FAFSA and Verification

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and is used in the determination of need-based financial aid.

In order to be considered for aid based on financial need, students must complete a FAFSA every year. When filling it out, be sure to use CLU's FAFSA code: 001133.

For an in-depth guide to the process of completing the FAFSA, we recommend watching the below tutorial. It was designed by a Masters, Doctoral candidate at UCSB, and we feel that it is a great resource to assist students in understanding how to complete the FAFSA. However, at the end of the presentation, there is some contact information, but it is not the contact information for CLU. Please disregard it.

FAFSA Website Tutorial

When a student completes a FAFSA, it may get selected for verification, which means the Federal Government wants the Office of Financial Aid to “verify” that the information provided on the FAFSA matches the student (and spouse, if applicable) and/or parents’ actual data on tax returns and other documents.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, CLU will send you a letter outlining the documents that need to be received by the school to complete your file.

Verification Requirements

You and your parents may be asked to submit documentation or clarification of information for one or more of the following data elements on the FAFSA:

  • Adjusted Gross Income
  • Taxes Paid
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items
  • Number of family members in the household
  • Number of family members enrolled in college (excluding parents for a dependent student)
  • Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP Benefit
  • Child Support Paid
  • High School Completion
  • Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information (including name, date of birth, social security number, etc.)

Verifying Income

Students and/or parents who are asked to verify their income must:

Use IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing a FAFSA (recommended)

  • If the student has already filed their FAFSA, they can still update their application with the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. To do so, the student must login to www.fafsa.gov and select the link to "Make FAFSA Corrections". When making the correction, update your status to “Already Completed” and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (if eligible) to update your tax information.

OR

Submit a Return Transcript from the IRS

  • Please be advised that if the student's FAFSA is selected for verification and they and/or their parent's are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (or choose not to), than their Return Transcript will be required for verification purposes.
  • Please view our form on how to Request a Tax Transcript for further instructions.
  • Please make sure to request a Return Transcript. DO NOT request a Account Transcript or Record of Account unless directed by our office to do so.
  • Once the Return Transcript is received from the IRS, the student and/or parent will need to submit a copy of it to the Office of Financial Aid

NOTE:  The process of requesting and receiving the Tax Return Transcript may delay your Financial Aid Award because it takes time for the IRS to send the transcript.

Timeline

In order to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a Return Transcript from the IRS, you must have already filed your Federal Tax Return.

  • If your Federal Tax Return was submitted electronically to the IRS, you must wait approximately 10–14 days before you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a Return Transcript from the IRS
  • If your Federal Tax Return was submitted via regular mail to the IRS, you must wait approximately 4–6 weeks before you can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or obtain a Return Transcript from the IRS
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