If you have been selected for verification, it is nothing to worry about. The federal government selects approximately 30% of all financial aid applicants for verification and it is the school's responsibility to complete this process on their behalf. In the verification process, we compare the information that was submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the information your provide. If changes are necessary, we will make those corrections electronically for you.
For the 2015-2016 Academic Year (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Summer 2016)
Starting this year, we have implemented an electronic process to submit requested documentation to us. You (the student) should log onto Hiram College Online Verification. Once there, you (the student) will be asked to create an account. Please follow these steps to begin the process:
- The student creates their account first by inputting the information requested that matches what you submitted on the FAFSA. Step-by-step instructions on setting up an account can be found by clicking here.
- Once you've created an account, the online system will walk you through the process of completing, uploading (if necessary), and e-signing any requested documents.
- Parent(s) of dependent students: please do not create an account until the student has initiated one for you. If parental information is needed, the student will initiate an account for you once they have submitted all required paperwork. You will then create & log-in with the information the student assigns you.
For the 2014-2015 Academic Year (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Summer 2015)
- Complete the correct verification worksheet based upon your dependency status:
- Submit Copies of all 2013 W-2(s) for all wage earners in 2013, even if not filing a tax return.
- Submit 2013 income information. Please use one of the following ways:
- RECOMMENDED: IRS Data Retrieval Tool - log into your 2014-2015 FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov) using your FAFSA PIN and select the IRS Data Retrieval for all federal income tax filers. For a demonstration, watch this video
- Request a copy of your IRS tax transcript from the IRS using one of the following ways (Detailed instructions for all 3 options):
- Online at www.irs.gov/transcript
- By phone at 1-800-908-9946
- By mail using IRS Form 456T-EZ
You should submit the verification paperwork as soon as possible after you receive the notification from our office of what we need. We usually ask that this be submitted within two weeks of being notified. Verification paperwork is reviewed on a rolling basis as it is received. Failure to submit this paperwork in a timely manner will delay your award and could make you ineligible for financial aid. Additional information about the verification process can be found on this webpage as well as in the Financial Aid Handbook, available online on the 'Documents and Resources' page.
There are a couple things that could cause you to not be able to import your tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
- Enough time may not have passed since you filed your taxes for it to be available to be used by the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. This is dependent upon how you filed your taxes. If you file your taxes electronically, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available 2-3 weeks after filing. If you file your taxes via paper, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is available 6-8 weeks after filing.
- You need to input the address that you listed on your tax return when submitted. If you moved after filing your taxes, be sure to input the address that is listed on your federal tax return.
I've submitted all the requested paperwork, how long will it take for you to review it and complete the verification process?
Your verification paperwork is reviewed once all the required paperwork is received. Incomplete paperwork is filed until all required documents are received. Once we have everything, your file is then pulled for review, which typically takes approximately a week to complete.
We are assured from the federal government that it is random, however we do sometimes see the same students selected from year to year. While not necessarily ideal, it is ensuring that your financial aid is accurate.
There has been a major change to how students and their families will submit their income information to us starting with the 2012-2013 academic year, per recent changes to federal regulations. In years past, signed copies of your federal tax return and W-2's has been acceptable documentation, however this is no longer the case.
I submitted my documents and the Financial Aid Office told me I was all set, but now you're asking for more information. What's changed?
When there is a difference between what was reported on the FAFSA from what is submitted to us with the verification paperwork, we need to confirm in writing what the correct figure should be. This ensures that your application is completed correctly and you will receive all the financial aid you are eligible for. If we find a discrepancy, we will ask that send in additional paperwork and make any necessary corrections for you.