What is Verification?

If your FAFSA is selected, federal regulations require schools to verify the accuracy of the information you submitted on your FAFSA. Your financial aid offer is not final and need-based aid funds, (at PLU, those with an asterisk (*) in its name), will not disburse (pay on your account) until verification is completed.

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 (2019 or 2020 IRS 1040 for the 2021-22 or 2022-23 FAFSA respectively) . Tax returns can be documented 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. You may also submit a photocopy of a signed tax return actually filed with the IRS, (including schedules 1, 2, and 3 if filed)

  • Complete the applicable 2021-22 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 three ways to do this:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on www.fafsa.gov. This is the best way to provide PLU with IRS tax return information. This allows your completed tax information to be transferred directly from your 1040 onto your FAFSA.  You cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if you are married and your filing status was “married, filing separately” or “Head of Household”. If the DRT is not an option,
  • You must request a Tax RETURN Transcript from the IRS website. Do NOT select the Tax Account transcript.  A transcript is required for everyone whose income is reported on the FAFSA who filed a tax return. If a transcript is not available,
  • Submit a photocopy of your SIGNED original tax return 1040 that was submitted to the IRS.  If submitting the 1040 tax return, include schedules 1, 2, and 3 if they were filed with the IRS.

    If student or parents were single in requested tax year but are now married, Tax Return Transcripts would be required for the spouse or for both parents if both filed, even if they were not a married couple in tax year.  Do NOT submit a tax transcript if you successfully completed the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  Do NOT send W-2 Earnings Statements unless we request them.

  • 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 Office of Student Financial Services.

  • 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 (Nov. 7, 2021 for fall semester, April 6, 2022 for Jterm/spring, and April 16, 2022 for spring semester only). 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 the resulting revised aid award on your Banner Self-service account. If your EFC is unchanged, the message will read “The verification process on your FAFSA has been processed with no changes to your aid offer. Therefore, do NOT make any changes to your FAFSA hereafter.”

  •  If you filed FAFSA on the web, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to your email address. The SAR will read:  “You’ve been selected for a process called verification”
  • You will also receive email from  Student Financial Services requesting the required verification documents if they haven’t been already submitted.   Please note that verification documents for new students are not required at PLU until after you have submitted your admission deposit.

Any 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. To avoid being selected for verification unnecessarily, check with us before making a corrections to determine if the change is required or not.

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.”