Financial Aid Application and Verification Changes for 2012-13
New federal regulations will become affective with the 2012-13 academic year that will impact how students and families complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit documentation to complete the verification process, if selected.
Changes to the FAFSA Process
Beginning with the 2011-12 FAFSA, applicants were given the ability to access their tax information directly from the IRS through the IRS Data Retrieval process and have that information automatically enter into the appropriate fields on the FAFSA. For 2012-13, unless you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval (see below), using the IRS Data Retrieval to access tax information while completing the FAFSA will decrease your chances of being selected for verification and could significantly speed up the process if you are selected.
The 2012-13 FAFSA was available beginning January 1, 2012. However, the IRS Data Retrieval will not be available until February 1, 2012. It is recommended that you complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after that date to maximize your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. Please keep in mind that it takes 1 - 2 weeks for your federal tax information to be available if you file electronically and at least 6-8 weeks if you file by paper.
Completing the FAFSA using estimated tax information is still possible, however doing so will increase your chances of being selected for verification and you must go back out to FAFSA on the Web and submit a correction using the IRS Data Retrieval after your taxes have been filed.
Changes to the Verification Process
If you are selected to verify the information on the FAFSA:
You will not have to submit copies of tax documents if you used the IRS Data Retrieval when completing the FAFSA.
If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval, you will be asked to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript or copies of W-2s if you are not required to file taxes or have requested a filing extension.
Please note that copies of tax returns are no longer accepted documentation for verification; tax filers must request an IRS Tax Return Transcript which can take up to 2 weeks to receive. A tax return transcript will also be required if you used the IRS Data Retrieval but then changed the tax information on the FAFSA.
If you are selected to complete the verification process after the FAFSA has been submitted, you will receive a written notification and request for documents from the Student Financial Aid Office. A list of requested documents will also be available in the To Do section of Student Center on CampusConnection. Please submit any requested documents as soon as possible to avoid delays in the financial aid awarding process.
Who is NOT eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval for 2012-13?
Students or parents who have not filed or will not file a federal income tax return.
Students or parents with amended tax returns.
Married couples who file separate tax returns.
Students or parents whose marital status has changed since January 1, 2012.
Parents with all zeros for Social Security Number (SSN).
Students using an 888 identifier in place of an SSN (i.e. students from the Pacific Islands).