Have you been selected for verification?

Verification is a process required by the Dept. of Education in order to ensure that families are receiving the correct amount of aid. This process requires UIW to request additional information from you which will then be compared to the information on your FAFSA. If errors are found, we must correct those errors and adjust your award if necessary. Documents requested may include Verification Worksheets, tax documents from the IRS, W2s, forms of ID, etc. Access Verification forms here.

Our office will notify you through your Cardinal email if you are selected and if any documents are required. You can also access your financial assistance information through BannerWeb to view requirements needed to complete your file. Documents requested may include Verification Worksheets, tax documents from the IRS, W2s, forms of ID and/or other documents.

FAFSAs are often selected randomly by the Dept. of Education, which selects about one third of all FAFSAs each year to review. Alternately, selection can be triggered by an error/conflict in the information you provided on your FAFSA, or by making a change to your FAFSA data.

Once our office receives all the required documents from you, the normal processing time is 3-5 business days. You will receive an email through Cardinal Mail when verification is complete. If any adjustments have been made to your financial aid package, you can check BannerWeb to see your adjusted package.

Please allow one week after verification is complete for final processing/disbursement of aid. Availability of tax information from the IRS is a common factor that affects when verification can be completed.  To avoid delays, we advise filing taxes as soon as possible to make sure that IRS documents will be available for verification processing.

You have multiple options to submit tax information: IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), Federal Income Tax Return, or IRS Tax Return Transcript.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

  • Using the DRT on the FAFSA is the fastest and most convenient way to provide your tax information to our office. Simply log back into your FAFSA and go to the “Financial Information” tab and import student/parent tax information directly from the IRS. Guide to using the DRT Tool
  • It takes about 2-3 weeks after your return has been accepted by the IRS before you are able to use the DRT Tool.  In addition, some individuals are ineligible to use the DRT in certain circumstances, such as:
    • Filing status is “Married Filing Separately”
    • Parent/student is married, and either spouse filed as “Head of Household”
    • Parent’s marital status is “Unmarried and both parents living together”
  • If you are ineligible/unable to use the DRT Tool, you are required to submit a Tax Return Transcript instead.  See below for information on obtaining a Tax Return Transcript.

Federal Income Tax Return

Signed copies of the filer's 1040/1040A/1040EZ federal income tax return are acceptable.  This tax return must contain the same information that was filed with the federal government.

  • Request a copy of a past tax return by using IRS Tax Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return)
  • Contact previous tax preparer for copies (if eligible)

IRS Tax Return Transcript

A Tax Return Transcript is a document that you must request directly from the IRS.  It shows a record of what was actually received and processed by the IRS when you filed your taxes. It is NOT the same thing as the 1040/1040A/1040EZ tax return that you filed.  Guide to requesting a Tax Return Transcript

Extension (4868)

  • If you are asked to provide your tax return transcript, but it is not available because you filed an extension (IRS Form 4868), you can provide the following instead:
    • A copy of IRS Form 4868 (the form used to file for an extension)
    • A copy of all W2s (including spouse W2s if you are filing jointly)
  • Additional required documents:
  • Your financial aid advisor will notify you if other documents are needed.

Amendment (1040X)

If you filed an amendment to your taxes (IRS Form 1040X) there are additional documents needed when you provide your tax information to our office.  In general, you will need to provide:

  • A copy of the Tax Return Transcript requested from the IRS
  • A signed copy of the 1040X that you submitted to amend your original return

Our office is available for any questions you have about verification and your specific situation. Please contact our office by email (, in person or by phone (210) 829-6008, and we will be happy to discuss your verification status with you.

For tax-related questions, The IRS provides an online IRS Interactive Tax Assistant to answer common questions such as "Am I required to file?"