FAFSA Verification: Current and Returning Undergraduates

Each year, the U.S. Department of Education selects student FAFSA forms for Verification. This simply means they require the student to confirm the information they reported in their FAFSA. To complete the Verification process, the Financial Aid office must collect documentation to verify the data provided to us in your FAFSA.

If your FAFSA is selected for Verification, we may need to ask you for items in addition to the standard aid application documents. After we have received and reviewed all these documents, we can complete the Verification process and confirm your financial aid package.

Please note that if your FAFSA was selected, we are not able to review your aid application until Verification has been completed.

Below you can find the documents you can request and complete to satisfy the Verification requirements.

FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, your taxable income must be verified by using the FAFSA’s IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by comparing it to a signed and submitted federal income tax return. In some cases an IRS Tax Return Transcript may also be required. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows you and your parents to upload data from your filed federal tax returns into your FAFSA. You are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. 

For more information, watch this tutorial or follow the steps below.

  1. On the FAFSA website, click “Start Here” and log in.
  2. Click “Make FAFSA Corrections” and enter your FSA ID and password.
  3. Click “Financial Information.”
  4. For the question “have your parents completed their IRS income tax return” choose “already completed.”
  5. Choose the correct answer to the questions in the pop-up box. If “none of the above,” you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  6. Enter the information requested and click “submit” (please note, all information must match IRS records exactly, such as periods after middle initials and "St." versus "Street").
  7. Check “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA” and click “Transfer Now,” then click “OK.”
  8. On the FAFSA webpage, click “Sign and Submit” and follow the instructions to submit the changes.

* Independent students will not need to submit parent information, but will follow the same steps for entering your own tax information.

* Do not make any adjustments to the tax information once it has been transferred to the FAFSA. If any information is incorrect, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

Verification Forms

Tufts verifies your data utilizing your CSS Financial Aid PROFILE, federal income tax information, income tax statements (such as forms W-2, 1099-SSA, 1099-MISC) and a verification worksheet. If we need additional documentation, we will request it when we review your FAFSA.

IRS Tax Return Transcript

If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or find a signed federal income tax return, you will need to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript (NOT an IRS Tax Account Transcript) to Tufts. 

Nontax filers must provide confirmation of nonfiling from the IRS. This confirmation can be obtained by submitting Form 4506-T (check box 7 on the form) to the IRS to request that they send you a transcript. The transcript should then be submitted to our office.

FAFSA Corrections

The federal verification process may require us to make corrections to your FAFSA, in which case you will be notified by the U.S. Department of Education of these corrections. Corrections will be denoted by an asterisk on your online FAFSA.

If you only apply for a Federal Direct Loan and the federal processor randomly selects your FAFSA for verification, you may be required to submit supporting documentation. We will contact you directly if you need to submit documentation.

Applicants are required to submit verification documentation, as requested, within 60 days from the start of the semester. Your federal financial aid will be canceled if your required documentation is not submitted within this time frame.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the Verification process or procedures, please contact Student Services by phone at 617-627-2000 or send an email to studentservices@tufts.edu.

Additional Information