What is verification?
Verification is a process through which Scholarships & Financial Aid verifies the information you reported on your FAFSA is correct. Federal regulations require all institutions to perform verification on applicants who apply for financial aid and meet certain criteria determined by the U.S. Department of Education. If you are chosen for verification, documents will be requested through the Financial Aid Portal, which can be accessed through howdy.tamu.edu
. Please do not submit any documentation to our office unless specifically directed to do so.
What documentation do I need to submit?
If you are selected for verification you will be required to submit documentation that is specific for your file. The documentation required will vary for each student. For a list of documents requested visit your Howdy Portal, click the My Finances tab, and enter the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal.
*Please do not submit any documentation to our office unless specifically directed to do so.
What is the verification process?
If there are any discrepancies between the FAFSA and documentation received by our department during the verification process, they will be corrected by our office and sent to the Department of Education. This entire process normally takes 5-7 days from the time the final document is submitted, but may take longer during peak processing times.
Once verification is completed, your financial aid eligibility could change. If you have already been awarded and your eligibility changes as a result of verification, your financial aid awards will be adjusted and you will receive a revised award letter or notification. First time freshmen are sent a financial aid award letter via U.S. mail to the permanent address on file. In subsequent academic years, financial aid award letters will be sent through electronic notification via the student’s Texas A&M University email account if the student has agreed to conduct business electronically with Scholarships & Financial Aid. All other first time students will receive financial aid offer letters through electronic notification via the student’s Texas A&M University email account.
What are the consequences of not completing verification?
The verification process can delay processing of your aid, so please respond immediately to any requests from our department. Should you fail to submit all required documentation, financial aid will not be awarded and/or disbursed. If funds were disbursed prior to you being selected for verification, they may be cancelled if the requested documents are not submitted by the given deadline.
Using the Data Retrieval Tool
If our office is required to verify information from a tax return used to complete the FAFSA, the easiest way to comply with this request is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to electronically transfer your federal tax return information into your FAFSA. By using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you can reduce the number of documents needed to submit to our office.
Why use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
- Easy: Transfer info with the click of a button
- Fast: Instantly retrieve your information
- Accurate: Correctly fill in data fields
- Reduces amount of documents needing to be submitted to our office.
For more information on how to transfer your tax information onto your FAFSA please visit studentaid.ed.gov/sa/resources/irs-drt-text
*Please note that IRS Forms 1040/1040A/1040EZ are not the same as an IRS Tax Return Transcript. The IRS Tax Return Transcript must be requested from the IRS.
IRS Tax Transcript
If our office is required to verify information from a tax return used to complete the FAFSA and you cannot use IRS Data Retrieval, you can request a tax return transcript using Get Transcript at irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
For more information on IRS Tax Transcript availability dates, please visit the tax transcript chart
If you filed a tax filing extension
If our office is required to verify information from a tax return and you or your parent(s) filed a tax filing extension please submit a completed IRS Form 4868-Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. In addition, please submit all W-2 forms. You may also be required to submit additional forms/documents that will be requested in your Financial Aid Portal.
*Please do not submit any prior years IRS Tax Return Transcript/Tax Returns or any prior years W-2 forms.
After you have completed and filed your tax return with the IRS you will be required to either:
- Update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
- Or submit a signed copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript(s)
The deadline to file a 2015 IRS Tax Return with an Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is October 17, 2016. The deadline to either update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submit the finalized tax return transcript to our office is November 25, 2016. Failure to comply by the deadline will result in cancellation of aid and possible holds on your account.
During and/or after verification completion further documents could be requested due to Department of Education requirements needed for the verification process. Remember to always check your Scholarships & Financial Aid portal for the status of your financial aid account and to view any requested documents.
You may be required to submit additional documentation even though you have not been selected for verification. These documents may include but are not limited to citizenship/eligible non-citizen status, veteran status, high school completion and/or documentation of independent student status. If requested, please submit the additional documentation immediately to the department to avoid delaying your aid. Remember to always check your Scholarships & Financial Aid portal for the status of your financial aid account. You can access the portal by visiting howdy.tamu.edu
, clicking on the My Finances tab, and entering the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal.
How can I submit requested documentation?
In an effort to protect your confidential and personally identifiable information (i.e. social security number, tax information), Scholarships & Financial Aid accepts documents submitted via fax, postal mail, in-person, or via the Howdy Portal. The Howdy Portal may be accessed via howdy.tamu.edu
by clicking on the My Finances tab, and entering the Scholarships & Financial Aid Portal. Documents may not be submitted via email. Please include your UIN on all of the documents submitted.
Texas A&M University is a participant in the Federal Student Aid Quality Assurance program during the 2016-2017 Academic Year. Please visit the Quality Assurance page for more information.