Being selected for FAFSA Verification can be frustrating but the OSU Office of Financial Aid is here to help. Below you will find answers to the most common questions people have about navigating the Verification process. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.
If you were selected for tax verification, this is a helpful video on how to use the Data Retrieval Tool to download your tax information directly from the IRS into your FAFSA.
Verification is a federal aid eligibility review process required by The U.S. Department of Education. For this process, OSU is required to verify that the information on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. We complete the verification process by comparing FAFSA data with federal tax documents and other forms you provide to the OSU Office of Financial Aid. Corrections to your FAFSA and aid offer may be necessary if discrepancies are found. See the Financial Aid Requirements section of MyOSU for your specific verification requirements.
To receive full consideration for all available aid we recommend that verification documents be submitted within 45 days of the request date*. Early packaging does not impact eligibility for federal student loans or the Pell Grant. Documents submitted later will still be processed as long as we are able to review them within the allowed federal verification timelines. Federal aid eligibility may be lost if documents are not received in time to process while the student is enrolled in the current verification year.
*The 45 day submission guidance applies to students who are selected for verification before the start of the academic year. For students selected for verification after the year has begun, faster submission may be required for certain types of limited funding or to stay within the allowed federal verification processing timeframe.
The method of verification document submission will depend on the type of document you are submitting:
Oregon State University
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Please provide the OSU Office of Admissions a copy of your final official HS transcript, certification of passing scores on GED and similar equivalency tests or other alternatives to satisfy the high school completion requirement. For the Identity & Educational Purpose, please refer to the form found in MyOSU for detailed instructions.
If you were selected for 20/21 FAFSA verification, click the status that applies to your 2018 taxes for more information on what is needed for income verification. The documentation listed below should be submitted along with the Tax Verification Form:
1. Log back into the FAFSA and use the Data Retrieval Tool to download your taxes directly from the IRS.
2. Submit a copy of your 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript obtained from the IRS website.
3. Submit a copy of your signed copy of your 1040 tax return along with schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if those schedules were filed). This copy must be signed in ink on the signature line.
NOTE: If you filed your taxes “married, filing separately” each person will need to submit a copy of their 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed 1040.
1. Submit copies of 2018 earnings statements (W2’s, 1099’s, etc.)
2. Submit an IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” for the 2018 tax year. If you are not able to obtain the Verification of Nonfiling Letter indicate this on the OSU Tax Verification Form.*
*Dependent students: must submit earnings statements but are not required to submit a Verification of Nonfiling Letter.
1. Submit an IRS “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” for the 2018 tax year. If you are not able to obtain the Verification of Nonfiling Letter indicate this on the OSU Tax Verification Form.*
*Dependent students are not required to submit a Verification of Nonfiling Letter.
1. Submit signed copy of your 2018 IRS 1040X amended IRS tax return (This copy must be signed in ink on the signature line). If you do not have the 1040X, you may alternatively submit the 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript.
2. Submit a copy of your 2018 IRS Tax Return Transcript OR a signed copy of your 1040 tax return along with schedules 1, 2, and 3 (if those schedules were filed). This copy must be signed in ink on the signature line.
1. Submit a copy of the IRS “Tax Return Data Base View” (TRDBV) . To obtain this document call the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800-908-4490 and request the TRDB for the 2018 tax year.
2. Sign and submit the Identity Theft section of the OSU Tax Verification Form.
1. Submit a signed copy of the 2018 foreign tax document, translated into English, and converted into US dollars. Please list the currency conversion rate used and write a brief explanation if there is any relevant unique information about the foreign tax filing.
1. Submit a signed copy of the Tax Return /Transcript/Document filed with the IRS or other relevant tax authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign government that lists 2018 tax account information of the tax filer.*
*If the tax document is not in English and US dollars were not used it must be translated into English and the currency must be converted. Please list the currency conversion rate used and write a brief explanation if there is any relevant unique information about the foreign tax filing.
1. Submit a copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2018.
2. Submit confirmation of nonfiling from the IRS dated on or after October 1, 2019.
3. Submit a copy of IRS Form W–2/1099 for each source of 2018 employment income received or an equivalent document.
4. If self-employed, submit a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2018.
*Note: An institution may require that, after the income tax return is filed, an individual granted a filing extension beyond the automatic six-month extension submit tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by obtaining a transcript from the IRS that lists tax account information. When an institution receives such information, it must be used to reverify the FAFSA information included on the transcript.
These documents may be obtained from the IRS free of charge in one of five ways:
* Remember to put the student name and OSU ID number on all tax documents before submittal.
** You must have an up to date address with the IRS before you can have a transcript mailed to you. If the address on file is out of date, you will need to file Form 8822 (Change of Address) before you submit Form 4506-T. Generally, it takes four to six weeks to process a change of address.
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. 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 but are now separated, divorced, or widowed, file your FAFSA with your current marital status and your accurate tax filing status as they were filed, 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.
Students and parents may have concerns with using their tax return information on the FAFSA because that tax data may no longer reflect your current financial situation. FAFSA filers are still required initially to file FAFSA using the tax return information for the year required. After your FAFSA has been processed and your initial aid packaged has been awarded for the year, you may contact our office to discuss the Special Conditions Appeal option for change in circumstances. Find out more on our Request Changes page.
If you are a dependent student, the people reported in your parent(s) household should include you, the student (even if you’re not living at home,) 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 whom to report in the household size.
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 whom to report in your household size.