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What is verification?

Verification is a process to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education selects certain FAFSA applications to be verified. Once the FAFSA is processed the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR). Williamson College may also select and verify certain FAFSA information if conflicting data is discovered. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid they are entitled to receive and prevents ineligible students from receiving aid they are not entitled to receive. Students must be fully admitted before their FAFSA results are reviewed and then if selected will receive a request for verification documentation.

Federal student aid programs affected by verification

Pell Grant Program
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program
Federal Work-Study Program
Federal Direct Loan Program


If selected, you will receive an email notification from the financial aid office requesting verification documentation, usually within 7 days of Williamson receiving the FAFSA results (or of the students full admission status). Deadline to submit verification documentation is 45 days from the date of your email request. The sooner the documentation is submitted to the financial aid office, the earlier you will be evaluated for federal aid. The verification process must be completed before federal aid can be applied to your account. Failure to return documents by the deadline could result in delays or cancellation of federal aid. Students may be required to make out of pocket payments toward their term, or may be dropped from classes for non-payment.

What documents need to be submitted?

You are required to complete a verification worksheet, and submit any additional documentation requested. All verification documentation is to be submitted to the financial aid office. The information collected on the verification worksheet could include family size, # in college, any untaxed income received, and verifying high school status. If you are selected for income verification and your family filed an income tax return, you will be given the option of either using the Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS data to your FAFSA application, or turning in a tax return transcript and W-2’s to prove earned income listed on the FAFSA. Other documentation may be required, and will be requested from you as the Student Aid Report (SAR) is evaluated.

If you will not and are not required to file taxes, be sure to submit all W-2’s to document earnings from your employers. If you are an Independent student or a Parent supporting your dependent children and are reporting low income on your FAFSA, you may be requested to complete the Low Income Verification Form.  Please print it, complete and return it to the Financial Aid Office.

IRS data retrieval tool

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you filed your FAFSA, you may still do so.

  1. Log on at fafsa.gov and click the Login button to “Make a Correction.”
  2. In the FAFSA’s Financial Information section, click “Link to IRS.”
  3. On the IRS website, fill out the form and click “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA.”

IRS tax transcript

If you are selected for income verification and are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit an official IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Order IRS Transcripts online: www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript

Timeframes for verification and award notification

You should allow 3-5 business days for the verification review and up to an additional 10 business days for an award notification letter if corrections are made and transmitted to the Central Processing Center. Once verification is complete, you will receive notification from the financial aid office and if corrections have been made to the FAFSA, you will be notified from the Central Processing Center when a corrected Student Aid Report has been processed.

TIPS for completing verification process

Complete all requested forms in full. Do not leave any questions blank. All questions must have an answer even if it is a “0”. Be sure all required signatures have been provided.

If you will not and are not required to file taxes, be sure to submit all W-2’s to document earnings from work.