Financial Aid: Verification

Verification

What is Verification?

Your application may be selected for review in a process called “verification.” In this process, we will be comparing information you and/or your parent(s) provided on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

If you have been selected for verification, you may be wondering why and what you should do next. Most importantly, don’t be upset because you were selected for verification. This process is required by the federal government, and we often identify errors that actually result in an increase to your eligibility for federal aid.

Federal regulations require colleges/schools to check the accuracy of the information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This process is referred to as "verification". If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded or disbursed. Please do not submit any documentation unless requested by the Financial Aid Office.  

Reason for Verification

Files are selected for verification for a number of reasons including:

  • You did not use (or are not eligible to use) the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA.
  • You used the IRS Data Retrieval Tool but changed some of the data on the FAFSA.
  • You were selected randomly by the Federal Government
  • The submitted FAFSA application has estimated, incomplete, or contradictory data.
  • You have requested reconsideration of your FAFSA based on significant recent changes to your financial situation.

Next Steps

If you have been selected for verification, we will require you to provide certain documentation within 14 days of the notification date. 

Freshmen students will receive a letter from Marywood University’s Financial Aid Office with specific instructions on the documentation we will need.  Returning students will receive an email with instructions.

It is very important for returning students to check their Marywood email account on a regular basis during the summer months. 

Requested Documents May Include:

  • a completed verification worksheet, signed by both parent and student
  • a Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS for both student and parent (if both filed taxes), IRS Verification of Non-Filing Status if applicable,
    OR confirmation that you utilized the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA
  • W-2's
  • other information regarding citizenship, marital status, low income verification, household size, etc.

Marywood University is not allowed to receive Personally Identifiable Information (PII) via email, so please do not send tax documents such as Tax Return Transcripts and W-2's to any email account at the University. Documents containing PII should be mailed or faxed.

The mailing address is Financial Aid Office, 2300 Adams Avenue, Scranton, PA 18509. Fax: 570-961-4589.

To allow for adequate time to process your documentation, please avoid calling to confirm receipt of faxes or other information.  You may confirm our receipt of your documents by checking the Communications tab in your MarywoodYou Student Portal.  

Verifications are typically processed within 15 business days of the date that all required documentation is received.

Discrepancies in FAFSA and Verification Documents

You may be asked to provide additional forms or documentation. You will receive either an email or a letter from the Financial Aid Office if additional documentation is needed. 

After all required documents have been received and compared to your FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office will correct the data electronically with the Federal Student Aid Programs and process your financial aid.

Because verification must be completed before financial aid can be awarded or disbursed to you, it is vital to send accurate and complete information as quickly as possible.

Tax Transcript or IRS Data Retrieval?

We highly recommend you use the IRS Data Retrieval option on the FAFSA if you are eligible. Obtaining a Federal Tax Transcript from the IRS can cause significant delays. Instructions for obtaining a tax return transcript are below.

Federal guidelines allow us to substitute the IRS Data Retrieval process for a tax transcript in many cases. Using the IRS Data Retrieval tool will simplify the verification process by reducing the number of documents you need to submit to our office and will speed up the verification of your FAFSA.

However, students who use the IRS Data Retrieval tool and subsequently make changes to the data on the FAFSA must still submit a tax transcript. If you use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, you should not change any of the data which is pulled from the IRS.

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

If you were selected for verification, your first step should be to log back into your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval tool if you are eligible. Then you should submit your verification worksheet and any other items which we have requested from you. If you are not eligible or choose not to use the IRS data retrieval tool, then you will be required to submit a Tax Return Transcript.

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool when completing the FAFSA, we encourage you to do so now to speed the verification process:

  • Log into www.fafsa.gov
  • Select Make FAFSA Corrections and navigate to the financial data section
  • Follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool
  • Link to IRS website and transfer financial data to your FAFSA
  • Make sure to submit by clicking the sign and submit button

When Will Data Be Available From the IRS?

  • Electronic Tax Filers - Data will be available within 2 weeks of filing
  • Paper Tax Filers - Data will be available within 6-8 weeks of filing
Important NotePlease note that if a tax payment is due to the IRS when an individual files their 2016 tax return and not paid in full; the IRS will not process the return until May. A Tax Return Transcript or IRS DRT will not available until 2-3 weeks after the return has been processed in May.

