2014-2015 Verification Information
- What is Verification?
- Am I a Dependent or an Independent student?
- I am a Dependent student, who is a considered my parent?
- What is my marital status for an Independent student?
- What document do I submit for proof of citizenship or eligible non-citizen?
- Who is required to register with Selective Service?
- What is Loan Default status?
- How do I order an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
- What is the IRS Data Retrieval within the FAFSA?
- What is a tax transcript, and why do I need one?
- I did not earn enough to file a federal income tax return. What do I need to do?
- I will file taxes, but have not completed my return, what documents do I need to submit?
- I did not file taxes, what documents do I need to submit?
- What must I do if I am selected for Verification?
- What happens if I update my FAFSA and it is selected for verification after funds were already disbursed?
- Where do I submit my financial aid documents?
- How will verification affect my financial aid?
- What happens if I don't provide all documentation?
- Why do you keep asking for more documents?
- Why do you request my parent's W-2 forms?
- I'm confused or unsure of what to do. Who can I call to get help?
- Victim of Identity Theft, how can I get a tax transcript?
- Why am I being asked for high school completion status?
- What is an Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose?
What is Verification?
As a quality control measure, the U.S. Department of Education randomly selects FAFSA applicants in a process called "Verification". Verification is the Department of Education's means of testing the accuracy of the information submitted on FAFSAs and by doing so ensuring the integrity of the student financial aid programs. Schools are authorized to collect certain source documents to check the accuracy of the information on the FAFSA. If the data reported on your FAFSA is different from the documents you submitted to our office, the Financial Aid Office is obligated to make corrections to your FAFSA information. Your financial aid is on hold until we are able to verify your FAFSA. We will notify you of any changes that may occur with an updated award letter. If you have been selected for verification you will be flagged in one of the following “Verification Groups” codes: V1, V3, V4, V5 and V6:
Acceptable documents to submit to the Financial Aid Office
Students under the age of 24 working toward their first bachelor’s degree are usually classified as a dependent student for financial aid purposes. This means you must enter information about your parent(s) on the FAFSA.
To be considered an Independent Student for the 2014–2015 academic year, a student must meet any one or more of the following criteria:
- was born before January 1, 1991
- is married as of the date he or she applies
- at the beginning of the 2014–15 school year, will be working on a master’s or doctorate program (such as an M.A., M.B.A., M.D., J.D., Ph.D., Ed.D., graduate certificate, etc.)
- is currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training. (If you are a National Guard or Reserves enlistee, is on active duty for other than state or training purposes)
- is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces
- have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2015
- have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2015
- at any time since you turned age 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a dependent or ward of the court
- has it been determined by a court in your state of legal residence that you are an emancipated minor or that you are in a legal guardianship
- at any time on or after July 1, 2013, were you determined to be an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, as determined by (a) your high school or district homeless liaison, (b) the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or (c) the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program?
If you fully meet any one of the items listed above then you are considered Independent for financial aid purposes. This means your parent data does not have to be listed on the FAFSA. However, in some circumstances the school is required to verify your answers and you may have to submit proof.
Parental Information on the 2014-2015 FAFSA
The U.S. Department of Education gives the following definitions:
- Legal Parent: The dependent student’s biological or adoptive parent.
- Married: Spouses, regardless of gender, considered legally married in the state or other jurisdiction in which the marriage took place.
- Separated: Spouses who consider themselves no longer married for an indefinite period of time or have a legal declaration of separation.
Note: Separated spouses living together must report their marital status as “Married or remarried” on the FAFSA.
- Divorced: Former spouses declared no longer married by a court of law.
Note: Divorced spouses living together must report their marital status as “Unmarried and both parents living together” on the FAFSA.
The date you sign your FAFSA represents your current situation at that point in time. Same-sex couples must report their marital status as married if they were legally married in a state or other jurisdiction (foreign country) that permits same-sex marriage. If your marital status changes after the fact, please contact your Financial Aid Advisor.
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, a student must be one of the following (1) U.S. citizen or national; (2) U.S. permanent resident; (3) Citizens of the Freely Associated States: the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republics of Palau and the Marshall Islands; or (4) other eligible non-citizens.
Before federal student aid can be disbursed, the student must provide one of the following within 30 days: DO NOT MAIL ORIGINAL DOCUMENT, SUBMIT ORIGINAL DOCUMENT IN PERSON TO A FINANCIAL AID COUNSELOR.
- The original document of the Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570), from USCIS, which must include name, petition number, certificate number, USCIS A-number, name of the court that granted naturalization, date of naturalization and signature
- The original document of the U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, current or expired
- The original document of the Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561), issued by USCIS, which must include name, application number, certificate number, date issued and signature
- The original document of the Permanent Resident Card or Resident Alien Card; Arrival-Departure Record, I-94 Arrival Departure record stamped for temporary permanent resident, refugees, asylees, conditional entrants, parolees, Cuban/Haitian entrants
- A copy of the student’s Birth certificate showing that you were born in the United States
- A copy of the Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad)
- A copy of the Form FS-545 (Certificate of birth issued by foreign service post)
- A copy of the Form DS-1350 (Certification of Report of Birth)
If you have any questions regarding your citizenship, you may contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security by visiting their webpage at http://www.uscis.gov.
