Your FAFSA may be selected by the Department of Education for a review process known as Federal Verification. University of the West (UWest) may also select a student for Federal Verification. The Federal Verification process requires the UWest to verify items such as your family’s household and financial information with the Department of Education.
Students selected for federal verification will be notified with instructions for completing the verification process via email by the Financial Aid Office during the financial aid application process. Financial aid awards will not be finalized and federal funds will not be disbursed until after the verification process is completed. Requested documentation should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible to avoid delays in the processing of your financial aid application.
Students selected for Verification Group 1 are required to submit a completed and signed verification worksheet along with verification of parent and student income. (See instructions for IRS Data Retrieval and requesting tax transcripts and non-filing letter below.)
Students selected for Verification Groups 4 and 5 are required to provide other documentation including verification of high school completion status, identity and statement of educational purpose. The email from the Financial Aid Office will include instructions detailing how to complete this process.
Requested documents may be submitted to UWest Financial Aid Office in-person, by mail, email, or fax.
Once all of the required documentation has been received, the Financial Aid Office will complete the verification of a student’s file and send an ‘Offer’ or an ‘Award’ letter by mail, typically within two weeks of the date the completed documentation was received. The process may take longer depending on the accuracy of the information provided, the student’s expected entry term and seasonal variation in volume. If there are any differences found between information reported on the FAFSA and the information provided on the verification documents, the Financial Aid Office will contact the student to make corrections on their FAFSA. The financial aid award will be based on the corrected information. Note that if conflicting information is identified at any time during the aid year, a student’s financial aid file will be reviewed and additional verification may be required.
Failure to submit requested verification materials within 45 days of the requested date may result in the loss of institutional scholarships, campus-based aid and federal loans for the semester. Pell grant eligibility will be forfeited if requested verification documents are not received by September 30th of the year trailing the aid year, or within 120 days of the last day of the enrollment, whichever comes first. California state grants will be forfeited if verification is not complete prior to the end of the semester of eligibility, or the last day of enrollment, whichever comes first.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) process:
Please note that at this time the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is unavailable. Students selected for federal verification that did not initially use the IRS Data Retrieval tool will need to request official IRS tax transcript(s) and/or non-filing letter(s) (See the instructions below.) in order to satisfy verification requirements at this time.
Request an official tax transcript:
- Go to IRS website
- Under “Tools,” select “Get Tax Transcript by mail”
- Complete the form with your Social Security number, date of birth, address, and Zip Code
- Under “Type of Transcript,” select “Return Transcripts”
- For “Tax Year,” select the year appropriate for the academic year.
Request Non-Filing Letter:
- Go to irs.gov
- Under the tools section, select “Get a Tax Transcript”
- Click “Get Transcripts Online” and follow instructions to register and requested your Verification of Non-Filing Letter.
Note: You will need to provide a credit card number, an account number for your car loan, mortgage loan or equity line of credit account in order to register on-line. If you are unable to register, please submit your request by mail.
Request by Mail
- Print IRS Form 4506-T
- Check the box on Line 7
- Include “12/31/2015” for the year or period requested.
- Use “Chart for all other transcripts” (on page 2) to find the address/fax where you need to submit your Form 4506-T
Note: When requesting Verification of Non-Filing Letter, from the IRS please do not request that it be mailed to a third party (Financial Aid Office). Have the letter sent to you and submit it to our office upon receipt with your UWest number listed on form.