    Obtain Tax Transcript

    Do not request to have your transcripts sent directly to our office - they must be sent to you. When you receive the tax transcript, please include the student’s Marywood University ID number and name before sending to our office. There are a number of ways to obtain your Federal Tax Return Transcript from the IRS, but there may be significant delays involved so please plan ahead.

    Option 1 - Transcript By Mail

    Request to obtain transcript by mail within 5 to 10 business days

    • Navigate to http://www.irs.gov/
    • Navigate to the orange Tools header and Click “Get Transcript for My Tax Records”
    • Click the blue button “Get Transcript by Mail”
    • You will receive a “This U.S. Government System is for authorized use only” message. Click OK.
    • Enter the tax filer’s SSN, DOB, street address and ZIP code. These must exactly match the data provided on your tax return.
    • Click Continue
    • Select transcript type of “Return Transcript” and select tax year.
    • Click Continue
    • If successfully linked, tax filers can expect a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript to be mailed to the specified address within 5-10 days.
    • Write the student name and Marywood student ID number on the top right corner of each page of the Tax Return Transcript.
    • Mail, fax or email all pages of your Tax Return Transcript to:

    Marywood University
    Office of Financial Aid
    Liberal Arts Center, Room 85
    570-348-6225  FAX: 570-961-4589
    finaid@marywood.edu

    • Do not send any documents to the US Department of Education.  All documents must be sent to the Marywood University Financial Aid Office at the above address.

     

    Option 2 - Transcript by Phone Request

    Request transcript by automated attendant 1-800-908-9946

    • Call the IRS Transcript Order Line at 1-800-908-9946.
    • Be prepared to enter tax filer’s SSN and address.
    • Make sure to choose option #2 for a copy of your Tax Return Transcript.
    • Select tax year 2015 for the 2016-17 academic year.
    • If successfully linked, tax filers can expect a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript to be mailed to the specified address within 5-10 days.
    • Write the student name and Marywood student ID number on the top right corner of each page of the Tax Return Transcript.
    • Mail, fax, or email all pages of your Tax Return Transcript to:

    Marywood University
    Office of Financial Aid
    Liberal Arts Center, Room 85
    570-348-6225  FAX: 570-961-4589
    finaid@marywood.edu

    • Do not send any documents to the US Department of Education.  All documents must be sent to the Marywood University Financial Aid Office at the above address.

     

    Option 3 - Transcript by Paper Request IRS Form 4506-T

    Request a transcript by mailing form to IRS

      • Download Form 4506-T.
      • Complete the form and submit the form to the IRS. The address is state specific and is located on the form.
      • Please have the IRS send the transcript directly to you so that you may include the student's name and Marywood student ID number before forwarding it to our office.
      • Write the student name and Marywood student ID number on the top right corner of each page of the Tax Return Transcript.
      • Mail, fax, or email all pages of your Tax Return Transcript to:

      Marywood University
      Office of Financial Aid
      Liberal Arts Center, Room 85
      570-348-6225  FAX: 570-961-4589
      finaid@marywood.edu

        • Do not send any documents to the US Department of Education.  All documents must be sent to the Marywood University Financial Aid Office at the above address.

        Unusual Circumstances

        There are limited circumstances when an individual is unable to obtain a Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT. Below are those very limited cases when an individual can submit other documentation in lieu of a Tax Return Transcript or IRS DRT:

        Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

        If an individual is required to file a 2016 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:

        A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2016;
        AND
        A copy of your Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2016 and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s estimated Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2016.

        Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

        If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2016, provide both of the following:

        A signed copy of your original 2016 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2016 tax year;
        AND
        A signed copy of the 2016 IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.

        Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft

        A signed copy of the original 2016 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS or a 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2016 tax year;
        AND
        IRS form 14039 “Identity Theft Affidavit Form” or any other documentation indicating that the individual is a victim of identity theft/fraud.

        Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns

        An individual filed or will file a 2016 income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, must provide a signed copy of that 2016 income tax return(s).

        Please contact the Financial Aid Office if any of the above circumstances apply to you.