Verification Information 2015-2016
IMPORTANT! There have been a number of significant changes to the verification process for 2015-16. Please read the information below carefully to ensure you submit the necessary documentation and take appropriate action steps to successfully complete the verification process. Please note that if you are only applying for unsubsidized Direct Loans, you may not be subject to verification regulations.
What is verification?
Verification is the process by which the institution validates specific data elements you entered on your FAFSA for you and/or your spouse. These data elements are vital to your student financial aid eligibility and the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) is committed to ensure these items are accurate. The verification process must be completed prior to the disbursement of any federal or state funding to your student account.
Who goes through verification?
The Central Processing Service (CPS) for Federal Student Aid randomly selects financial aid applicants each year. If you are one of the randomly selected applicants, there will be a message on your Student Aid Report (SAR) remitted to you after your FAFSA is processed. OFA may also select students for verification when special circumstances arise or a need for clarification warrants it.
What documents are needed for verification?
All selected applicants are required to submit:
- Independent students should complete and submit the 2015-16 Verification Worksheet
Certain applicants may also be required to submit:
- A ‘Child Support Paid Form’
- Click HERE for more information on who is required to submit this documentation and why we are requesting this information.
- All forms can be obtained from the Documents and Forms link.
Federal guidelines prohibit institutions from accepting tax forms (i.e. Form 1040) from individuals selected for verification. If your FAFSA was selected for verification and you have filed or will file a 2014 tax return, you must either:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval tool available at www.fafsa.ed.gov in order to complete the verification process; OR
- Submit a copy of your 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript to OFA. A free copy of your Tax Transcript can be requested at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. Instructions for requesting your free Tax Return Transcript can be found here.
IRS Data Retrieval is an optional tool students and families can use when completing the FAFSA that allows the tax filer to transfer their tax information directly to the FAFSA via a secure web link. We encourage students and families to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval as this is the fastest way to submit the information to our office. However, in certain circumstances, students and/or parents should not use the IRS Data Retrieval feature as it will not accurately reflect their 2014 tax information.
- Married and filed ‘married filing separately’ or ‘head of household’
- Had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year (December 31, 2014)
- Filed an amended tax return
- Filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
- Filed a tax filing extension (applicant must submit a copy of form 4868 and all W2s to SFS)
- Information retrieved via the IRS Data Retrieval is otherwise incorrect
If you meet any of the above circumstances, a tax transcript should be requested and sent to OFA.
For 2015-16, non-filers are required to submit copies of all 2014 W2s to OFA. Students who indicate they did not file but were required to file will risk delays in processing of the student’s financial aid file. For 2014, the filing requirements for most tax payers (except those claimed as a dependent/exemption) are listed below. More information about filing limits can be found at www.irs.gov.
Married filling Jointly
Married filling Seperately
Head of Household
How does the verification process work?
All students who are selected for verification and confirmed/enrolled for the term will be sent a Missing Document email to their ITC email account. This email will list all documents required for file processing and how to submit those documents to OFA. Students also have the option of logging into the self-service portal and looking under ‘Missing Documents’ to see the complete list of requested documents.
Documents that have been received, reviewed, and determined to be incomplete or insufficient will be destroyed and a second request will be made to satisfy the document requirement. OFA will not return original documents submitted to the sender. To avoid delays in student financial aid processing please be sure to submit clear, legible, and complete documents.
In order to have your student financial aid processed and ready for disbursement by the first day of classes, all valid and completed requested documents must be received by:
- June 1st - Fall Semester
- March 1 - Summer Semester
Where should I go if I have additional questions about verification?
For questions or concerns regarding the verification process, students should contact the ITC Office of Financial Aid.
Additional Verifiable Items for Certain Applicants 2015-2016
The verification process has undergone significant changes for 2015-16. One of the changes from previous years is the federal requirement to request new or additional documentation than in past years. For 2015-16, certain applicants may be required to submit additional documentation to the school if any of the following was reported on the 2015-16 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA):
- A student reported child support payments paid during 2014 for a child not included in his/her household; and/or
- A student reported receipt of SNAP Benefits (food stamps) during 2013 or 2014
Child Support Paid During 2014
Who Must Provide Documentation?
Students/spouses who reported they paid child support in 2014 (Question #44b) on the 2015-16 FAFSA and were selected for verification are required to verify the reported child support payments made in 2014.
What Documentation Should I Submit?
