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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” 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: – select Order a Transcript
call – 1-800-908-9946
complete – form 4506-T and mail to the address indicated 

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Please do not have an IRS TAX Transcript sent directly to St. John’s University.  You must make the request to the IRS to send the IRS transcript to your home address. Upon receipt please keep a photocopy for your files, list your name and St. John’s X ID number at the top of each page of the IRS tax transcript and submit it to St. John’s yourself. It is recommended that one tax filer on the transcript affix their signature on the top of the first page of the transcript.

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
Print your name and St. John’s XID on each page of the documents that you submit

What is the Verification Processing Timeframe?

Processing usually takes two to three weeks but may take longer during the summer months since that is peak processing time.              

What happens if there are discrepancies in the application?

After you turn in all required documents, the Office of Student Financial Services will compare them with the data you reported on your FAFSA. If errors are found, corrections will be made. If the errors are significant enough to change the amount of financial aid that you were awarded, the Office of Student Financial Services will send you a revised award letter showing changes in award amounts.  Please note you may monitor your aid status on your UIS account.

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.