Verification is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education and is the process of confirming information submitted for consideration of the various Federal Title IV Funds including the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG and Federal Direct Loans. Applicants should be aware that this federal regulation requires them to submit tax data and other requested information to the Office of Financial Assistance before the processing of student loan applications and/or the awarding of funds. Students must submit the required information to complete the verification process no later than 45 days before the last day of the student’s enrollment. Failure to comply with the verification requirements within the timeframe will result in the loss of funds.

Only students selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education based on information on the FAFSA and determined by criteria set by the U.S. Department of Education or selected by a counselor will be verified.

Items to be verified include: adjusted gross income; U.S. income taxes paid; number of family members for whom parents provide more than half of their support; dependency status; untaxed income; eligible non-citizen status and any other item for which conflicting information has been submitted to the Office of Financial Assistance. Students selected for verification will be required to submit additional documents. These additional requirements will be reflected on the student’s Applicant Status page (prospective students) and on the MyNova account (enrolled students).

Documents/Data Required

For dependent students): signed copies of custodial parents’, stepparent’s (if applicable) and student’s U.S. or Puerto Rico income tax returns, W-2 form(s) and 1099 form(s).

Transfer of financial data from the Future Act Direct Data Exchange or submission of U.S. Tax Return Transcript (see Future Act Direct Data Exchange below for more information) (For independent students): signed copy of the student’s (and spouse’s if applicable) U.S. or Puerto Rico income tax return and W-2 forms.

If the student or custodial parent or stepparent (if applicable) did not file taxes or if a foreign tax return was filed, a signed non-tax filer statement and copies of all W-2 forms or proof of earnings must be submitted. Non-taxable income verification such as VA Benefits, Social Security Benefits for all household members and Public Assistance Letters must be submitted to the Office of Financial Assistance. CSS Profile for prospective students and all returning undergraduate students. The CSS Profile form is required for consideration for institutional aid only.

The Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service have worked together to develop a process, known as the FUTURE Act Data Direct Exchange (FA-DDX). This process was formerly known as the IRS-DRT (Data Retrieval Tool). FA-DDX simplifies the steps to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This tool allows families to consent for the exchange of federal tax information into the FAFSA. The process enables the FAFSA to retrieve income and tax data directly from the IRS.

All FAFSA applicants and contributors who indicate that they have filed their federal tax returns prior to completing their FAFSA may use the DDX process to complete their FAFSA.

Some will not be able to use the DDX.  Some examples include parents of a dependent student who file separate tax returns, parents who have had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year, if anyone has filed an amended returns, or if the applicant or parents filed a foreign tax return.  

If you are unable to use the DDX Tool you must request an IRS Tax Return Transcript to verify your income. There are a few options available to do so: 1) Get transcript online, 2) Get transcript by mail, or 3) IRS form 4506-T.