Practically all males, U.S. citizens and immigrants living in the United States, who are between the ages of 18 and 25, are required to register with Selective Service. Exemptions: are (1) males born before January 1, 1960, (2) non-citizens who entered the United States for the first time after the age of 26, (3) males hospitalized, incarcerated, or institutionalized during ages of 18-25 years, (4) males currently in the armed services and on active duty, and (5) citizens of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia. For more information visit the Selective Service website at www.sss.gov.
To be eligible to receive federal student aid, a student must: (1) be registered for Selective Service or (2) provide proof of non-registration as determined by the Selective Service Administration. You will need to submit documentation of your Selective Service status before you can receive any federal student aid.
You may submit any of the following documents listed below as proof of registration:
- Selective Service Registration
- Acknowledgement or letter of registration
- Evidence of exemption from the Selective Service registration process
- Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Form DD-214), if applicable
To obtain proof of your Selective Service registration or non-registration form, contact Selective Service at (847) 688-6888 or go to www.sss.gov.
If you are in default status, +it may be due to failure to make payments on your student loan, as scheduled according to the terms of your Master Promissory Note (MPN). The MPN is a binding legal document you signed at the time you took out your student loan. The consequences of being in default status are as follows:
- You will not qualify for any more federal student aid.
- Your entire balance of your student loan(s) can be due immediately.
- You may not be entitled for deferment, forbearance, or repayment plans.
- Your student loan(s) will be reported as delinquent to the credit bureaus. This will damage your credit rating.
- Your refund from federal and state income tax may be withheld to collect on your debt from defaulted student loan(s).
- Your debt from your student loan(s) will increase because of the late fees, interest, court fees, collection fees, attorney’s fees, and any other costs associated with the collection process.
- Your wages may be garnished through your employer.
To learn more about your Loans that are in a default status and clear your default status, you may contact your school, go to www.nslds.ed.gov or call 1-800-433-3243 to resolve this issue.
You may order an IRS Tax Return Transcript online, by mail, or by phone. Below are instructions for the various options.
To obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript online or by mail, go to www.irs.gov/transcript.
- Click on “Get Transcript ONLINE”
If ordering online, you will be instructed to create an account. After you do that, you will be presented with different reasons for ordering a transcript. Select “Higher Education/Student Aid”. You will then see the suggestion to download a “Return Transcript”. Download and print out the Return Transcript to submit to our office.
- Click on “Get Transcript by MAIL”.
If ordering my mail, you will be instructed to list your Social Security#, date of birth, street address and zip code. Then, choose type “Return Transcript” and the year.
If ordering by phone, then call 1-800-908-9946.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval within the FAFSA?
All applicants should retrieve their tax information (called IRS Data Retrieval) directly into the FAFSA on the web application. If applicants do not complete the IRS data retrieval within the FAFSA on the web application, the applicants will then be required to submit an IRS tax transcript directly to the Financial Aid Office, if they are selected for verification. This could delay the processing of your financial aid.
Within the FAFASA application, the applicant must report income information. If the applicant is a non-tax filer, then there is no IRS data to retrieve. If the student and/or spouse OR student and parent(s) are tax filers, the FAFSA applicants will have the opportunity to use the IRS data retrieval to populate tax information directly into the FAFSA application. Do NOT make changes to that IRS information once it has been retrieved. If you do, the data retrieval will be invalid.
What is a tax transcript, and why do I need one?
Tax transcript comes directly from the IRS and contains most of the line items from your federal tax return. For 2014-2015, the federal government will only accept official tax transcripts from the IRS to verify financial information on the FAFSA. To avoid having to order a tax transcript, IRS Data Retrieval should be used when completing the FAFSA. The tax transcript is free and can be ordered by calling 1-800-908-9946 or visiting www.irs.gov/transcript and choosing to download it or order it by mail.
On the verification worksheet, there is a place where you can indicate that you have not filed federal income tax returns. You are required to provide a statement listing any and all income that you received in lieu of submitting federal tax returns and submit a copy of your 2013 W-2 forms.
I will file taxes, but have not completed my tax return, what documents do I need to submit?
You need to submit a copy of your IRS Form 4868 "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return", along with all 2013 W-2 forms received for the specific tax year. If you are self-employed and/or have a Form 1099, a signed statement certifying the amount of your AGI and income taxes paid is required.
If you did not file a Federal Tax Return and you are not required by the IRS to file a Tax Return, you must submit a Verification of Nonfiling Letter. The Verification of Nonfiling Letter is confirmation from the IRS that you did not file a tax return. Current year requests are only available from the IRS after June 15. If you are uncertain you should file a tax return, visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Do-You-Need-to-File-a-Federal-Income-Tax-Return%3F - or visit a Federal Income Tax Professional.
