Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Financial Aid

Verification

What is verification?

Verification is a process where Southwestern University (SU) confirms the accuracy of the information you submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You may be selected by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) or SU.

 

Why was I selected?

  • ED or SU can choose to verify your FAFSA for the following reasons:
  • You were chosen at random.
  • Your FAFSA contains estimated information.
  • Your FAFSA was incomplete.
  • Inconsistencies were found in the information you provided on your FAFSA.

 

How will I know if I’ve been selected?

If you are selected by ED, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). Southwestern will notify you of the selection whether by ED or SU, via email.

 

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Contact SU with any verification questions at verification@southwestern.edu. Do not call ED.

 

Do I really need to respond to a verification request?

Yes. The US Department of Education requires that you comply with our request for financial information.  If you do not submit the requested documentation, SU is required to cancel your financial aid.  Completion of verification is necessary to remain eligible for all federal and state funds, and for certain need-based institutional funds.

 

How do I complete verification?

Depending on which group you are in, you will be required to submit certain information.

 

How do I know which group I’m in?

SU will tell you which group you’re in via email.  Read the verification notification carefully.

 

The email said I’m a dependent student. What does that mean?

Being a dependent student means that you are required by the Department of Education to submit your parent(s) information on the FAFSA. In addition, any verification that needs to occur will be done for you (the student) and your parent(s).

 

The email said I’m an independent student. What does that mean?

Being an independent student means that you are required by the Department of Education to submit your and your spouse’s (if married) information on the FAFSA. In addition, any verification that occurs will be done for you (the student) and your spouse (if married).

 

How do I get my tax transcript to the Financial Aid Office?


Use the FAFSA’s Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)
This is the recommended method. Go back to your FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to pull your electronically filed tax information directly into the FAFSA using the Correct My FAFSA option. Here’s a great step-by-step tutorial.

—OR—

Request a Transcript from the IRS
You can request your tax transcript directly from the IRS. They’ll mail it to the address listed on your tax return, and you fax/email/mail a copy to our office.

 

image

image image

www.irs.gov

1-800-908-9946

Mail—IRS Form 4506-T

 

Once I’ve sent the Financial Aid Office my verification forms, taxes and W2 forms, I’m done, right?

Not necessarily.  SU may request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies. You MUST respond to these requests for additional information AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V1 and I’m a dependent student?

If you have been assigned to Group V1, and you are a dependent student, you will need to submit the V1D Verification Worksheet. In addition, yours and your parent(s) tax information must be verified. There are two ways you may provide the necessary documentation.

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your actual tax information from the IRS into the FAFSA. This is the recommended method.
  • Request a copy of your 2013 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. You may request the document online at www.irs.gov. View Quick Tips!

 

For either method, if you (the student) and your parent(s) both filed a 2013 Tax Return, you must submit the information for yourself and your parents.

If only your parents filed taxes, then they must submit their tax information by one of the two methods above. If you (the student) worked in 2013, but did not file a tax return, you must submit your 2013 W2 forms, from ALL jobs.

The V1D Verification Worksheet must be filled out completely. DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email. 

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V1 and I’m an independent student?

If you have been assigned to Group V1 and you are an independent student, you will need to submit the V1I Verification Worksheet.  In addition, yours and your spouse’s (if married) tax information must be verified. There are two ways you may provide the necessary documentation.

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your actual tax information from the IRS into the FAFSA. This is the recommended method.
  • Request a copy of your 2012 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. You may request the document online at www.irs.gov. View Quick Tips!

For either method, if you (the student) filed a 2013 Tax Return, you must submit your tax information, by one of the two methods above.  If you are married and your spouse filed separately, you must submit a copy of their 2013 Tax Return Transcript for verification.

If you were employed, but did not file a 2013 Tax Return, you must submit your 2013 W2 forms, from ALL jobs.

The V1I Verification Worksheet must be filled out completely.  DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email. 

 

What if I tried to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA and I was unable to?

There are a few reasons why you may be unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

  • Your parent’s Social Security Number is all zeroes.
  • You or your parent(s) marital status date is January 1, 2012 or later.
  • You and/or your parent indicates that you/they will file (have not yet filed) a tax return, or are not required to file a tax return.
  • You and your spouse filed separate returns.
  • Your married parent and their spouse filed separate returns.
  • You, your parent(s) or your spouse, if married, filed an amended tax return.

