Verification - Frequently Asked Questions
Obtaining Required Verification Information
What is a Tax Return Transcript and how do I request it from the IRS?
A tax return transcript shows most line items from your tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed, including any accompanying forms and schedules.
Note: We cannot accept the tax return or the account transcript. We can only accept the tax return transcript. Do NOT have it mailed to NDSU; please have it mailed to your address and then send to NDSU.
There are a variety of ways to request a Tax Return Transcript.
- Visit https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript
- Click “Get Transcript by mail” to order your Transcript
- Enter requested information exactly as it appears on your tax return and click “Continue.” If filed a joint return, use the SSN of the person listed first on your taxes.
- Select “Return Transcript” and the correct year. We are unable to use and Account Transcript for Verification purposes.
- Click Continue.
- Your transcript will be mailed within 5 to 10 business days.
- Print and fill out the form 4506-T. The form can be found at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf
- Mail or fax the completed form to the corresponding address found on the 2nd page.
- Call toll free: 1-800-908-9946
- This is a completely automated process.
- NOTE: This process takes 5 to 7 business days to receive your Tax Return Transcript.
Instructions on How to Request a Tax Return Transcript.
Tax Return Transcripts look like the image below:
What is a W2 and how do I obtain a copy?
A W2 statement is a standard tax form showing the total wages paid to an employee and the taxes withheld during the calendar year. It is prepared by an employer for each employee.
Where can I obtain a copy?
A copy of your W2 form can be obtained from your employer.
Please note that W2 statements can come in many shapes, sizes and colors but they will all have the same basic information however.
Can I send a copy of my Tax Return as documentation for verification?
Yes! Federal regulations allow us to accept a signed copy of your, your parent(s) or spouses federal income tax return as documentation for verification or a Tax Return Transcript. (Unless the IRS Online Data Retrieval Tool was used while filling out your FAFSA.)
We also cannot accept the Account Transcript or the state income tax return. Sending us the wrong documentation will delay the process of your Financial Aid.
If you have trouble entering your street address into the online Tax Return Transcript Request Form, review the suggestions below:
How to fix address matching problems when ordering online
When entering the information into the IRS address matching system note the following:
- The address entered must match the address already on file with the IRS exactly.
- The address on file is typically the address on your most recent tax return.
- Spelling out the word “street” rather than using the abbreviation “st.” can be enough to cause an error.
- Addresses on the IRS system are auto-corrected through a post office program and may not match what you put on your tax return.
We suggest the following if you run into problems:
- Have your taxes in front of you and enter the address carefully as it is on your return.
- If you entered your address as it appears on your return and it doesn’t work, try using the standardized version of your address. To get a standardized version of your address: 1) go to www.usps.com 2) Click Look Up a Zip Code 3) Enter Street Address, City, State 4) Click Find
- If you still have problems, the IRS.gov Website Help Desk can be reached toll-free at 1-800-876-1715, Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
When should I submit the requested information?
We suggest the requested forms be submitted within two weeks from the date of the request, and any additional forms requested after the initial forms have been received should be submitted as soon as possible. Our office will send a reminder email every 30 days until the end of the academic year or the student ceases enrollment.
In order to receive federal aid by the end of the semester, Verification Forms must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the end of the semester. If you’ve also applied for an Private Loan, we suggest the Verification Forms be submitted 6 weeks prior to the end of the semester, and the Private Loan application at least 4 weeks prior to the end of the semester. The last day financial aid will be disbursed for fall semester is the Friday of finals week. If your aid has not processed by then, your aid will not be disbursed until classes begin in January.
Pell Grant and Direct Loan applicants selected for verification, must complete the process no later than 120 days after the last date of enrollment or the determined by the Department of Education, whichever comes first. When a Pell Grant and/or a Direct Loan is involved, the verification process is considered complete only when the application data is correct, and we have the final valid ISIR showing the correct official EFC on file.
Students who are awarded campus based funds (Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study) must complete verification by the last date of enrollment. Otherwise, campus based funds will be canceled at the time student is no longer enrolled at NDSU.
How do I know who I should use as my parent(s) on the FAFSA?
Below you will find a flow chart to help you determine who you should list as your parent when fill out the FAFSA and Verification documents. By clicking on the image below you will be able to access more information regarding selecting the appropriate parent(s) to use on the FAFSA.
My parents (biological or step-parents) are separated/divorced, or widowed; who do I use on my FAFSA?
If the divorce/separation, or death took place before completing the FAFSA, only supply the information of the parent who you most recently lived with, or who provides the majority of your support. This parent is known as your custodial parent.
If the divorce/separation, or death took place after completing the FAFSA provide all information for both parents. Then complete a Special Circumstance Form to have us separate the information.
