Financial Aid

Verification Process

Federal verification is a process used to confirm that the data you reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate.  If you are selected by the U.S. Department of Education, CSU is required to obtain documentation, such as a verification worksheet and federal tax data, to verify the information you reported on the FAFSA. 

If you are selected for verification, you can ease the process by utilizing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to fulfill your federal tax data requirement. You may use the tool to transfer your 2018 federal tax data into your 2020-2021 FAFSA during your initial application or log back on anytime to update your application using the tool. (Use 2019 federal tax data for your 2021-2022 FAFSA). 

Selected for Verification?

Step 1 - Complete the Verification Worksheet:

A Verification Worksheet must be submitted for all students selected for verification.  If the student is Dependent, the worksheet must also be signed by a parent.  The form can be downloaded via the Financial Aid Forms page.  Completed forms can be uploaded via the student’s CampusNet account or submitted to Campus 411, All-in-1, in BH116.

You may also be required to submit additional forms, including the IRS Tax Return Transcript (TRT) or a signed copy of your Federal Tax Return 1040 (along with schedules 1, 2, 3, C, or K-1 if filed).  Be sure to check your Financial Aid Status via the Financial Aid Tab on CampusNet for documents being requested.  We encourage you to check your CSU email account often as we will use this to send important information relating to your verification status and required documents.

 
Step 2 – Request and Submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript (TRT) or Signed Copy of Federal Tax Return:

If you or your parent(s) (if dependent) are not eligible to use the IRS DRT mentioned above, then an IRS tax return transcript  (TRT) must be requested and submitted to the CSU Financial Aid Office.

In lieu of the IRS TRT, schools are now able to accept a signed copy of your Federal Tax Return 1040, along with schedules 1, 2, 3, C, or K-1, if filed (ink signature required if signed electronically).

If you or your parent(s) (if dependent) filed a joint return, AND are now separated, divorced, widowed or remarried, you/they must submit an IRS TRT or signed Federal return, as well as all W2 forms.

If you or your parent(s) (if dependent) filed an amended tax return, you/they must submit both an IRS TRT or signed Federal return AND a signed copy of the amended tax return (1040X).

Follow these instructions on How to Request a Tax Return Transcript.

 
IF YOU DID NOT FILE AN IRS 2018 TAX RETURN (FOR 2020-2021 FAFSA):

As a dependent student, if your parent(s) did not file a 2018 federal tax return and you receive notice that you have been selected for verification, they must obtain documentation from the IRS that they did not file.

As an independent student, if you did not file a 2018 federal tax return and you receive notice that you have been selected for verification, you must obtain documentation from the IRS that you did not file.

Follow these instructions on How to Request the IRS Verification of Non-Filing.

Special Circumstance Petition

Have you experienced a loss of income after filing your FAFSA?  In some cases, schools may be able to reduce your earned income, which may qualify you for additional federal aid.

If you are a dependent student and your parent(s) experienced a loss of income during the past year; or if you are an independent student and you or your spouse experienced a loss of income, please contact us at 216-687-5411 to determine if filing a Special Circumstance Appeal could be beneficial. 


Helpful Links and Forms:

Simple Steps to Transfer Tax Information into your FAFSA Form

FSA “Next Steps” for Verification Selection

IRS Get Transcripts FAQ

2020-2021 Verification Forms​​​​​​​