All students who file a FAFSA are sent a Student Aid Report (SAR) which will indicate if their FAFSA was selected for verification. The Financial Aid Office will also contact the student to make sure they are aware of any outstanding requirements. Need-based financial aid cannot be processed until verification is complete. To receive maximum consideration for federal and state aid programs such as grants and loans, students must complete verification (if selected) before classes begin.
Verification is a quality-assurance measure used by the U.S. Dept. of Education to verify the accuracy of information reported by students and families on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All schools that disburse federal Title IV funds (federal student aid) are required to participate in the verification process. If your FAFSA is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will provide you with detailed instructions regarding any information that is needed to verify the results of your application for aid.
Most often, a FAFSA is selected for verification because it contains inconsistent information or the Dept. of Education has identified errors that must be corrected. However, files can also be selected for review due to:
- Incomplete information (fields left blank)
- Estimated information
- Severe changes in data elements from year to year
- Selected at random
Schools may also choose to verify a file if presented with conflicting information. Making unnecessary adjustments to FAFSA data after initial submission may increase the likelihood of being selected for verification.
Regardless of why a FAFSA is selected, no need-based financial aid can be paid to the student until the verification process is complete.
- Download and complete the appropriate Verification Worksheet in the Financial Aid section of Murphy Online
- Confirm tax information listed on the FAFSA in one of the following ways:
- IRS Data Retrieval (preferred method): To transfer tax information, the student must log in to the student’s processed FAFSA, click on the “Financial Information” tab in the top navigation menu, and answer the questions to determine if you are eligible to use IRS Data Retrieval. If eligible, enter your FSA ID (or apply for one) and click the blue “LINK TO IRS” button. You will be asked to input your tax filing status and address to verify your identity. Please input your address exactly as it appears on your filed tax return. Once your identity is confirmed, select “Transfer Now” and follow the on-screen instructions to submit the FAFSA update. FAFSA updates should be received by the Financial Aid Office within 2-3 business days.
- Submit a signed Federal Tax Return copy or Tax Return Transcript: The Financial Aid Office is allowed to accept a copy of a signed 2021 Federal Tax Return 1040 and accompanying schedules. All tax returns must be signed either with a hand written signature by the tax return filer or with a tax preparer EIN or PTIN.
- Request a Verification of Non-filing Letter from the IRS: Required for any applicant/spouse who did not file a tax return in tax year. Verification letters can be requested online at www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript, or by mail using Form 4506-T and checking box 7.
- Submit the Verification Worksheet and any additional documentation to the Financial Aid Office via the URL listed on the Verification Worksheet.