 

I did my taxes already, but I can’t use the IRS DRT. Why?

The IRS requires a waiting period of 2‐3 weeks after e-filing taxes or 6‐8 weeks after filing taxes through the mail before the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or transcripts become available.

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V3 and I’m a dependent student?

Students in Group V3 indicated on the FAFSA that someone in their household paid child support during the 2013 calendar year.

If you are in Group V3 and are a dependent student, you must submit the V3D Verification Worksheet. The worksheet must be filled out completely. DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email. 

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V3 and I’m an independent student?

Students in Group V3 indicated on the FAFSA that someone in their household paid child support during the 2013 calendar year.

If you are in Group V3 and are an independent student, you must submit the V3I Verification Worksheet. The worksheet must be filled out completely. DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email. 

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V4 and I’m a dependent student?

Students in group V4 must provide documentation to verify their high school completion status. To meet this requirement, one of the documents listed below must be received by Southwestern University, either in the Admission Office or the Financial Aid Office. 

  • A copy of the student’s high school diploma
  • A copy of the student’s final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded.
  • A copy of the student’s Certificate of High School Equivalency (GED) certificate or GED transcript.
  • If State law requires a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent) a copy of that credential.
  • If State law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript or the equivalent, signed by the student’s parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschooled setting.

 

In addition to the high school completion status, students in Group V4 must read and sign an Identity and Statement of Education Purpose. This statement is included on the V4D Verification Worksheet and must be signed in the company of a Financial Aid Administrator in the Financial Aid Office. Bring your government-issued photo identification along with the V4D Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office.

If you are in Group V4 and are a dependent student, you must submit the V4D Verification Worksheet in person to the Financial Aid Office. 

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V4 and I’m an independent student?

Students in group V4 must provide documentation to verify their high school completion status. To meet this requirement, one of the documents listed below must be received by Southwestern University, either in the Admission Office or the Financial Aid Office. 

  • A copy of the student’s high school diploma
  • A copy of the student’s final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded.
  • A copy of the student’s Certificate of High School Equivalency (GED) certificate or GED transcript.
  • If State law requires a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent) a copy of that credential.
  • If State law does not require a homeschooled student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript or the equivalent, signed by the student’s parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschooled setting.

 

In addition to the high school completion status, students in Group V4 must read and sign an Identity and Statement of Education Purpose. This statement is included on the V4I Verification Worksheet and must be signed in the company of a Financial Aid Administrator in the Financial Aid Office. Bring your government-issued photo identification along with the V4I Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office.

 If you are in Group V4 and are an independent student, you must submit the V4I Verification Worksheet in person to the Financial Aid Office. 

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V5 and I’m a dependent student?

If you are in Group V5, and you are a dependent student, you must provide all of the information collected in Groups V1 through V4. Group V5 is an aggregate group that requires verification of ALL items.  Because you are a dependent student, you MUST provide the requested information for both you and your parent(s).

You MUST complete the V5D Verification Worksheet and submit the form in person, to the Financial Aid Office.  The Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose is included on the V5D Verification Worksheet and must be signed in the company of a Financial Aid Administrator in the Financial Aid Office. Bring your government-issued photo id along with the V5D Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office.

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V5 and I’m an independent student?

If you are in Group V5, and you are an independent student, you will need to provide all of the information collected in Groups V1 through V4. Group V5 is an aggregate group that requires verification of ALL items.  Because you are an independent student, you MUST provide the requested information for both you and your spouse (if married).

You MUST complete the V5I Verification Worksheet and submit the form in person, to the Financial Aid Office.  The Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose is included on the V5I Verification Worksheet and must be signed in the company of a Financial Aid Administrator in the Financial Aid Office. Bring your government-issued photo id along with the V5I Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office.

 

What do I submit if I’m in Group V6 and I’m a dependent student?

If you have been assigned to Group V6, and you are a dependent student, you will need to submit the V6D Verification Worksheet. In addition, yours and your parent(s) tax information must be verified. There are two ways you may provide the necessary documentation.

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your actual tax information from the IRS into the FAFSA. This is the recommended method.

  • Request a copy of your 2013 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. You may request the document online at www.irs.gov. View Quick Tips!

For either method, if you (the student) and your parent(s) both filed a 2013 Tax Return, you must submit the information for yourself and your parents.

