Please note: The instructions and forms on this page are only required if you have been notified that your FAFSA has been selected for verification.
Approximately one-third of FAFSAs filed each year are selected for Federal Verification. Verification is the process in which the U.S. Department of Education requires colleges to confirm that the data reported on your FAFSA is accurate. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education provides colleges the authority to select a student’s FAFSA for verification if the college has reason to believe the reported information may not be accurate.
If you qualify for federal student aid and your FAFSA is selected for verification, this process must be completed before your aid can be finalized.
You will be notified in multiple ways if your FAFSA is selected for verification.
1. Student Aid Report, which you can view online at www.fafsa.gov after your FAFSA has been processed
2. Emails from the Grinnell College Office of Student Financial Aid (finaid[at]grinnell[dot]edu)
3. Deposited new students – “My Documents” link of the Grinnell College Student Portal
4. Currently enrolled students – click the “Required Documents” link on the “Services” tab of Pioneer Web
Complete one or both of the following verification worksheets as instructed by the financial aid office. Be sure to provide signatures, not leave any blanks, and submit to the financial aid office.
If you or your parents did not file a federal tax return and are not required to file, a non-filer statement must be submitted to the financial aid office. Copies of all W-2 forms must be submitted as well.
FAFSA/IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT)
Certain income tax figures reported on the FAFSA must be verified. If you use the IRS DRT, when filling out your FAFSA, and you have not changed any of the information retrieved from the DRT, you will not have to verify that information. If you did not use the IRS DRT, log back in at www.fafsa.gov and follow the instructions to see whether you can use it to fill in the relevant fields on your FAFSA. Remember, do not make changes to the information retrieved from the IRS. If you believe something is not accurate, contact the financial aid office for guidance. For example, rollovers of retirement funds appear to be untaxed income on the FAFSA. However, by submitting copies of 1099 forms, the college will verify that it is a rollover and correct the FAFSA for you.
Important Note: Tax returns must be filed with the IRS at least two weeks (if filing electronically) prior to attempting to use the FAFSA/IRS DRT. This allows the IRS time to process the return. During peak processing times, it may take longer. Paper filing of tax returns may have up to a six week processing time. Whenever possible, it is best to file your tax returns electronically and early, well ahead of the April 15th deadline.
Income Tax Return Transcript
If you cannot use the FAFSA/IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit to the financial aid office federal tax return transcripts for both you and your parents, if filing. You can find your tax transcript through the IRS’s Get Transcript service at www.irs.gov/transcript.
Copies of W-2 forms must be submitted to the financial aid office.
Corrections to the FAFSA, made by the school, are not uncommon. We recommend that upon notification that your FAFSA has been corrected, you view the Student Aid Report to see what items have been corrected to aid you in completing the FAFSA in future years. If you have any questions regarding the correction, please call us. Do not change it back to the previous information.
Please call us if you have any questions. You may also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FEDAID if you have FAFSA and/or IRS Data Retrieval Tool questions.