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.  

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.

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. 

  • 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,
    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.

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.

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.

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 2020 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 2020;
A copy of your Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2020 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 2020.

Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year 2020, provide both of the following:

A signed copy of your original 2020 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS and a 2020 IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2020 tax year;
A signed copy of the 2020 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 2020 IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS or a 2020 IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2020 tax year;
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 2020 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 2020 income tax return(s).

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