process by comparing FAFSA data with federal tax documents and other forms you must provide to the OSU Office of Financial Aid. Corrections to your FAFSA may be necessary if discrepancies are found.
Q2: What is the deadline to submit verification documents?
A2: For full consideration of all aid resources, required verification documents need to be submitted for review to the OSU Office of Financial Aid no later than 45 days after the initial request for information. Verification documents received after the 45-day deadline can still be verified, but the types of financial aid offered may be limited. The Office of Financial Aid must complete verification before the end of the academic year, or before your last term of attendance in the year, otherwise you may not be eligible for financial aid, including aid already disbursed.
Q3: What information is required to complete the financial aid verification process at OSU?
A3: Not every student selected for verification will be required to submit the same verification documentation. Please review the Admissions and Financial Aid Checklist or your financial aid eligibility requirements in your MyOSU account to see what verification documents have been requested.
Q4: What if I completed 2016-2017 financial aid income verification at OSU?
A4: If you have already submitted 2015 tax information for the 2016-2017 academic year at OSU, you will still need to complete a verification worksheet and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You do not need to provide a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript.
Q5: What if I used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer 2015 tax data to the 2017-2018 FAFSA?
A5: If you have used the IRS DRT on the FAFSA for 2015 tax information you will still need to complete a verification worksheet and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You do not need to provide a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript.
Q6: What if I did not work and will not file 2015 taxes?
A6: If you did not earn income during the 2015 tax year and did not file a 2015 Federal Tax Return Income you will need to submit a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” (See Q&A #8 on how to obtain an IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” below).
Q7: What if I worked but was not required to file 2015 taxes?
A7: If you earned income during the 2015 tax year but were not required to file a 2015 Federal Tax Return you will need to submit copies of any W-2 or 1099-Misc forms you had for the year. You will also need to submit a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” (See Q&A #8 on how to obtain an IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” below).
Q8: How to do I get an IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter”?
A8: You can request a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” by submitting an IRS Form 4506-T, (checking box 7) to the IRS. Once you receive the letter from the IRS, submit a copy of the document to the Office of Financial Aid.
Q9: What if I did not or could not transfer my 2015 income information to the FAFSA using the Data Retrieval Tool?
A9: You will need to complete a verification worksheet and submit it to the Office of Financial Aid. You will also need to attach an IRS Tax Return Transcript. (See Q&A #10 on how to obtain a “IRS Tax Return Transcript” below).
Q10: How do I get an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
A10: Transcripts can be requested through the IRS website. Make sure you request a Tax Return Transcript, not the Account Transcript. You can also call the automated toll free line at 1-800-908-9946. Allow 5-10 calendar days to receive your tax return transcript to the address of record on file with the IRS.
NOTE: If you filed your taxes “married, filing separately” each person will need to submit a copy of their 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript.
Q11: What if I filed an Amended return?
A11: Submit a copy of your original Tax Return Transcript as well as a signed copy of your Amended Federal Tax Return (IRS 1040X) even if you used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool does not reflect the amended return information.
Q12: What if my marital status has changed since filing my 2015 federal taxes?
A12: The questions on the FAFSA asks about your marital status at the time you file your FAFSA, and also asks about your federal tax filing status as it was filed for 2015. These two may be in conflict with each other if your marital status has changed since you filed taxes, or since you filed your FAFSA. If you filed a “married, filing joint” tax return for 2015, but are now separated, divorced, or widowed, file your FAFSA with your current marital status, your 2015 tax filing status, and then contact our office to discuss updating your FAFSA information to separate out your former spouse’s income on your FAFSA.
If you are a dependent student and were single at the time you filed your FAFSA with your parent’s information but you are now married, please contact our office to discuss your change in marital status.
Q13: What if my current financial situation is no longer consistent with my 2015 tax information?
A13: We recognize that students and parents may have concerns with using their 2015 tax return information on the 2017-2018 FAFSA because that tax data may no longer reflect your current financial situation. FAFSA filers are still required to initially file the 2017-2018 FAFSA using 2015 tax return information, though there is a possibility we may be able to make adjustments to your FAFSA information after that. Federal financial aid regulations allow schools to reevaluate the student’s, or parent’s, financial situation due to a change in circumstances that occur after the FAFSA is filed. After you have submitted your FAFSA you can contact our office to discuss the Special Conditions Appeal option.
Q14: What if I and/or my Parent(s) have a Foreign Tax Return or a US Territory Tax Return?
A14: If you filed a Foreign Tax Return OSU will require a copy of the signed original return tax document converted into US Dollar amounts, and if needed an English translated version.
If filing a US Territory Tax Return, OSU will need a signed copy for your Tax Return Form for either student and/or parent(s).
Q15: What do I need to submit if I filed a 2015 IRS Tax Extension?
A15: If you filed a tax extension for the 2015 tax year you will need to submit documentation to our office before we can continue processing your financial aid.
If you earned income you will need to submit IRS Tax Form 4868 along with copies of your W-2 forms from any employment you had during the tax filing year.
If you earned self-employment income or business income you will need to submit an IRS Tax Form 4868 along with a signed statement that provides an estimate of your total AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and your US Taxes Paid. Please refer to any earning documentation you have in order to provide close estimates.
If your parents, or you and your spouse, earned income in both scenarios we will need all of the appropriate documentation for each individual as outlined above. For example, if your parents filed a tax extension but one had earned income and the other had self-employment income we would need the tax form 4868, as well as W-2 forms for one parent and a signed statement with estimates for the other parent.
Q16: How do I get tax Form 4868 to show that I filed a tax extension?
A16: All tax related forms can be found at the IRS Website.
Q17: I am a dependent student, who should/can be included in my household size?
A17: If you are a dependent student, the people reported in your parent(s) household should you; the student, your parent(s) and siblings, if they receive more than half of their support from your parent(s). This may also include any other dependents that live in the household and receive more than half of their support from your parent(s). Your verification worksheet has further instructions regarding who to report in the household size.
Q18: I am an independent student, who should be included in my household size?
A18: If you are an independent student, your household should include you, the student, your spouse and dependents (if applicable). This may also include any other dependents that live in the household and you provide more than half of their support. Your verification worksheet has further instructions regarding who to report in your household size.