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; the number of children in post-secondary schools who are enrolled at least half time; 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).
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 IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submission of U.S. Tax Return Transcript (see IRS DATA Retrieval Tool 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.
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
The U.S. Department of Education in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, a feature that allows students and parents to import their tax information from their filed U.S. tax return directly into the FAFSA on the Web. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used when filing the initial FAFSA, or the renewal FAFSA each academic year. In order to access the tool, FAFSA site users must have a valid social security number, an active Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), and must have filed their federal tax returns with the IRS.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool may be used either while completing the online FAFSA or after the online FAFSA has been submitted. If accessing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool during FAFSA completion, the user will be given the opportunity to utilize the tool during the completion of the income questions on both the student and parent FAFSA sections. If the decision to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is made after initial FAFSA submission, the user may then log into the FAFSA website: https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa with their FSA ID and complete the following steps:
- Click ‘Link to the IRS’ to be transferred directly to the IRS website https://www.irs.gov/
- If you already have used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax return information into your FAFSA application, click the “View Option to Link to the IRS” hyperlink
- Once on the IRS website, enter the requested user-verification information exactly as it appears on the tax return. Use the FSA ID for the person whose tax information is being transferred.
- Choose to transfer the tax information from the IRS into the FAFSA. If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your tax return information from the IRS, the information will not display on your FAFSA. For your protection the answer to each question is replaced with “Transferred from the IRS.”
Those who are exempt from and unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool include: students and parents who are married and filed separate federal income tax returns for the applicable tax year, are married and filed as Head of Household, students and parents whose marital status changed prior to the end of the applicable tax year, students and parents who filed an Amended Tax Return for the applicable tax year, and filers of foreign and Puerto Rican tax returns.
If you are not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and filed a U.S. tax return, you will need to submit a U.S. Tax Return Transcript to the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance. Students and parents may request an official copy of their U.S. Income Tax Return Transcript from the IRS at IRS.gov. Your parent(s) should sign the Tax Return Transcript and mail or fax it to the Villanova University Office of Financial Assistance. For more complete instructions consult the Office of Financial Assistance website: