What is Verification?
Verification is the process by which Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) confirms accuracy of the data reported on a student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA federal processor selects the student (FAFSA) applications for which the data submitted must be verified.
The federal processor applies a series of edit checks, which are prescribed by federal financial aid regulations, to each FAFSA. The edit checks may result in an application being selected for verification. In addition, the federal processor randomly selects for verification a percentage of all financial aid applications.
Students selected for verification will be required to submit additional documentation beyond the FAFSA and EWC admissions documents.
These documents may include:
1. The EWC Verification Worksheet.
2. Copies of the federal income tax transcript for the student, spouse and/or parent (if applicable) if the student did not use the IRS data retrieval process or made changes to the data once it was reported in the IRS data retrieval process.
NOTE: Due to changes in federal verification, a signed copy of the federal 1040 form can no longer be accepted in place of the federal tax transcript issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Proof of citizenship; proof of sibling/spouse/dependent enrollment at another institution; copies of Social Security benefit statements; schedules C, E, and/or F; 1099 R forms; W-2s; and other documents may also be requested.
Per federal regulations, the EWC Financial Aid Office:
- Must verify all students selected for verification by the federal processor. If there is an asterisk next to the EFC figure on the top right corner of your Student Aid Report (SAR), your SAR has been selected for verification.
- May also exercise the right to select additional students for verification at any time.
- Will notify students via mail if they are selected for verification and request the submission of appropriate documentation.
If discrepancies are discovered during verification, the Financial Aid Office may require additional information or documents. Any discrepancies that must be corrected may change your eligibility for financial aid as estimated on your SAR.
What information will be verified?
Schools are required to verify the following data elements:
- Household size (number of people in your household)
- Number in college (number of household members attending a post secondary educational institution at least half-time)
- Adjusted gross income (AGI) or income earned from work if income is below minimum required for income tax filing
- U.S. Income Tax Paid for the base year (e.g., for the 2014-2015 FAFSA the base year is 2013)
- Certain untaxed income and benefits for the base year
- Untaxed IRA distributions
- Untaxed pensions
- Education credits
- IRA deductions
- Tax exempt interest
- Food stamps (SNAP) received
- Child support paid
In addition to these basic verification requirements, students may be asked to verify any other data item reported on the FAFSA.
What documentation will I have to submit?
Dependent students are required to submit an EWC Dependent Verification Worksheet and a copy of both the student’s and parent’s federal income tax transcripts for the fiscal year on which the FAFSA was based. (Example: A student selected for verification in 2013-2014 would submit information from the 2012 tax year.)
Independent students are required to submit an EWC Independent Verification Worksheet and a copy of the federal income tax transcript for the fiscal year. If an independent student was married at the time he/she signed their FAFSA and did not file a joint tax return, the student must also submit a tax transcript for his/her spouse.
NOTE: If a federal tax transcript is unavailable to you because you, your spouse or your parent filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return, contact the EWC Financial Aid Office for further instructions.
The EWC Federal Verification Worksheet, federal tax transcripts, and requested documents should be forwarded to the EWC Financial Aid Office as soon as possible after they are requested. Students will not be awarded federal financial aid until the verification process has been completed.
How do I request my federal tax transcript from the IRS?
Tax filers can request a transcript of their federal tax return from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), free of charge, in one of three ways:
1. Online Request at www.irs.gov
- In the Online Services section of the homepage, click “Order a Tax Return or Account Transcript.”
- Click “Order a Transcript”
- Enter the tax filer’s Social Security Number (SSN), date of birth, street address and zip or postal code. Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally, this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Click “Continue”
- In the TYPE of TRANSCRIPT field, select “Return Transcript” and in the TAX YEAR field, select year.
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request within 5 to 10 business days from the time the online request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party (EWC) by the IRS.
2. Telephone request 1-800-908-9946
Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their Social Security Number (SSN) and the numbers in their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the U.S. Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
Select “OPTION 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript, and then enter year.
