Verification Frequently Asked Questions

What is verification?

The U.S. Department of Education randomly selects FAFSA applications for verification. If you are selected, the information on your FAFSA will be reviewed for accuracy. 

What are some reasons a student is selected for verification?

  • You were selected randomly
  • The FAFSA submitted was incomplete.
  • The data on your FAFSA appears to contradict itself.
  • You provided estimated information on the FAFSA.

Will verification stop me from receiving a financial aid award?

You will not receive an award until the verification process has been successfully completed. Keep in mind that once you submit the necessary requirements, your file will be reviewed and you will be notified of your next step. If additional information is needed or corrections to your FAFSA need to be made by Inceptia, you need to allow time for processing. 

Your classes will not be secured by financial aid if you are still in the verification process. 

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, and why should I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is an option offered on the FAFSA that allows the transfer of tax information directly from the IRS into the FAFSA. It is recommended to use this secure tool so that the information provided on your FAFSA is accurate.

More information on the IRS DRT can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

View the Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information Into Your FAFSA Form graphic.

What is an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and how do I obtain one?

If you are selected for verification and were not able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may be required to submit a tax return transcript from the IRS. This is not the copy of a tax return and must be requested free of charge from the IRS. To request a tax transcript, please visit the transcript request page on

Will my financial aid change due to verification?

If the information provided for verification does not match your FAFSA, corrections will be made on your behalf. These corrections may decrease or increase your EFC, or it may not change at all. Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is calculated by the Department of Education and determines what type of aid you qualify for and how much, which is based on your enrollment status. 

Do I still have to complete verification if I did not work or file taxes?

If you are selected for verification, then you must complete the process. Each student has their own specific requirements which is determined by the Department of Education.