Financial Aid

FAFSA and Verification Q&A

Thank you for visiting the FAFSA and Verification Q&A.  This resource is designed to help answer common questions related to completing the FAFSA and Verification.  To view a playlist with helpful information about the FAFSA and the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, click here

  • What is the FAFSA?
    • The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only aid application required to be reviewed for federal and Liberty institutional aid.  Go to to complete your electronic application.
  • What is the FSA ID?
    • The FSA ID is a username and password that has replaced the Federal Student PIN previously used to access federal student aid online sites. Students and parents will need to create a FSA ID to be able to login and electronically sign a FAFSA. You may apply for your FSA ID here, and if you need assistance, check out ED’s FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions.
  • What do I need to complete the FAFSA?
    • You will need your FSA ID username and password and your tax documents.  If you filed your taxes electronically, you may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. 
  • What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
    • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is a tool within the FAFSA that allows you to electronically transfer your tax information directly from the IRS, which fills in many financial questions on the FAFSA.  The transferred information should not be changed.  
  • What is the advantage to using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
    • You will save time inputting your financial information and if you are selected for Verification you could save up to eight weeks in processing.
  • What if I can’t use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
    • Submit your financial information on the FAFSA as accurately as possible using your tax documents.
  • What do I need to do if I am selected for Verification?
    • Submit all requested documents to the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.  If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, but can now, go back into your FAFSA and have your information imported from the IRS. 
  • What if I am selected for Verification, but could not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool?
    • The Financial Aid Office will notify you of the required documents that must be submitted to review your account and complete Verification.
  • How do I request an IRS Tax Transcript?
    • Go to and choose the Get a Transcript option under "Tools," gather the primary filer’s information, and follow the steps outlined to "Get Transcript Online" or “Get Transcript by Mail."  If you have had any amendments made to your tax information, you will also need to submit a copy of the signed and completed IRS Form 1040X that was submitted to the IRS.  This is required because your IRS Tax Return Transcript will not reflect any changes to your return; however, the IRS Form 1040X will specifically show all updates made to your return. 
  • When will my Tax Transcript be available?
    • If you filed your taxes electronically, your transcript should be ready to be requested two to four weeks from filing.  If you mailed in your tax return, it could take an additional four to six weeks before the tax transcript will be available.
  • How long should it take before I receive my IRS Tax Transcript?
    • Requesting the transcript online will allow you to download your IRS Tax Return Transcript immediately. If you request it to be mailed to you, it should take five-ten calendar days upon IRS receipt for your tax transcript to be mailed. You may request your transcript at
  • If I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, will I need to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
    • In most cases, no. The information on your IRS Tax Return Transcript will be the same information carried over from using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If you filed an amended return or if there is conflicting information on file, the Financial Aid Office may request you submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • How do I go back and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if I did not use it when I submitted my FAFSA?
    • Log into your account at and select “Correct” your submitted FAFSA.  In the Financial Information tab, select “already completed,” review the check box options listed, and check any boxes that apply to your household.  The FAFSA will determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  If offered, click the “Link to the IRS” button after inputting your FSA ID username and password.  Then, select “OK” to continue to the IRS website.  Submit the identifying information requested by the IRS.  Once the tax information is showing, select “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA,” then “Transfer now”.  After the tax information has transferred, do not adjust any of the populated fields.  If you were not offered the option to “Link to the IRS”, you are considered ineligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.