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What is Verification?

Verification is a federal regulation that requires PLU to verify the accuracy of the information you submitted on your 2018-19 and/or 2019-20 FAFSA.

The federal FAFSA processor randomly selects students submitting a FAFSA at every school.

  • Provide documentation of the U.S. Income Tax Return if one was filed and other requested documentation (2016 tax return if selected for 2018-19 Verification, 2017 tax return if selected for 2019-20 Verification) . Tax returns can be documented ONLY by utilizing the IRS Data Tool when filing the FAFSA or submitting  your Tax RETURN Transcript  (the tax account transcript is NOT acceptable).  Get your tax transcript online.

  • Complete the applicable 2018-19 PLU Verification Worksheets and provide any additional information requested on the worksheet. Do not leave questions on the worksheet blank – enter “$0”, “none”, or “not applicable”.

  • Submit the required documents by the applicable deadline (within 30 days of being notified that your FAFSA has been selected for verification or before the first day of your enrollment term/semester). If your FAFSA is selected after the start of your enrollment period, you have 14 days to submit the required documents; If verification is not completed when 60% of the term has elapsed, all need-based aid will be canceled.  If your FAFSA is selected after 60% of the term has already elapsed, verification must be completed within 14 days, or the end of the term, whichever occurs earlier.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on www.fafsa.gov. This is the best way to provide PLU with 2016 tax return information. This allows your completed tax information to be populated into your FAFSA. This can be done three weeks after your tax return is filed with the IRS, if done electronically, eleven weeks if a paper return was mailed to the IRS. You cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if you cannot answer “no” to all of the questions presented. You must request a Tax Return Transcript if the IRS Data Retrieval tool is not an option for you.

    The IRS has taken the Data Retrieval Tool off-line to address some security concerns. When that has been resolved, this statement will be removed. Until then, your only option to providing acceptable tax documentation is via the Tax Return Transcript process described below.

  • Order a Tax RETURN transcript directly from the IRS.  You must then submit the Tax Return Transcript you receive from the IRS to the PLU Financial Aid Office.

  • Your need based aid will not disburse until verification is completed and will be canceled if it is not completed when more than 60% of the term has elapsed. Your award may be reinstated if verification is completed after the deadline, pending any changes necessitated via the verification process.
  • Your class registration will be canceled, put on hold, or you won’t be able to register unless you pay your university charges without your need-based financial aid.
  • The university will charge applicable late fees on your student account owing balance.
  • You will be responsible for paying your entire costs without the benefit of your need-based financial aid.

YES! If the information on your FAFSA is different from the information on your tax forms and verification worksheet, we must correct your FAFSA accordingly. If the corrections alter your EFC and results in a change to your award, you will be sent an email message, directing you to a revised aid award on your Banner Self-service account.

  • The letter on the first page of the Federal Student Aid Report (SAR) will be the first place you will be told. If you filed FAFSA on the web your SAR will be sent to your email address. Read the SAR when you get it!
  • You will be sent an email from the PLU Office of Financial Services. This email will tell you to go to your Banner Web Account and see what documents are required. Please note that verification documents for new students are not required at PLU until after you have submitted your admission deposit.

A change made to your FAFSA at anytime during the year may result in your application being selected for verification.  This makes paying attention to any SAR you receive (generated after each FAFSA change is processed) very important, as well as promptly submitting the required documents.

Verification must be completed even though a Special Circumstance Letter has been applied to your FAFSA data. The Special Circumstance Letter will be re-applied to your verified FAFSA information.

Please note: Verification of parent and/or student information could result in an adjustment (increase or decrease) to the “Offer of Financial Aid.”