If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within 5-10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
IRS Tax Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party (EWC) by the IRS.
3. Paper Request – IRS Form 4506T-EZ
IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return transcript.
Download IRS Form 4506T-EZ
Complete lines 1-4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party (EWC) by the IRS.
On line 6, enter base year. (For example, to receive IRS tax information for the 2013 tax year that is required for the 2014-15 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you must enter “2013”).
The Tax Filers (or spouse, if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
Mail or fax the completed IRS form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5-10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request. NOTE: Processing Form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.
What if the student is not required to file a federal income tax return?
Students who were not required to file a tax return for the year in question must submit copies of all W-2s received for the prior tax year and certify the following information in section C on the EWC Verification Worksheet:
- That the individual has not filed and is not required to file an income tax return for the prior tax year.
- The sources of income earned from work as reported on the FAFSA and amounts of income from each source for the prior tax year that is not reported on W-2 forms. If a student did not work at all during the tax year, he/she should check the appropriate box in section C of the EWC Federal Verification Worksheet.
What if the parent is not required to file a federal income tax return?
Parent(s) who were not required to file a tax return for the year in question must submit copies of all W-2s received for the prior tax year and certify the following information in section D on the EWC Verification Worksheet.
- That the individual has not filed and is not required to file an income tax return for the prior tax year.
- The sources of income earned from work as reported on the FAFSA and amounts of income from each source for the prior tax year that is not reported on W-2 forms.
If a parent did not work at all during the tax year, the student should check the appropriate box in Section D of the EWC Verification Worksheet.
What does it mean when I’m asked to provide proof of my sibling, spouse or child’s enrollment?
If a student indicated on the FAFSA that there is more than one family member attending college, EWC may require proof that the family member is in fact attending a college/university. In this case, the EWC Financial Aid Office will request you complete section B on the EWC Verification Worksheet or submit a “Verification of Family Member Enrolled in College” form.
How do I avoid verification processing delays?
To help diminish the possibility of verification processing delays, please do the following:
Submit all documents at the same time to:Eastern Wyoming College
Financial Aid Office
3200 West C Street
Torrington, WY 82240
- Print your name and Student ID # (or last four digits of your Social Security Number) on each page of the documents that you submit.
- Respond to each section of the EWC Verification Worksheet. If a section or part of a section does not apply to you/your parent(s)/your spouse, write “N/A” or “-0-,” as appropriate. Do not leave sections blank.
What happens after verification is completed?
If the accuracy of the data reported on your FAFSA is confirmed, the Financial Aid Office can determine your eligibility for financial aid. You will receive an award notification via mail.
If verification indicates differences between the data reported on your FAFSA and the tax documents/income information that you submit with your Verification Worksheet, the Financial Aid Office may make corrections to the data on your FAFSA and electronically transmit the corrected data to the federal processor.
Can my financial aid change as a result of verification?
Financial aid awards are based on the information provided on your FAFSA. Federal programs such as the Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, and Direct Federal Loan have strict eligibility requirements. If the data reported on verification documents differs from the information reported on the student’s FAFSA, the student’s eligibility for these programs may be affected.
What is the verification deadline?
The verification review process can range from up to 30 days. Students are advised to submit copies of the requested documentation within 30 days of the request made by the Financial Aid Office. The deadline for submission of verification documents must be at least 20 days prior to the end of the school term for which funding is sought.
If you, your spouse or your parent refuse to submit the required documentation, your eligibility for federal financial aid may be forfeited. Federal funds will not be disbursed until the verification process is complete.
In order for EWC’s Financial Aid Office to be able to submit any required corrections to the Central Processing System (CPS), a student MUST submit all required documentation by the earlier of 120 days after his/her last date of enrollment or September 15 following the academic year for which he/she is requesting aid (e.g., September 15, 2015 for the previous 2014-2015 academic year)
Where can I download required verification forms?
Students can access required verification forms from the Financial Aid Forms page.