Verification

When you completed your FAFSA, you probably received a message that said "Congratulations, you have successfully submitted your FAFSA for 2019-2020". However, 30% of students that successfully submit the FAFSA will have to complete an additional process called "verification" before their financial aid is official. Please follow the steps below to provide our office with the information necessary to complete the verification process. Near the bottom of this page you will find a list of frequently asked verification questions for more detail. If you have unanswered questions, you may contact the financial aid office at [email protected] or (231) 591-2110.

Step One - Verification Form

If you were selected for the verification process, please print, complete and return the appropriate verification form from the list below. Please note that forms are aid year specific. Please make sure you choose the form for the appropriate aid year.

2018-2019 Forms (Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019)

2019-2020 Forms (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020)

Step Two - Tax Documentation

In addition to the verification form, tax data must be provided from the Internal Revenue Service for both the student and the custodial parent(s). The type of acceptable tax documentation depends on the 2017 tax-filing status of the student and the custodial parent(s).  We cannot accept copies of 1040 tax returns. Please read the following instructions for providing tax documentation.

If you filed a 2017 Federal Tax Return

  1. The preferred method of providing tax documentation for students and parents that filed 2017 federal income tax returns is IRS Data Retrieval
  2. Tax filers that are unable to complete IRS Data Retrieval may submit Tax Return Transcripts. 

If you worked, but were not required to file a 2017 Federal Tax Return

  1. W2 forms for student and for custodial parent(s)
  2. Verification of Non-Filing Letter for custodial parent(s) and independent students
  3. Each parent, student or spouse that did not file a tax return MUST sign the verification form.

If you did not work in 2017

  1. On the verification form, in the appropriate column (student or parent), indicate "Did NOT work in 2017, was not required to and did not file a 2017 federal tax return". 
  2. Verification of Non-Filing Letter for custodial parent(s) and independent students
  3. Each parent, student or spouse that did not file a tax return MUST sign the verification form.

Additional Documentation

Occasionally we must request additional documentation from you after we receive your verification documents due to discrepancies that arise once your file is reviewed. We will notify you if any additional documentation is required. Again, it is important to submit all requested information as quickly as possible to prevent the loss of some forms of aid.

Frequently Asked Verification Questions

What is verification?

Approximately 30% of all students who complete a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are selected by the federal processor for a process called verification. In addition to the files selected by the federal processor, the Financial Aid Office may select a student's file for the verification process in order to clear up discrepant information. Please note that being selected for verification is simply a routine process, you are not being accused of providing fraudulent information.

How do I identify my "custodial parent(s)"?

  • If your biological parents live together, even if they were never married, you must include information about both parents.
  • If your parents are divorced or separated, your custodial parent is the parent that you lived with more during the past 12 months.
  • If your custodial parent is remarried, you must include your stepparent's information.
  • If your parent's situation is not described above and you are uncertain whose information should have been reported on the FAFSA, please contact the Financial Aid Office for clarification.

How do I know if I was selected for verification?

You will receive a Student Aid Report from the federal processor once your FAFSA has been processed. It will be sent to you by mail or via email depending on the preferred method of contact you selected when you filed your FAFSA. If you were selected for the verification process by the federal processor, there will be a message on your Student Aid Report advising you that you were selected and advising you to contact your school's financial aid office for more information.

If not selected for verification, do I need to do anything else?

If you are not selected for the verification process, your file is considered complete as soon as your FAFSA data is received by the Financial Aid Office in a valid status. If your FAFSA has been rejected by the federal processor, you will be required to resolve the issues. FAFSAs may be rejected for a number of reasons including, but not limited to the following: missing applicant or parent signatures; name and/or social security number mismatches; citizenship documentation issues; selective service registration issues. FAFSA rejections must be resolved before students are considered eligible for financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will request additional information from you to help resolve FAFSA rejects. It is essential that all requested documentation be submitted as quickly as possible. Failure to provide requested documentation in a timely manner could result in a loss of some forms of aid.

How do I complete verification?

When a student's file is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will compare federal tax data and information reported on a verification form to the data submitted on the FAFSA. If all of the information matches, the file will be considered complete. If there are any discrepancies, the Financial Aid Office will electronically submit corrections to the federal processor. When the corrections are acknowledged by the federal processor, the student's file will be considered complete.

Is there a verification deadline?

To be considered for financial aid for the 2019-2020 academic year, students must submit documentation no later than 30 days after the last date of enrollment or August 30, 2020, whichever is earlier.