Verification Process

Selected for Verification? Read this for help! 

If you are selected for verification, you are not alone! About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for the verification process.  The Department of Education requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information.  Your tax and income information is a primary set of data we must review.  Please see below for more info: 

For the 2018-19 and 2019-20 aid years, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is available! Please be sure to use the tool to transfer your tax information directly into your FAFSA!  The 2018-19 FAFSA uses 2016 Tax Info and the 2019-20 FAFSA uses 2017 Tax Info.  Using DRT speeds up the verification process! 

If you are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or do not choose to use it, 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).


The IRS recently implemented new security features that redact (remove) a significant amount of personally identifying information from all of their documents.  While these added security features protect your personal information and identity, it makes our job more difficult.  As such, when submitting any documents from the IRS (tax return transcripts, wage and earnings statements, etc) 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.  Additionally, when ordering tax return transcripts, please have them sent to you, NOT Appalachian, so that you can add the student’s name and Banner ID to the transcript before submitting it to our office.


There may be other documents that we are requesting (like a Verification Worksheet) that you will still need to complete and submit. Check your AppalNet account to determine if there are other verification documents that are needed.

Please be sure when sending any verification documents to our office that you include the student's name and Banner ID.  Otherwise, we will not know who the document is for.

Verification Forms:

What is Verification?

About 30% of all FAFSA filers are selected for verification, which requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the FAFSA information. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification after you have been awarded, you have 45 days to complete verification. If the process is not complete within the 45 day window, your aid must be cancelled which may result in a balance owed to the university.

When selected for verification the student will be notified by ASU e-mail. The student will be directed to the 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 Office of Student Financial Aid may be required to verify the following data elements on your FAFSA:

  • Adjusted Gross Income (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Taxes Paid (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items (parent and student, if the student is dependent)
  • Household Size
  • Number in College (excluding parents for a dependent student)
  • Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit
  • Child Support Paid
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information

To verify these elements, we may ask for the following documents; however, this is not a complete list. Specific documents requested will be based on a family's individual case. 

  • The prior year tax information for both parent and student, if the student is dependent. Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA and Verification process will be looking at tax information from two years prior (for example, the 2017-2018 aid year will be based on the 2015 tax year)
  • A Verification Worksheet (downloadable from this web site)
  • W-2s showing wages (parent and student if the student is dependent) - 
    • If you will not and are not required to file taxes, be sure to submit all W-2's to document earnings from work.
  • Statement of child support paid
  • Verification of Net Worth 

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.
  • Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA will be available in October of the prior calendar year.  For example, for the 2017-2018 academic year the FAFSA is available October 1st, 2016.
  • During peak processing times, please allow extra time for processing your verification documents. To expedite your financial aid, file your FAFSA as early as possible and send all required documents together at one time and include the Student ID on all 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.