To obtain an IRS Verification of Nonfiling Letter online or by mail:
- Go to www.irs.gov/transcript and click on “Get Transcript ONLINE”
You will be instructed to create an account. After you do that, you will be presented with different reasons for ordering a transcript. Select “Higher Education/Student Aid”. You will then see the suggestion to download a “Return Transcript”. Select the “2013*” to download and print out the Verification of Nonfiling Letter to submit to our office.
- Download the IRS Form 4506-T at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf and follow the instructions on the form.
What must I do if I am selected for Verification?
If your FAFSA has been selected for verification, it is necessary for you to submit the requested documentation preferably within ten business days of being notified. These documents may include a Verification Worksheet, Tax Return Transcripts, W-2 Forms, Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, a Social Security Card, proof of citizenship or permanent resident card, proof of child support, proof of federal assistance programs and other documents as needed to resolve conflicting information. The type of documents required will vary from student to student, and not all students selected for FAFSA verification will have to submit the same documents.
What happens if I update my FAFSA and it is selected for verification after funds were already disbursed?
You are required to submit all requested documents within 30 days of being selected but no later than ten days before the current semester concludes. If we do not receive the documents, your financial aid will be reversed and cancelled.
Where do I submit my financial aid documents?
You can drop off documents in person with your financial aid counselor, mail, via email or fax. Make sure all documents being submitted to our office have a student ID# or SSN# for identification purposes and signatures when requested.
8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday
Barry University Main Campus
Kelley House Building
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
Financial Aid Department
11300 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161
Important! We routinely receive blank faxes due to the documents being placed in the fax machine incorrectly. Please verify that you have placed the documents to be faxed to us correctly in the fax machine.
How will verification affect my financial aid?
If the information on your source documents matches the information on your FAFSA, there will be no changes to your financial aid. However, if the information does not match, Barry is required to make the corrections and update your FAFSA. After verification your financial aid may remain the same, increase or decrease.
We are required to inform you of the consequences should you fail to provide all requested documents:
Federal and state need-based financial aid will not be disbursed into your account at the Cashier Business Office until verification is completed. You may be charged late fees by the Cashier/Business Office if your account balance is not paid on time. Direct Subsidized and/or Direct Unsubsidized loans may not be processed until verification is completed. If you were awarded Federal Work Study, you are not able to begin working until verification is completed. You may be prevented from registering for the next semester.
If you do not provide the necessary documents to our office by the 5th week of the semester, all of your Federal, State, Institutional need-based financial aid and your student loans will be cancelled. Any deferred tuition, fees and late charges will be your responsibility.
Why do you keep asking for more documents?
Sometimes documents you turn in to us conflict with the FAFSA or other documents. Whenever there is a conflict between data elements, we are required by Federal regulation to request other documents to clear up the conflict. Also, there may be instances where you submitted documents that are incomplete, missing signatures or not legible.
Why do you request my parent's W-2 forms?
There is information on the W-2 Forms that is not on the federal tax returns. Many times these are necessary for us to complete verification. Additionally, it may be a requirement depending on the student’s specific situation or verification selected groups.
I'm confused or unsure of what to do. Who can I call to get help?
If you have verification questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write VERIFICATION HELP in the subject. You may also visit your financial aid counselor or call the office at 800-695-2279 or fax (305) 899-3104.
If you have been a victim of identity theft, and you have been selected for verification, federal regulations will not allow you to obtain tax information through the use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or to receive an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the matter has been resolved by the IRS.
- You must contact the IRS by telephone at 1-800-908-4490. Once the tax filer’s identity is authenticated by the IRS, the IRS will mail a tax return printout to the individual.
- Submit the tax return printout to our Financial Aid Office.
Why am I being asked for high school completion status?
Proof of high school completion status is required with your FAFSA application in order to receive federal student aid. You may choose to provide one of the following documents that indicate high school completion status.
- A copy of your high school diploma.
- A copy of your final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded.
- A copy of your General Educational Development (GED) certificate or GED transcript.
- An academic transcript that indicates you successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree.
If State law requires a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential.
If State law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript or the equivalent, signed by the student’s parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.
What is the Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose?
A statement certifying who you are and that the federal student financial assistance you may receive will only be used for educational purposes and to pay the cost of attendance for 2014-2015 award year. The documentation requirement is listed below under two categories:
Students who are able to appear in person
Students who are selected for verification and who are able to appear in person must provide to an authorized financial aid administrator the following documentation:
- A valid, government-issued photo identification, such as driver’s license, state ID, or U.S. Passport
- A Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose signed statement certifying that federal student financial assistance the applicant may receive will only be used for educational purposes to pay for costs at the school for the 2014-2015 award year
Students who are UNABLE to appear in person.
If a student is unable to appear in person to provide the documentation required, the student must provide the following documentation to the school:
- A copy of a valid, government-issued photo identification, such as driver’s license, state ID, or U.S. Passport
- An original, notarized Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose signed by the student certifying that the federal student financial assistance the applicant may receive will only be used for educational purposes to pay for costs at the school for the 2014-2015 award year.