Students and parents in Group V6 must also submit copies of all 2013 W2 forms from ALL jobs.

In addition to the tax information, parents and students must submit on the V6D Verification Worksheet a listing of other untaxed income on the 2014-2015 FAFSA:

  • Payments to tax-deferred pension and savings plans.
  • Child support RECEIVED
  • Housing, food and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy and others.
  • Veterans noneducation benefits.
  • Other untaxed income.
  • Money received or paid on the student’s behalf.

You and your parents will report this information on the V6D Verification Worksheet. You must fill out the form completely. DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email.

What do I submit if I’m in Group V6 and I’m an independent student?

If you have been assigned to Group V6 and you are an independent student, you will need to submit the V6I Verification Worksheet.  In addition, your and your spouse’s (if married) tax information must be verified. There are two ways you may provide the necessary documentation.

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA. This tool allows you to import your actual tax information from the IRS into the FAFSA. This is the recommended method.

  • Request a copy of your 2013 Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. You may request the document online at www.irs.gov. View Quick Tips!

For either method, if you (the student) filed a 2013 Tax Return, you must submit your tax information, by one of the two methods above.  If you are married and your spouse filed separately, you must submit a copy of their 2013 Tax Return Transcript for verification.

Students in Group V6, and their spouses, if married, must also submit copies of all 2013 W2 forms from ALL jobs.

In addition to the tax information, students and their spouses, if married, must submit on the V6I Verification Worksheet a listing of other untaxed income on the 2014-2015 FAFSA:

  • Payments to tax-deferred pension and savings plans.
  • Child support RECEIVED
  • Housing, food and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy and others.
  • Veterans noneducation benefits.
  • Other untaxed income.
  • Money received or paid on the student’s behalf.

You and your spouse, if married, will report this information on the V6I Verification Worksheet. You must fill out the form completely. DO NOT leave any items blank.

All documents can be submitted to the Financial Aid Office via mail, fax or email.

 

What if I didn’t file a federal tax return?

If federal regulations did not require that you (or your parents/spouse) file a return, indicate that you did not file on the appropriate Verification Worksheet. If you were employed in 2013, you MUST submit copies of your W2 forms from ALL jobs to the Financial Aid Office.

 

Will my financial aid be affected?

It is possible that some or all of your student aid will be affected. If you under-reported your income and assets on the FAFSA, certain federal, state and institutional need-based funds are likely to be reduced or canceled.

 

How do I know who to include in my household on the V1D/V1I or V5D/V5I Verification Worksheet?

  • You and your parent(s) with whom you reside always count as members of the household. Your brothers and sisters also count, if your parent(s) provide more than 50% of their support (though they may not necessarily live with your parent(s)).
  • Other people count as part of the household if they lived with your parent(s) last year, will continue to do so from July 1 this year to June 30 next year, and will receive more than 50% of their support from your parent(s).

 

  • You and your spouse (as long as you are not separated or divorced) always count as members of the household.
  • Other people count as part of your household if they lived with you last year, will continue to do so from July 1 this year to June 30 next year, and will receive more than 50% of their support from you and/or your spouse.

 

My parents are divorced. Whose information do I include?

You should include the information for the parent with whom you lived for most of the previous year. This is typically the custodial parent. If your custodial parent has remarried, you must also include the financial information for your step-parent. 

 

Do I have to submit my step-parent’s information? What if they don’t support me financially?

YES. You must include your step-parent’s information on the verification worksheet and submit copies of their federal Tax Return Transcript, if they filed separately. The Department of Education requires that you submit all requested information for the parent(s) with whom you live and also anyone married to the parent with whom you live.  You must comply with the Financial Aid Office’s requests whether or not your step-parent provides any financial support.

 

What if a pre-nuptial agreement states that my step-parent is not required to support me financially and/or contribute to my college education?

You must still submit your step-parent’s financial information. Neither pre-nuptial agreements, nor any other type of legal agreement release a step-parent from the obligation to provide financial information necessary to complete verification. Of course, submitting information for verification in no way obliges your step-parent to support you or pay for your education. The information they are providing will be used to determine your financial need.

 

What if my parents don’t support me?

If, based on your answers to the dependency questions on the FAFSA, you are a dependent student, your parents must submit any and all financial information requested by the Financial Aid Office, whether or not they support you or intend to continue supporting you.