What is Verification?

Verification is a federal regulation that requires PLU to verify the accuracy of the information you submitted on your FAFSA. Your financial aid, if it includes any need-based aid funds, indicated by having an asterisk (*) in its name, is not final and will not pay, 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 (2018 tax return for 2020-21) . 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 signed photocopy of the tax return you actually filed with the IRS, but must include schedules 1, 2, and 3

  • Complete the applicable 2020-21 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 transfered 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”. 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 2018 tax return, include schedules 1, 2, and 3.

    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 though they were not married in tax year.  Do NOT submit a tax transcript if you successfully completed the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA.  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, 2019 for fall semester, April 4, 2020 for Jterm/spring, and April 13, 2020 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 a revised aid award on your Banner Self-service account. If your EFC is unchanged, the message will read “Your verification documents have been received and processed.  There was no change to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).”

  • 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 Student 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.

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.”