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Verification

Do not send copies of your federal tax return

If your file is selected for verification, WMU Student Financial Aid will ask you to verify some of your personal and financial information. The best way to complete this process is to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is part of FAFSA on the Web. If you have not already used the tool, go to www.fafsa.gov,link off site log in to your FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS income tax information into your FAFSA. It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. Get more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool online here, or call Bronco Express, (269) 387-6000.

If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will need to submit a Federal Tax Return Transcript. This is NOT a copy of your tax return. To request your Federal Tax Return Transcript, you need to visit IRS.gov,link off site or call the IRS, 1-800-908-9946. Do NOT send a copy of your federal tax return. This will delay the verification process. Your financial aid will not be finalized and disbursed until verification is complete.

Identity Theft

In instances when the tax filer has been the victim of identity theft, we will accept for verification:

  • Signed copy of the paper IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS AND
  • Either a signed and dated IRS Form 14039 “Identify Theft Affidavit” OR
  • Signed and dated statement by the tax filer indicating victim of identity theft,  that IRS is investigating the matter and they submitted Form 14039 to the IRS but did not keep a copy of it or that he or she was not required to file the form OR
  • Copy of police report if it was filed related to the IRS identity theft.

What happens after you file the FAFSA?

After we receive your FAFSA information from the federal processor, we may need additional documentation from you to verify your student eligibility, your income, household, or dependency status. We may also collect documentation for a quality assurance study. If we need additional information from you or your parents, you will be notified via your WMU email.

Security

Please help us protect your private information during the verification process. Do not send us original documents. Make copies to send, and keep your originals. Black out all family social security numbers, leaving only the last four digits visible. This should be done only on documents requested for verification, such as tax return transcrips. We can no longer accept copies of tax returns for verification or appeals. If you send us a copy of a tax return, it will be shredded for your protection. If you have questions, please call Bronco Express, (269) 387-6000.

Notification

Check GoWMU and your email often. A delay in providing the information may result in a delay of your aid payment, or the reduction or loss of your awards.

You should:

  • Turn in all documents requested as soon as possible
  • Be sure all documents are signed and complete
  • Place your name and WIN on all submitted documents
  • Keep photocopies of all information submitted and record the date documents were submitted.

Once we receive your FAFSA and any requested documents, we will determine your eligibility for financial aid . Any discrepancies will be corrected on your FAFSA and you will receive a revised Student Aid Report (SAR). If you have been awarded aid, you will receive a revised award letter via email if the updated information affects your award eligibility.

Federal agency verification

Some of the information on your FAFSA will be checked with federal agencies to determine if your application meets the basic student eligibility criteria. You may need to submit additional application documents to verify:

  • social security number and citizenship status with the Social Security Administration
  • selective service registration with the Selective Service System
  • eligible non-citizenship status with the US Department of Homeland Security
  • veteran status with the US Department of Veteran's Affairs
  • federal student loan status with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

Quality control

Western participates in the US Department of Education's Quality Assurance Program (QA). The QA program's mission is to ensure that the delivery of student aid funds is conducted accurately, expediently and with integrity. One of the program's requirements mandates Western to select applications for verification to determine if the FAFSA information is accurate and whether any discrepancies would require an adjustment in the amount or type of financial aid programs awarded. Verification is a comprehensive review of the student's and parent's household, income and asset information listed on the FAFSA. If your file is selected for verification, you need to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool provided by FAFSA on the Web, if you haven't already done so. To do this, go to www.fafsa.gov, log in to your FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer your IRS income tax information into your FAFSA. It takes up to two weeks for IRS income information to be available for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool for electronic IRS tax return filers, and up to eight weeks for paper IRS tax return filers. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, call Bronco Express, (269) 387-6000.

If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you will be required to submit a federal tax return transcript for you as well as your parent(s). (If you are married, you will need to submit your spouse's federal tax return transcript.) **This is NOT the same as a copy of your tax return. To request a free Federal Tax Return Transcript, call the IRS, 1-800-908-9946. Additional documentation may be requested based on conflicting information.

Other students will be selected for a review based on conflicting information identified through special reports, correspondence, appeal requests or other review methods, or as part of a required, random-sampling study.

We will email you tracking letters and you may access the required documents on GoWMU if additional information is needed. We request the necessary documentation be submitted to Student Financial Aid within 30 days of receipt of the letter or 30 days prior to your last day of enrollment for the current academic year (whichever comes first). Payment of any offered financial aid will not occur until the review process is completed. Any funds received based on incorrect information may be required to be repaid.

 

Updated: 03/03/2014 1:36 PM

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Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000 finaid-info@wmich.edu