Students/spouses who reported child support payments in 2014 on the 2015-16 FAFSA should complete the 2015-16 Verification Worksheet. The student/spouse should only report child support paid in 2013 for children not included in their household.
What if I Did Not Pay Child Support?
If you or your spouse did not pay child support during 2014 you are not required to submit documentation. However, if you or your spouse incorrectly reported child support paid on the 2015-16 FAFSA, the 2015-16 Verification Worksheet form allows you to indicate child support payments were not made in 2014.
Recipients of SNAP Benefits during 2013 or 2014
Students who answered ‘Yes’ to Question #98 on the 2015-16 FAFSA and were selected for verification are required to certify receipt of SNAP Benefits on the 2015-16 Verification Worksheet. No other documentation is needed for most applicants.
Who Must Provide Documentation?
The Office of Financial Aid will notify students via their ITC email account if they are required to submit documentation in addition to the Verification Worksheet. DO NOT submit official agency documentation unless you are specifically instructed to submit these documents.
What if I Did Not Receive SNAP Benefits?
If you or your spouse did not receive SNAP Benefits during 2013 or 2014 you are not required to submit documentation. However, if you or your spouse incorrectly reported SNAP Benefits on the 2015-16 FAFSA, the 2015-16 Verification Worksheet form allows you to indicate SNAP Benefits were not received in 2013 or 2014.
IRS Tax Return Transcript Request Process
Tax filers can request a transcript, free of charge, of their 2014 tax return from the IRS in one of three ways.
- In the Online Services section of the homepage, select ‘Higher Education/Student Aid’ as reason for requesting transcript.
- Under ‘Return Transcript’ click on ‘2014’
- Enter the tax filer’s Social Security Number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code. Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- If successfully validated, the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be displayed immediately as a .pdf that can then be Saved, Printed and submitted via Document Submission by the tax filer directly to OFA.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
Paper Request Form - IRS Form 4506T-EZ
- IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS Form 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
- Download at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf
- Complete lines 1 - 4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party by the IRS.
Institutions are responsible for notifying aid applicants whether to list the institution as the third party to receive the Transcript or not. Some institutions may have difficulty matching a parent’s incoming IRS Tax Return Transcript to the aid applicant, as the two names may be different.
Â IRS Tax Return Transcript Request Process
- On line 6, enter “2014” to receive IRS tax information for the 2014 tax year that is required for the 2015-2016 FAFSA.
- The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
- Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
- Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request.
- NOTE: Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.
Telephone Request - only offered via live assistance in rare circumstances
- Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946
- Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
- Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter “2014”.
- If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request, within 5 to 10 calendar days from the time the IRS receives the request.
- IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
Caution Flags Overview 2015-2016
If you have a Caution Flag on your Student Aid Report (SAR), you will need to provide documents to verify these data elements entered on your FAFSA even if you were not selected by CPS or SFS for the verification process. Award letters will not be issued until documents are submitted and reviewed for Caution Flag.
What are Caution Flags?
Caution Flags, also known as C-Flags, are notifications to the student and to the institution processing the student financial aid application that either: a) one or more data elements entered on the FAFSA did not match what the authorizing agency has on record for the applicant; or, b) there is adverse information relating to the applicant financial aid status. Students can have a Caution Flag even if they are not selected for verification.
How Do I Know if I Have a Caution Flag?
A student who has an unresolved Caution Flag will first be notified on their SAR by a ‘C’ located in the upper right hand corner of the report and detailed comments will be printed in the body of the report.
The Office of Financial Aid will send a Missing Document email to the student’s ITC email account. New students will receive paper notification to their permanent address with a list of requested documents. Unresolved Caution Flags automatically render a financial aid applicant ineligible to receive federal funds.
What Should I Submit?
In order to resolve a Caution Flag and regain student financial aid eligibility, the student must submit the required documentation according to the related Caution Flag. Click on one of the caution flags below to view the required documentation.
Caution Flags Details 2015-2016
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your application was sent to the Social Security Administration to verify your citizenship status. The Social Security Administration could not confirm that you are a U.S. citizen.
- Before we can consider you for federal student aid, you must provide your birth certificate, passport, or other documents that prove U.S. citizenship. If you are an eligible non-citizen, you must provide official INS documentation of your citizenship status so that we can re-submit your Student Aid Report for processing.
Default on Federal Student Loans
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated that you are in Default on a least one federal student loan.
