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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!  To review a step-by-step video tutorial for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, select this link.

  • 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 www.fafsa.ed.gov to complete your electronic application.
  • What do I need to complete the FAFSA?
    • You will need your PIN (personal identification number) from www.pin.ed.gov 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 as accurately as possible from 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 www.irs.gov and search for Request IRS Tax Transcript, gather the primary filer’s information, and follow the steps outlined.  Also, if you have had any amendments made to your tax information, you will also need to request your IRS Tax Account Transcript.  This is required because your IRS Tax Return Transcript will not reflect any changes to your return; however, the IRS Tax Account Transcript specifically shows all updates. 
  • 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?
    • Once your request is submitted, it should take seven-ten days upon IRS receipt for your tax transcript to be mailed. 
  • If I use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, will I need to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?
    • No.  The information on your IRS Tax Return Transcript will be the same information carried over from using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
  • 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 www.fafsa.ed.gov 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 FAFSA PIN.  Then, select “OK” to continue to the IRS website.  Submit the identifying information requested by the IRS.  One 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.