What should I do if my custodial parent is remarried?
If your custodial parent is remarried before filling out the FAFSA, include your step-parent’s information.
If your custodial parent is remarried after filling out the FAFSA, do not include any of your step-parent’s information.
My non-custodial parent claimed me on their Tax Return; I use them as my parent on my FAFSA right?
Wrong! Dependents being claimed on a Tax Return does not affect who you use as parents on your FAFSA. You should use the parent who you most recently lived with, or who provides the majority of your support.
How do I know if I am considered independent on my FAFSA?
You are considered independent if you can answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Were you born before January 1, 1994?
- As of today you are married?
- At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, will you be working on a master’s or doctorate program?
- Are you currently serving on the active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you now, or will you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of their support from you, now and through June 30, 2018?
- At any time since you were 13, were both of your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were you a dependent or ward of the court?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you an emancipated minor?
- As determined by a court in your state of legal residence, are you or were you in a legal guardianship?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2016, did your high school or school district homelessness liaison determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2016, did the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2016, did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
I claimed myself as an exemption on my Tax Return, I am now considered independent on my FAFSA right?
Wrong! Exemptions do not determine whether a student is considered dependent or independent. See “How do I know if I am considered independent on my FAFSA?” below for more information about independent status.
What do I provide if I have a Tax Extension?
If you have been granted a tax filing extension, you will need to submit the following documents:
- A completed and signed Verification Worksheet.
- Copy of IRS Form 4868 for the year the extension was filed.
- Copy of IRS approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested additional filing time.
- Copy of IRS W-2 for each source of income. If self-employed a signed statement by a self-employed individual certifying the amount of income.
- A signed and dated statement outlining number of exemptions, education credits, any untaxed income, adjusted gross income and the U.S. income tax paid (line 56 of 1040 tax form) for the tax year the extension was filed.
What do I do if I were a victim of Identity Theft?
If you were a victim of IRS identity theft, who has been unable to obtain a Tax Return Transcript, contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490 or go to the IRS website at www.irs.gov and request an alternate tax return transcript known as the TRDBV (Transcript Data Base View).
How does the verification process work?
What can delay the process of my Verification?
Making changes to your FAFSA once you have been selected for Verification.
Do NOT make any changes to your FAFSA once you have been selected for verification. Our office will make any necessary corrections for this process or we will contact the student if corrections need to be made.
Making changes to your FAFSA after using IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Doing this may make your IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) ineligible for us to use. Meaning you will possibly have to send your Tax Return Transcript or copy of your signed Federal Income Tax Return to our office. If you used DRT but had to amend your Tax Return, you need to send both your signed 1040X Amended Tax Return and your signed original Tax Return to our office.
Submitting Incorrect Tax Documentation.
We cannot accept a copy of your Account Transcripts or your state income tax return. You must either submit the Tax Return Transcript or a signed copy of your Federal Income Tax Return.
Do not request that the transcript be sent directly to us as we will get a statement saying that they cannot send it to us.
Using pencil or colored pens when filling out the forms.
Please type information into the forms and print them. If you are not able to type the information into the form complete the forms using blue or black pen.
Not putting the student’s full name and ID on parent information.
Please make sure to write the student's full name and ID number on each page of parent information being submitted so we can ensure that information is matched to the correct student.
What happens after I submit my forms and additional documentation?
Forms will be date stamped and entered in the order they were received.
On your Campus Connection “To Do List” you could see the following:
- Received Status: The documentation you sent has been received, but not reviewed.
- Returned Status: The documentation you sent is being sent back to you for completion or a signature.
- Notified Status: We have sent you an email as to what is still needed.
When your documentation is received and processed it will be removed from your "To Do List".
If additional information is required, an email will be sent to the student to their NDSU email account.
After all forms are submitted, your information will be reviewed, corrected (if applicable), and sent to the processor. When it is returned from the processor (this process takes 7 to 10 days) your award will be revised - if applicable, the process will be finished, and aid will be allowed to apply to your student account.
This process may take a few weeks to complete. Once your verification process is complete, we will send an email to your NDSU email account.
Will I be notified when the verification process is complete?
Yes. You will receive an email to your NDSU email account once your verification is complete.
Will I be notified if my aid changes due to verification?
Yes. You will be sent an email to your NDSU email account notifying you if your aid has changed due to the verification process.
How and where do I submit my verification forms?
There are a variety of ways you can submit your verification information. For more information visit https://www.ndsu.edu/onestop/finaid/verification/submitver/
What happens if I don't submit the required information to complete verification?
Failing to submit your required verification information will keep your federal financial aid from being applied to your student account. If you fail to submit your verification information by the deadline your federal financial aid will be cancelled.