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Financial Aid

Verification

 Verification is the confirmation through documentation that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. If you are selected for verification, don’t assume you’re being accused of doing something wrong. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.

How will I know if I am selected for verification?

You may be selected for verification either by the federal government or by the Financial Aid Office. If you are selected for verification by the federal government, there will be an asterisk next to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR). You will also be informed of having been selected for verification in the SAR acknowledgment letter, which will be included with your SAR documents.

If you are selected for verification by the Financial Aid Office, you will be notified in your MyCWU To Do List and a reminder email will be sent regularly to your CWU email address until required documents are received. These notifications will inform you of this selection and instruct you to go to My.CWU.edu to view your To Do List for a listing of the requirements. You can be selected for verification at any time during the academic year so it is very important you check your email and your To Do List on a regular basis. 

Why was I selected for verification?

The main reasons for being selected for verification include that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather, verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all of the aid for which they are qualified. 

What do I have to submit and where do I send it?

Once you are selected for verification all required documents will be added to your To Do List at My.CWU.edu.

Dependent Students

  1. Copy of student's and parent's federal income tax transcript (for the tax year prior to the current aid year). 2019-20 requires 2017 income tax transcript. If parents did not and were not required to file taxes, a verification of nonfiling letter from the IRS is required.
  2. Dependent verification worksheet from the Financial Aid Office

Independent Students

  1. Student's (and spouse's, if applicable) federal income tax transcript (for the tax year prior to the current aid year). 2019-20 requires 2017 income tax transcript. If the student (and/or spouse, if applicable) did not and were not required to file taxes, a verification of non-filing letter from the IRS is required.
  2. Independent verification worksheet from the Financial Aid Office

Please note that additional documentation may be requested at the discretion of the Financial Aid Office. If you are selected for verification, you must submit all documents to the Financial Aid Office no later than the due date to be eligible. If additional documents are requested, an email will be sent and your To Do List will be updated. It is your responsibility to check your requirements and submit all documentation to the Financial Aid Office by the due date listed on your To Do List at My.CWU.edu.

Do not wait to submit your documents. If you are selected for verification, you must submit all documents to Financial Aid Office no later than the due date to be eligible for the maximum financial aid you are eligible to receive.

You can submit all documents to us by the following ways:

To Do List

The quickest and easiest way to submit your documents is through the "Upload Document" feature found on your To Do List at My.CWU.edu

Fax

(509) 963-1788

Mail

CWU
Office of Financial Aid
400 East University Way
MS 7495
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7495                                                                                                         

Email

We do not accept tax documents through email.

Please make sure the students first and last name, and student ID number is written on each page submitted.

How do I get copies of IRS tax transcripts or IRS verification of non-filing?

There are multiple ways to gather the tax documentation needed to verify the income reported on your FAFSA application.

  1. IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  Login to your FAFSA application to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS tax filing data directly into your FAFSA application. The successful transfer of your IRS tax filing information replaces the need for other types of documentation. Please view this video for more information about using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA application.
  2. IRS Tax Transcript.  Request a copy of your tax transcript in the following ways:
    1. Get Transcript Online Each tax filer will need create a username and password with the IRS to access this information online.
    2. Get Transcript by Mail

Each tax filer required on the FAFSA completes Form 4506-T (marking box 6a and indicating the appropriate tax year on line 9) and mails it directly to the IRS for processing.  You should receive your tax transcript in the mail within 5-10 days.

  1. Verification of non-filing.  Non-tax filing parents of dependent students and independent students (and spouses) are required to submit an IRS verification of non-filing letter.  Complete the Form 4506-T and indicate on line 7 that you are requesting a verification of non-filing letter. 

If you are having difficulty obtaining your IRS tax filing information, please contact the Financial Aid Office to see if we can provide additional assistance.

What tax year information should I request?

The 2018-19 FAFSA requires 2016 income tax information

The 2019-20 FAFSA requires 2017 income tax information

What happens after I submit my documents?

After you submit the documents to our office, you can continue to check the status of your documents by going to your To Do List at My.CWU.edu. If we have received your documents, the status will go from "Initiated" to "Received." Once the document is reviewed the status will be updated to the appropriate status: "Returned" "Waived" or "Complete” If the requirement is incomplete, you will receive an email explaining what was incomplete and how it can be resolved. It is important you check the status of your requirements on your To Do List so you can make sure that all verification documents have been "Received or Completed."

If you submit the documents to our office, please allow two to three business days for the status to be updated. There is no need to send multiple documents.

Once the Financial Aid Office has received all your verification documents and they are satisfied on your To Do List at My.CWU.edu, we can now begin the verification review. This can take anywhere between six to eight weeks during the months of May through October. After the verification process is complete, you will be eligible to receive a financial aid award. Revised award letters replace any award letters/notices previously received. If you were selected for verification after your initial financial aid award, you may receive a revised award letter if your eligbility changed as a result of the verification process.

What if I don't want to complete the verification process?

The verification process is a federal regulation and must be completed in order for a student to receive federal aid, state and CWU need based Institutional aid. If you do not wish to complete the verification process, and therefore not receive financial aid, please notify the Financial Aid Office via email so we can update your application status.

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