What is Verification? 

The Department of Education requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information.  Tax and income information is primarily reviewed, though the Department of Education may ask for other information as well.  If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. If you are selected for verification, you are not alone! About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process. 

Please note, if you make an adjustment and re-submit your FAFSA, you might be selected even if you were not originally. If your FAFSA is selected for verification after you have been awarded, you have 45 days to complete verification. If the process is not completed within the 45-day window, your aid must be canceled, which may result in a balance owed to the university. When selected for verification, the student will be notified through their ASU e-mail. The student will be directed to the Financial Aid tab within their AppalNet Account to review a list of the documents that must be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid before financial aid can be awarded.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available through the FAFSA! We highly recommend using this secure method to import your tax information from the IRS into your FAFSA application.

Using DRT speeds up the verification process and can eliminate the need for multiple documents.

Depending on how you or your parents filed taxes, the IRS DRT may not be an option. If you are selected for verification and ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you may also submit a tax RETURN transcript.

There are four options for obtaining a tax RETURN transcript.

  • You can get your free transcripts immediately online.
  • You can also get them by phone.
    • Call 800-908-9946 and follow the prompts.
  • Using the mobile app.
    • Download the IRS2Go mobile phone app on your smartphone and follow the instructions.
  • You can receive transcripts by mail or by fax (within five to 10 days from the time IRS receives your request).


When submitting any documents to our office, we ask that you list the student’s full name and Banner ID in the top right corner of the document.  Failure to provide this information will increase processing time and may prevent us from processing your document entirely.  The IRS redacts critical identifying information on tax return transcripts so it is imperative to have them sent to you first, so you can add student information, before submitting to our office.

Important Tips for Completing the 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.
  • Submitting your FAFSA early and completing verification is required before aid can be awarded. The FAFSA for the upcoming academic year opens annually on October 1st.
  • During peak periods, please allow extra time for processing your verification documents. 
  • Once verification begins, you may be asked to submit additional documentation. If this occurs, an email will be sent to the student's ASU email account and all requested documents can be viewed on the student's AppalNet account.