Selected for Verification
Each year, The Department of Education selects students’ financial aid applications nationwide for “verification,” a process to verify the accuracy of the information a student and/or parent provides on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our policy incorporates the procedures and regulations outlined in the US Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Handbook.
Selection of Applicants to be Verified
Because students sometimes make errors on their application, there is a process for verifying applications and making corrections. The Central Processing System (CPS) selects which applications are to be verified, but Texas A&M University-Texarkana has the authority to verify additional students if needed. Federal verification is performed on all applicants selected by the CPS and any application that the university has reason to believe is incorrect or has conflicting documentation. In addition, verification must be completed for a selected student before a FAA exercise professional judgment to adjust any values that are used to calculate the EFC.
If an institution has reason to believe that an applicant’s FAFSA information is inaccurate, it must verify the accuracy of that information. Texas A&M University-Texarkana manually reviews applications that it considers to have either inaccurate or conflicting data. Examples of issues considered to be conflicting data are:
- A student is not selected for verification, the tax return or IRS transcript is on file and information conflicts with items on the FAFSA.
- IRS Tax Transcript shows parent single head of household and on the FAFSA shows the same person as married.
- Parent or student report on their FAFSA and signed a verification worksheet that they will not file an IRS 1040. If the university has reason to believe that the parent or student would have been required to file a U.S. Income Tax Return, as the amount of reported income is greater than or equal to the minimum amount required to file as indicated in the instructions provided on the 1040.
- Statements or information that suggests that the copy of the Income Tax Return you received is not the return actually filed with the IRS.
If conflicting information is discovered after disbursing aid, the Financial Aid Office will reconcile the differences and recalculate the EFC. If there is an over award, the student is required to repay any excess funds. If the student is no longer enrolled, they will owe a Title IV overpayment. Texas A&M University-Texarkana will notify the Department of Education (DOE) regarding the overpayment.
Under certain circumstances a CPS selected application may be excluded from some or all of the federal verification requirements due to the following unusual circumstances including: death of the student, not an aid recipient, applicant is eligible to receive only unsubsidized student financial assistance, or post enrollment (the student was selected for verification after ceasing to be enrolled). With the exception of the death of the student, however, none of these exemptions excuse the university from the requirement to resolve conflicting information.
Unless there is reason to believe it’s inaccurate, FAFSA information for dependent students’ parents does not need to be verified in the following situations:
- Both of the parents are mentally incapacitated.
- They are residing in a country other than the United States and can’t be contacted by normal means
- They can’t be located because the student does not have and cannot get their contact information
Unless there is reason to believe it’s inaccurate, FAFSA information for the spouse of an independent student does not need to be verified in the following situations:
- The spouse has died
- He/she is mentally incapacitated
- He/she is residing in a country other than the United States and can’t be contacted by normal means.
- He/she can’t be located because the student does not have and cannot get his/her contact information.
Acceptable Documentation and Forms
The documentation that is needed for verification varies according to the item verified. The Department of Education encourages students and parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import data from their tax return and not change it. It is the fastest, easiest, and most secure method of meeting verification requirements.
In addition to the DRT process, Texas A&M University-Texarkana will accept documents that have been turned in via mail, fax, in-person, or through email. The students will be required to complete the forms listed below depending on the verification group which has been assigned by CPS.
If a verification document is required, the document must be signed and all required sections must be completed. Any relevant tax or alternative documents should be attached. Copies are acceptable, and unless noted a signature on a copy is as valid as an original signature (i.e., a handwritten or “wet” signature). In the limited circumstances when a tax return copy is acceptable, if it is unsigned the filer (or at least one of the filers of a joint return) must sign it.
While encouraged, tax transcripts submitted to TAMUT for verification do not need to be signed by the tax filer unless there is reason to doubt its authenticity.
- Independent Student: Family Household Size Verification Form
- Dependent Student: Family Household Size Verification Form
- SNAP Benefit Form
- Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose
- Child Support Paid
- Support Test Form
- Students Income Tax Transcript
- Student W-2 forms
- Confirmation of Assets – Student
- Verification of Other Untaxed Income
- Verification of Income – Student Non-tax Filers
- Verification of Income- Parent Non-tax Filers
- Confirmation of Assets- Parent
- Parent’s/Spouse Tax Return Transcript
- Parent’s/Spouse W-2 forms