Verification

About 20% of students are selected by the Department of Education for a process called verification which requires the school to collect documentation to confirm the accuracy of your FAFSA. You will be sent an email if any additional materials are required and can also view that request through your Verification Portal by logging in with your UW-Madison NetID and password.

Our standard timeline to review submitted documents is 2 – 4 weeks.

Do NOT submit any documents to our office that are not specifically requested. Submitting unsolicited documents could delay the offering of your financial aid.

Verification Materials

This document is requested to confirm your household size, the number of household members enrolled in college, and some income information.

Dependent Students – Verification Worksheet

Independent Students – Verification Worksheet

Identity Statement of Educational Purpose

You indicated on your Verification Worksheet that you had non-taxable income; therefore, you’ll need to upload a copy of your W-2.

If you no longer have your 2020 W-2 you can request it from:

If you are unable to access your W-2, please contact our team.

We are required to request this document when:

  • you/your parent listed on the FAFSA that you did not file a 2020 tax return, OR
  • you completed the Verification Worksheet and listed that you/your parent did not file a tax return for that year.

There is no way to request this non-filing letter directly; rather you must request the Tax Return Transcript from the IRS and if a tax return is not on file, the IRS will send you this document. Refer to the IRS Tax Return or Transcript Tab for directions on how to make the request.

If you made an error on the FAFSA or the worksheet or are not able to submit a request using the mail or online IRS options please contact our office.

How to Submit the IRS Letter of Non-Filing” a step by step guide for submitting this document.

You indicated on your FAFSA that you filed taxes in 2020, but did not use the IRS Data Retrieval tool.

The easiest, fastest, and safest way to submit verified tax information is to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool on your FAFSA.

Otherwise, we are able to accept signed copies of your IRS 1040 or 1040SR Form, pages 1 & 2 and well as any Schedule 1-3 that apply (see sample images below).  If your taxes were self-prepared, a handwritten signature is required on Page 2.

You can also attempt to request your Tax Return Transcript and receive it either via post-mail (print hard copy) or electronically (.pdf) from the IRS.

Step by step guides for requesting this information:
How to Request Your IRS Tax Return Transcript by Mail
How to Request Your IRS Tax Return Transcript online

If you do not have access to these options, please contact our team.

For students/parents that earn foreign income, we can accept a copy of your foreign income statement for the tax year with the total income and taxes paid amount converted into U.S. dollars.

If you did not receive an income statement from your country we can accept a written statement with the amount of income earned converted into U.S. dollars and the source of the income.

The Verification Worksheet does not have an option to select foreign income – see the instructions for how to complete.

**If for some reason your Verification Portal shows that you also need to submit the IRS letter of non-filing, please let our team know. This is not required!**

Parents of dependent students are required to sign some of the verification materials being requested.

How a Parent Signs the Verification Worksheet” a step by step guide for signing the worksheet online.

Other Possible Requests

If you see ‘Student Statement’ listed, an email was sent to you, the student, with any of these three subject lines

  1. ‘Financial Aid Request’
  2. ‘FAFSA Correction’ or
  3. ‘Review Needed’
  4. ‘Clarification Needed on…’

Please respond to the email request as soon as possible – we’re not able to continue the review of your FAFSA without your response.

If you need the email resent, please contact our team.

You indicated on the FASFA that you had taxable scholarship or grant aid.  To verify this amount, please refer to your IRS Form 1040.  On line 1, near Wages, Salaries, Tips, etc – you would see “SCH” and an amount listed.

If you do not see the ‘SCH’ and an amount listed on your Form 1040, you did not report any grants or scholarships as taxable income and you should enter $0.00 on the form in your Verification Portal.

The requirement for male students to register for selective service has been waived and is no longer required to be eligible for Federal Student Aid.

Based on the information you provided on the FAFSA, the Social Security Administration (SSA) was not able to confirm your U.S. citizenship or eligible non-citizenship. You will need to provide correct documentation before you are eligible for Federal Student Aid.

If you are a U.S. citizen, upload one of the following:

  • A U.S. birth certificate
  • A U.S. passport (current or expired)
  • A wallet-sized passport card (current or expired)
  • A Certificate of Citizenship
  • A Certificate of Naturalization or
  • A Certificate of Birth Abroad (FS-240, FS-545, or DS-1350)

If you are an eligible non-citizen, upload one of the following:

  • Alien Registration Receipt card (I-151, I-551, or I-151C)
  • I-94 form that states either:
    • “Processed for I-551. Temporary Evidence of Lawful Admission for Permanent Residence. Valid until (blank). Employment Authorized.” Or,
    • “Upon endorsement serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year.”
  • INS G-641 form
  • I-797 form indicating either an approved or prima facie petition under the Violence Against Women Act

How to Submit Citizenship Verification” a step by step guide for submitting your document.

Although you used the IRS Data Retrieval tool on your FAFSA, the IRS and Dept of Education flagged your FAFSA indicating that you filed an amended tax return (1040X).

  • If you don’t know if you filed an amended return, it is suggested you contact the IRS to verify that an amended tax return was/was not filed.
  • If your taxes were prepared by a tax professional, we suggest that you contact their office to make sure they did not file an Amended Tax Return.

We can accept the following:

  • the hand-signed 1040X Amended Tax Return (Pages 1 and 2)
  • Tax Account Transcript requested from the IRS

If you did not file an amended tax return (1040X), we can accept a written statement that an amended tax return was not filed from one of the following:

  • your tax professional
  • from you
  • the IRS

Although you listed on the FAFSA that you are a veteran, the Department of Veteran Affairs did not confirm that status.  Therefore, we must request a copy of your DD214, or military separation form.

How to Submit Your DD214” a step by step guide for submitting this document.

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) indicates that you are in default status on one or more federal student loans. You are not eligible to receive any federal student aid until you resolve any loan default(s).

How to Submit your Government Issued Photo ID” a step by step guide for submitting this document.