What is Federal Verification?

Federal Verification is a review process required by the U.S. Department of Education, which mandates that St. Mary’s confirm the accuracy and completeness of the information provided on a FAFSA and confirms your eligibility to receive financial assistance.

Reasons People are Selected for Federal Verification

  • There are inconsistencies and/or potential errors on the FAFSA
  • They are randomly selected
  • The school finds conflicting information on the FAFSA

What do I do if I am selected?

If selected for Federal Verification, you are required to submit the Verification Worksheet and your and/or your parents’ federal tax information for the appropriate year. For the 2023-2024 academic year, submit 2021 tax documents. For the 2022-2023 academic year, submit 2020 tax documents.

The following can be submitted as tax documentation:

  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool within your FAFSA
  • Signed copy of your and/or your parents’ Federal Tax returns and Schedule 1, Schedule 2, and Schedule 3 (if applicable)
  • Federal Tax Return Transcript
  • Signed foreign tax return
  • If you and/or your parents did not file, but did earn income, you will need to submit W2s
  • Parents of dependent students and independent students who did not file, must also submit a verification of non-filing from the IRS

If an amended tax return was completed, both the original signed tax return AND the amended return will need to be submitted.

How will I know I have been selected?

If you are required to complete the Federal Verification process, your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate you have been selected.  Our office will also send a letter to your permanent mailing address on file. If you are still unsure of your status, please check the Financial Aid Requirements section on Gateway, the student portal.

If you are selected for Federal Verification, you MUST complete this process in order for St. Mary’s to process your FAFSA.

For more information about the Federal Verification process, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

What is the verification deadline?

For the 2023-2024 academic year, the deadline to submit all required documentation to receive a timely award with all possible funding is June 1, 2023.

What happens after verification is complete?

If the data reported on your FAFSA is confirmed, the Office of Financial Assistance can determine your eligibility for financial aid.

If we find differences between the data reported on your FAFSA and the information that you submitted, we must submit corrections to the Department of Education which will provide us with a new FAFSA transaction, extending the verification process by a few days. You can monitor your FAFSA verification status on Gateway. You will be notified when your award is ready for review on Gateway.

  • Questions?

    For any questions you or your family may have, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Office of Financial Assistance or the available FAFSA hotlines.

    Office of Financial Assistance
    St. Louis Hall, Room 301

    FAFSA Help Hotline

    Trellis-Project Success FAFSA Hotline

    This is a free service to assist students one-on-one with completing the FAFSA. Counselors are available by phone Monday through Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 pm. 

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