2021-22 Update: Department of Education released new guidance on the verification process on July 13th, 2021. To see how this may impact your financial aid, please review our Temporary Verification Policy .
What Is Federal Verification?
Verification is a federal aid eligibility requirement operated by the Financial Aid Office in which students are requested to support certain data elements of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our Financial Aid Office verifies all students who are selected by the Department of Education to be verified, and we may use discretion in selecting students on an individual basis as well. Your FAFSA might be selected each year, you will need to complete verification every year in order to qualify for Federal Financial Aid. Approximately 30% of all students who submit a FAFSA will be selected for verification from the Department of Education.
Please be aware returning students, will not receive a financial aid package until the verification process is completed. New students to West Chester University, if selected for verification will receive an estimated packaged. This package is subject to change based on the outcome of verification. For all students, we encourage to complete verification within 30 days of receiving the notice from financial aid.
Some items that are required to be confirmed include: taxable income, family size, and untaxed income. If selected, this process must be completed prior to the payment of your federal aid to your account at West Chester University.
How do I know if I have been selected for verification?
You can review your Student Aid Report (SAR) to see if your FAFSA was selected for Federal Verification by the Department of Education. You will be sent a SAR after each time you submit a FAFSA. If you have been selected, you will see an asterisk (*) next to your Expected Family Contribution number (EFC). The Financial Aid Office will email you to notify you that you have been selected. This email will be sent to your West Chester University email address only.
How do I complete the verification process?
As of January, 2019, if you, the student, and/or your parent(s) filed a Federal Tax Return we are required to obtain a signed copy of your and/or your parent(s)' Federal Tax Return(s). You and/or your parent(s) may also use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in your FAFSA so that the correct tax information is transferred to our office. If you already used this Data Retrieval Tool successfully when you first filed the FAFSA, you do not have to use it again. If you and/or your parent(s) do not have a signed copy of your Federal Tax Return and are ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must go to the IRS website to request a copy of your Tax Return Transcript for you and/or your parent(s). An IRS account must be created to obtain the transcript.
For independent students, or for a parent who did not file a Federal Tax Return, obtain and submit a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” from the IRS, attesting that they did not file a IRS income tax return. Complete Form 4506-T and check Box 7 to request this Letter.
For dependent students, who did not file a Federal Tax Return, upload a Non-Tax Filer's Statement.
For both the student and parent, we will require W2s to be submitted. If you or your parent worked more than one job, you will need to submit all the W2s. If you can’t find your W2s for the requested tax year, please visit the IRS.gov and request a Wage and Income Statement. If you were self employed, please submit your Schedule C or Form 1065 as well.
Next, complete the Federal Verification Worksheet. The Federal Verification Worksheet is an online document that will have been sent to you, the student, in an email from the Financial Aid Office. You will see the request to complete the verification worksheet in your Financial Aid Tasks. Once you complete the worksheet, your custodial parent will receive an email giving them instructions on how to sign and submit the worksheet.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I submitted all the documents what is next?
Once the Financial Aid Office receives all your documents, we will be able to review your verification. If we see any conflicting information, we will need to request additional documentation to resolve all conflicting information. Students should check their myWCU account to see if any new tasks are listed under Financial Aid.
What is the deadline to complete the verification process?
If you are selected for verification, you have 30 days from the date of notification to submit the required documentation. No federal financial aid funds will be credited to your account until the verification process is complete. Failure to submit the required documentation within 30 days may result in loss of all federal financial aid as well as any other aid that could be affected by the result of the verification process.
How will I learn the results of the verification process?
If the process produces a change to your federal aid eligibility, you will be notified of the result of verification via an updated award notice and email from the Financial Aid Office.