- In order to regain federal student aid eligibility you must provide documentation from the Department of Education or a letter on institutional letterhead indicating your loan is either paid in full, consolidated or is meeting satisfactory repayment arrangements.
- For more detailed information regarding your loan default, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Students website at http://www.nslds.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243
Discharged Federal Student Loans
When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated that you have prior loans discharged due to disability.
To receive further federal loan funds you must submit:
- Certification from a legally licensed physician stating that your condition has improved and that: a) You have the ability to engage in substantial gainful activity; b) You can attend school.
- A signed statement that you are aware that a new student loan cannot later be canceled on the basis of any present impairment unless that condition substantially deteriorates and the definition of total and permanent disability is again met.
- A letter from the US Department of Education indicating your loan(s) has/have been discharges.
Note: a prior loan discharge does not affect your eligibility for federal grant fund.
- All males ages 18-25 who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens are required to register with the Selective Service in order to receive Federal Aid. In the processing of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the Selective Service Administration reported that you are not registered with them.
- If you believe that you have already registered or are exempt, please contact the Selective Service at 847-688-6888 to resolve any registration issues. You may also visit them online at www.sss.gov to register.
- Once you have confirmed your status, you must provide official Selective Service documentation of your registration status. (i.e. elective Service Registration Acknowledgment letter).
- Males born before 1960 and females are not required to register with the Selective Service.
When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you indicated that have a drug conviction.
- A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for Federal Student Aid (FSA) funds.
- If you answered this question incorrectly, please go online to www.fafsa.gov and make a correction to this question.
- If you answered this question correctly, you are not eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid funds until the date calculated on Worksheet 31.
- Please contact an OFA Representative for additional options to fund your educational expenses.
Social Security Number, Name, or Date of Birth Mismatch
- According to the Social Security Administration records, the date of birth you reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) does not correspond with the social security number you reported.
- If the name and social security number shown on your Student Aid Report are correct, you must contact the Social Security Administration Office to resolve this problem. In the interim, you may provide a copy of your signed Social Security Card as proof you filed your FAFSA correctly.
- If the date of birth is incorrect on your SAR, log on to www.fafsa.gov and make the necessary corrections to your SAR.
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated that you had a debt discharged (federal student loan or a grant overpayment) in an active bankruptcy claim.
- Upon review of the information provided in NSLDS, OFA will determine if you’re eligible to receive Federal Student Aid. There is no documentation for you to submit.
Please note: If your bankruptcy schedules include a defaulted Title IV loan or grant overpayment, you will be considered ineligible for additional Title IV aid until the default or overpayment status has been resolved.
Federal Aid Overpayment
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated that you have an overpayment of federal student aid funds.
- In order to regain federal student aid eligibility you must provide documentation from the Department of Education or a letter on institutional letterhead indicating your overpayment is either paid in full, or that you are making satisfactory repayment arrangements.
- For more detailed information regarding your federal overpayment, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) for Students website at http://www.nslds.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243.
Veterans Status Match
- You indicated on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that you are a veteran however, the Department of Veteran's Affairs could not confirm your status as a veteran.
- Please submit a copy of your long form DD214 (Member 4 copy) for review.
Aggregate Loan Limit
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated you have borrowed over the aggregate loan limits.
- You are not eligible for any Federal Student Financial Aid until the overborrowed amount of the loan is repaid or you have made satisfactory repayment arrangements.
- Payments and payment arrangements must be made with the loan servicer and not ITC.
For more detailed information and your loan servicer information, please visit the NSLDS website for students at www.nslds.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243.
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated that you have been convicted of, or has pled guilty to, a crime involving fraud in obtaining Title IV aid.
- You are not eligible to receive any Federal Student Financial Aid funding.
- In order to regain eligibility, you must repay the fraudulently obtained funds to the US Department of Education or the loan holder. Once the payment has been received and noted on NSLDS, OFA will review the eligibility status and award the Federal Student Financial Aid.
For more detailed information about this caution flag, please visit the NSLDS website for students at www.nslds.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243.
Unusual Enrollment Historyï»¿
- When you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicated additional review of your enrollment history is required to determine your eligibility to receive Federal Pell Grant Funds.
- You will be contacted via email if you are required to submit additional documentation to confirm your continued eligibility for federal financial aid.
For more detailed information about this caution flag, please visit the NSLDS website for students at www.nslds.ed.gov or by calling 1-800-433-3243.