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Verification

The What's and Why’s of Federal Verification

What is Federal Verification?

Verification is a federally mandated process to confirm the accuracy of the information provided by you and your parents on the FAFSA you filed.

How do you know if you are selected for verification?

Your federal Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate if your FAFSA has been selected for verification.

Why is your file being verified?

The federal government selects which FAFSAs will be reviewed for verification. The following are the most common reasons for being selected:

  • You were selected randomly.
  • The data you provided on your FAFSA was incomplete.
  • You provided contradictory information on your FAFSA.
  • You provided estimated income information on your FAFSA.

What documents need to be submitted to complete verification?

 All students selected for verification will be required to submit documentation based on what is being requested to be verified as indicated on their Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is the response report a student receives from the federal government after they submit their FAFSA. All requested documentation will be posted on the student’s UIS account.     

 Students must log into the University Information System (UIS) for a complete list of all required documents. Required forms may be downloaded via UIS. The most commonly requested item to verify is a copy of the student and/or parent’s IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Important Notice: If you and/or your parents filed federal tax returns with the filing status of either “single” or “married filing jointly” or "head of household (and is not married)", you may select the IRS data retrieval option on your FAFSA. This will allow the IRS to verify your tax information automatically and you will not have to obtain an IRS tax transcript to submit to us.  

How are IRS Tax Transcripts requested?

You and/or your parents may request an IRS Tax Transcript by any of the following methods:

  1. Online: Go to www.irs.gov, under the Tools heading, click “Get a Tax Transcript.”  Please double check and insure that you request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.”
  2. Automated Telephone Request: 1-(800) 908-9946
  3. Paper Request: Complete IRS form 4506-T, EZ/4506-T and mail to address provided on the form. 

When a parent/student is requesting a transcript they must provide:

  • SSN or ITIN
  • Date of Birth
  • Exact street address as used on tax return
  • Postal zip code

 Please do not have an IRS TAX Transcript sent directly to St. John’s University: we are unable to process transcripts sent directly to the University since we are unable to associate them with a student record without a student's XID.

 Please request that the IRS transcript be sent to your home address. Please keep a photocopy of your tax transcript for your records and mail the original tax transcript to the University. Include the student's name and St. John’s X ID number at the top of each page of the transcript and have the tax filer or one of the tax filers named on the transcript provide a signature at the top of the first page of the transcript.

What if I or my parent(s) do not file a tax return?

Provide documentation from the IRS or other relevant tax authority dated on or after October 1, 2015 that indicates a 2015 IRS income tax return was not filed with the IRS or other relevant tax authority.  A Verification of Non-filing letter can be requested online at www.irs.gov.

Where should requested documents be sent?

Please send copies of requested documentation to our processing center:

St. John’s University
P.O. Box 548
Randolph, MA 02368-0548

Remember to make photocopies of all forms for your records and include student's name and XID number on each page of the documents that you submit.

What is the Verification Processing Timeframe?

Processing usually takes two to three weeks. During peak processing time, like the summer, it may take longer.              

What happens if there are discrepancies in the application?

Upon receipt of all requested documents the Office of Student Financial Services will complete a review. If errors are found, corrections will be made to the student's FAFSA and submitted to the Federal Central Processing System for update. If the errors are significant enough to change the amount of financial aid awarded, the Office of Student Financial Services will revise the student's Award Offer and notify the student of the change.  

What if I do not supply the verification documentation?

Verification must be completed before St. John’s need based aid and aid from federal programs can be disbursed to your student account. If you are a federal work study student and are selected for Verification, your file must be verified before you may work.  It is essential to complete the verification process on a timely basis to insure that financial aid is credited to your student bill.

What is the deadline for verification?

Federal guidelines allow for students who have a valid FAFSA on file to complete verification up to 120 days after the last date of enrollment.  However, it is important to note that St. John’s University is allowed to set its own processing deadlines. 

St. John’s extends temporary credit for financial aid pending verification until October of the fall semester.  If you have not submitted all requested documents by October the temporary credit will expire.  From this point, your aid will only be reinstated only after all requested documents are submitted and verification has been completed.

Families seeking a reconsideration of aid eligibility should note that federal regulations require a file to be verified before a reconsideration request may be reviewed.

Failure to submit all requested documentation will result in the forfeiture of your financial aid eligibility.

How will I be notified about the status of my verification?

A message will be posted to your UIS account indicating that verification has been completed or if additional documents are needed. It is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her aid status through access to his/her personal UIS account.