Financial Aid

Federal Verification

Policy

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.

Students who are selected for verification by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) based on the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) information will also be subjected to the same verification process outlined below.

Procedure

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:

If you and/or your parent(s) have filed a US tax return with the IRS, the DRT allows you to access the tax return information needed to complete the FAFSA and transfer the data directly into your FAFSA. Log in to your FAFSA online in order to access the DRT.

  • Once logged in, choose “make corrections”
  • Click on “Financial Information”
  • On the question “Did you file a tax return,” select “ already completed”
  • View “option to link to the IRS”
  • Click “transfer now”
  • Resubmit FAFSA when complete

Students and parents who are unable to use the IRS DRT must provide either an IRS tax return transcript or a non-filing letter issued by the IRS.

Request an official tax transcript online:

  • Go to irs.gov
  • Under “Get Your Tax Record”, select “Get Tax Transcript Online” or “Get Tax Transcript by Mail”
  • Follow the instructions and request “Tax Return Transcript”
  • For “Tax Year,” select the year appropriate for the academic year.

Request Non-Filing Letter online:

  • Go to irs.gov
  • Under “Get Your Tax Record”, select “Get Tax Transcript Online” or “Get Tax Transcript by Mail”
  • Follow the instructions and request “Verification of Non-Filing Letter”

Request by Mail:

  • Print IRS Form 4506-T
  • Check the appropriate box on either Line 6a for Tax Return Transcript or Line 7 for Verification of Nonfiling
  • Include appropriate ending date of the year or period requested
  • Sign and date the form
  • Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506-T to the address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506-T.

Note: When requesting Tax Return Transcript or Verification of Non-Filing Letter from using Form 4506-T, please do not request that it be mailed to a third party (UWest Financial Aid Office). Have the letter sent to you and submit it to the Financial Aid Office upon receipt with your signature and UWest ID number listed on form.