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About Verification...

Verification is a federal process regulated by the US Department of Education to confirm information provided on the FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Verification selection can be random or can be driven by incomplete, estimated or inconsistent data that is reported on the FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education selects some students for the verification process. DePauw may select others if we find conflicting information.  Regulations detailing the verification process may be found in the Federal Student Aid Handbook - Application and Verification Guide.


The priority deadline for federal aid is March 1st. The Financial Aid Office issues requests for additional information if a student is selected for verification and follows up with a final request. Students must submit all verification documentation at least two weeks prior to the end of each semester in order to qualify for federal funding in that semester.  If the student fails to complete the verification process, the file will remain incomplete and federal aid will not be awarded.

If a student is selected for verification after aid has been determined, the student must complete the verification process within the same time frame in order to remain eligible for federal funds. If the student's eligibility for aid changes due to the verification process, the aid will be recalculated. 


The following types of documentation may be requested to satisfy verification requirements:

•    Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
•    Family Size Verification Form
•    Signed Copies of Federal Tax Returns including all schedules (Parent and Student)
•    W2 Forms (Parent and Student)
•    IRS Tax Transcript (Parent and Student)

The Financial Aid Office will specify which documents are required based on specific responses in the FAFSA and other documentation in the file.


If any of the persons required to report information on the FAFSA will file but hadn't filed a tax return at the time of application, they would have used an estimated AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) on the FAFSA. If, at the time of verification, the necessary tax returns have not yet been filed and a filing extension was granted by the IRS, the school shall accept as alternative documentation copies of the W-2 forms, and, as proof that the IRS has granted a filing extension, either a copy of IRS Form 4868-Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (automatically grants the taxpayer a six month extension beyond the April 15 deadline) or a copy of the IRS approval of an extension beyond the automatic six month extension.

In addition to supplying the above documentation, the student must submit a copy of the tax returns when filed. When the Financial Aid office receives the completed tax returns, we will use them to re-verify the required data. A student who fails to submit a copy of the filed tax return or alternative documents before the deadline for which the verification is due, is ineligible for FSA funds and is required to repay any aid disbursed.


Upon completion of the verification process, if the student feels an error has been made the student may contact our office to request the file be reviewed again. If the student provided incorrect information, the student will need to submit in writing the correction and request that the file be reviewed again.