Federal Verification

Q.What is Verification?

Q. What information is being Verified?

Q. Can my Financial Aid Award change as a result of Verification?

Q. What documentation will I have to submit?

Q. What if the student will not file a Federal Income Tax Return?

Q. What if the parent will not file a Federal income Tax Return?

Q. What if I or my parent(s) received Social Security Benefits?

Q. What does it mean when I'm asked to provide Proof of my Sibling's Enrollment?

Q. What if I do not have a copy of my Federal Tax Return or W2 Form(s)?

Q. Where can I find a Verification worksheet and other forms?


Q. What is Verification? (back to top)

Verification is a review process in which the Financial Aid Office is directed by the Department of Education to determine the accuracy of the information provided on a student's FAFSA application. Such documentation includes:

1) signed copies of the most recent Federal income tax returns, W-2s and all schedules for the student, spouse (if applicable) and the parent(s) (of Dependent students)

and

2) a Verification Worksheet

Proof of citizenship, proof of sibling enrollment at another institution, and copies of Social Security benefit statements, 1099 forms and other documents may also be requested.

FAFSA applications are randomly selected by the Federal processor for verification, with most schools verifying at least 40 - 45% of all applications. If there is an asterisk next to the EFC figure on your Student Aid Report (SAR), your SAR has been selected for verification. LMU may also exercise the right to select additional students for verification at any time. The Financial Aid Office will contact selected students via PROWL once the college is notified by the Department of Education.

If discrepancies are discovered during verification, the Financial Aid Office may require additional information or documents. Any discrepancies that must be corrected may cause your financial aid to be revised.

If you refuse to submit the required documentation, all need-based financial aid will be cancelled.


Q. What information is being Verified? (back to top)

Schools are required to verify the data elements below.

  • Household size (number of people in your household)
  • Number enrolled in education (number of household members attending a post secondary educational institution at least half time)
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or income earned from work if income is below minimum required for income tax filing
  • U.S. Income Tax Paid for the base year
  • Certain Untaxed Income and Benefits for the base year

1. Social Security benefits

2. Child support received

3. Untaxed payments to IRA and /or Keogh plans

4. Interest on tax free bonds

5. Earned income credit

6. Other untaxed income from the U.S. income tax return (excluding schedules)

In addition to verifying the basic items, you may be asked to verify other application items, including:

  • benefits from federal or state public assistance programs
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Veterans Non educational Benefits
  • housing, food, and other living allowances
  • cash support received from a friend or relative (other than the parent of a dependent student)
  • untaxed portion of pensions
  • payments to tax deferred pension and savings plans
  • tax-exempt interest income
  • cash and bank accounts
  • investment value and residential (other than the family's principle residence) or commercial property


Q. Can my Financial Aid Award change as a result of Verification?
(back to top)

Financial aid awards are based on the information provided on your FAFSA. Federal Programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work Study and the Federal Subsidized Direct Loan Program have strict eligibility requirements. If the tax information differs from the information reported on the student’s FAFSA, financial aid could be reduced or cancelled altogether.


Q. What documentation will I have to submit? (back to top)

Dependent students are required to submit a federal institutional verification worksheet and a signed copy of both the student and parent federal income tax returns and all W2 forms received for the fiscal year on which the FAFSA was based. (Example: A student selected for verification in 2013-2014 would submit information from the 2012 tax year.)

Independent students are required to submit a federal verification worksheet and a signed copy of their federal income tax return and all W2 forms received for the fiscal year. If an independent student was 1) married and filing a joint return for the preceding tax year or 2) was married after the end of the proceeding tax year but before filing the original FAFSA, the student must submit a tax return for their spouse. If a FAFSA was submitted for the current school year and the student married after December 31st, a signed income tax return for the spouse must be submitted.

Other documents might be requested by the Financial Aid Office during the verification process. Students will be notified via PROWL if additional documentation is required.

The verification worksheet and the tax returns should be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible after they are requested. Continuing students who have been awarded aid have 30 days from the date of request to submit the required documents before their need-based aid is cancelled.


Q. What if the student will not file a Federal Income Tax Return? (back to top)

Students who were not required to file a tax return for the year in question must submit a Student Non-Filer Form in lieu of tax return documents. If a student did not work at all during the tax year, the student should check the appropriate box in Section C of the Verification Worksheet. If the student worked but is not required to file a tax return, the student should write in the sources and amounts of earnings and attach W-2's to Section C of the Verification Worksheet and attach copies of all W2 forms.


Q. What if the parent will not file a Federal income Tax Return? (back to top)

Parent(s) who were not required to file a tax return for the year in question must submit a Parent Non-Filer Form in lieu of tax return documents. If the parents will not file a federal income tax return, the parent must check the appropriate box in Section D of the Verification Worksheet. If the parent worked but was not required to file a tax return, the parent should write the source and amounts of earnings in Section D and attached a copy of all W2 forms.


Q. What if I or my parent(s) received Social Security Benefits?
(back to top)

If a student or their parent(s) received social security benefits for the tax year in question, a copy of Form SSA-1099 from the Social Security Administration that shows the amount of Social Security benefits received for the student and the members of their family must be submitted. This information must also be reported on Worksheet A which is found on the back of the FAFSA form.


Q. What does it mean when I'm asked to provide Proof of my Sibling's Enrollment? (back to top)

If a student indicated on the FAFSA that there is more than one family member attending college, LMU requires proof that the sibling is in fact attending a college/university. Submit a Sibling Enrollment Verification Form to the Financial Aid Office.

Please note that if the sibling is attending a college or university for their Master's or Doctorate degree, the Financial Aid Office will update the FAFSA accordingly. Federal regulations state that only individual's seeking undergraduate degrees are considered to be in college.

Please note that parents of students are not counted when calculating the number in college for traditional age students.


Q. What if I do not have a copy of my Federal Tax Return or W2 Form(s)?
(back to top)

If you do not have a copy of your federal income tax return you must contact the Internal Revenue Service or your tax preparer in your local area and request a copy of the following document: either a RTFTP printout or Letter 1722. If you are in need of a copy of your W2 form(s), you will need to contact your employer to obtain a copy.


Q. Where can I find a Verification worksheet and other forms? (back to top)

In the forms section of our web site at http://financialaid.lmu.edu.

 

 

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