Verification Requirements for 2017 – 2018

The Department of Education (DOE)  has heard the complaints from students, their families, and their financial aid offices and is implementing “Prior Prior Year” tax data collection in the new federal aid year.  This means your 2017-2018 FAFSA will be based on your 2015 Income Tax data (Prior Prior Year) instead of your 2016 Income Tax data (Prior Year).  This will remove the burden placed on families who file extensions on their returns and do not have the completed tax return available for filing their FAFSA until late in the school year.  This will also assist students with filing their FAFSA’s as early as they wish without worrying about estimating tax information and allowing for greater use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to prevent data entry errors.

The DOE will be selecting student applications for the different types of verification as shown below:

  • V1 – Standard Verification – Student must use IRS Data Retrieval Tool and submit a verification worksheet.
  • V4 – High School Completion Status, Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose, SNAP (if reported on the FAFSA) and child support verification (if reported on the FAFSA) – Student will need to submit a copy of their high school transcript, complete the Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose form in person (with valid state ID) or in the presence of a Notary Public, SNAP form, the Child Support Paid form and/or documentation from Department of Health and Human Services, and/or from the Office of the Attorney General.
  • V5 – Aggregate Verification – student will need to submit all of the above requested items.

If you cannot complete the IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, you will need to submit a tax return transcript.  The DOE no longer allows copies of tax returns to be accepted. To order a tax return transcript click here to access the IRS Get Transcript Online website. Please note the the IRS now uses a two-step multi-factor authentication process that requires you to register before submitting an online transcript request.  If you are not able to successfully register, you can still request a transcript or verification of non-filing via mail.

NEW FOR 2017-2018 – The DOE has announced they will assign a Code 399 (Cross Year Edit) anytime the information submitted for 2017 – 2018 substantially differs from the information submitted for 2016 – 2017.    We will notify you via email and assist you as quickly as possible to determine which aid year must be corrected as soon as we receive notification from the DOE that you will need to complete this review.  Depending upon the nature of the corrections and the impact on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), financial aid awarded for the affected aid year may require adjustment. Failure to complete verification will result in the student owing any aid previously disbursed for the aid year.  Additionally, if we receive notice of the 399 code we will not be able to disburse any financial aid for either aid year until it has been resolved.   The DOE will continue their policy of potentially changing tracking groups (for example they may change a V1 code to a V5 even after verification was completed for the V1 code) as implemented during the 2016-2017 aid year.

All 2017-2018 forms can be found here.

Verification is intended to improve the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA.  Please be aware that our office cannot process financial aid, requests for professional judgment, or disburse federal student aid until the verification process is complete.  Financial aid administrators have the right to ask for any documentation they feel is necessary to complete verification.   We must receive your documents and, if corrections required, have received your updated Student Aid Report no later than 120 days after the last day of enrollment or September 22, 2018, whichever is earlier.  Corrections may be made by our office on your behalf, or if they must be made by the student/parent we will contact you via your UTHSCSA email account and assist you with identifying the necessary corrections.  If your EFC changes, as a result of corrections made during the verification process, the DOE will send a message to the email address on your FAFSA announcing an updated Student Aid Report is available for your review.

How do you know if you are selected for Verification?

Your Student Aid Report comments, from your FAFSA, will indicate if you have been selected for Verification. Also, once you grant our office authorization to communicate with you via email, we will send you an electronic notice. To complete the Authorization to Communicate, log on to the portal and access your Student Center.  In the middle of the page, on the left-hand side, you will see a bright yellow box entitled “Authorization to Communicate”.   Selecting that link will give you an opportunity to view the types of communications and web links we may send to your secure UTHSCSA email account if you authorize this method of communication.  If we do not received authorization for electronic communication we will use regular US Postal mail to notify you of required actions/documents/award notices which will require additional processing time.

UTSHCSA reports any fraudulent activity uncovered during the verification process to the Office of Inspector General, Dallas Division, as required by regulation.

Information about the verification requirements for award year 2016 – 2017 can be found here.