Verification is the process of confirming that your and, if applicable, your parent's or spouse's information reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid is accurate.
Verification concerns most need-based federal student aid programs, but it isn't required if you are only eligible to receive non-need based federal forms of financial aid such as a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan or Graduate PLUS Loan, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, a TEACH Grant, etc.
However, federal regulations do not allow you to avoid verification by simply choosing not to accept an offered need-based form of federal student aid, such as a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan.
If you are selected for verification, Governors State University's Office of Financial Aid will inform you about the documentation you will need to provide for the verification process. Typically, a student selected for verification will need to provide, at minimum, a completed verification worksheet. Additional, required verification documentation will vary depending upon the unique information you provided on your FAFSA application. Examples of documents you may need to turn into the office are listed at the bottom of this page.
If there are any differences between your FAFSA application information and your financial aid documents, we may need to send corrections electronically to have your information reprocessed. If corrections are sent, students will receive a new Student Aid Report from the federal processor.
The U.S. Department of Education highly encourages all FAFSA applicants to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool that is available within the FAFSA on the web application. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents who have already submitted their federal tax returns to electronically transfer their tax information from the IRS to their FAFSA application. If you are selected for verification and you and your parent (if applicable) have utilized the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (without making any changes to the retrieved data), the amount of documentation requested by the Office of Financial Aid will be minimized. Find out if you are eligible to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
The most commonly requested documents for verification are:
- W-2 forms from your employer that show working wages
- A W-2 form is a statement that must be prepared by employers each year for employees, showing the employee's total gross earnings, Social Security earnings, Medicare earnings, and federal and state taxes withheld for the employee.
- Tax return transcripts from the Internal Revenue Service
- If the IRS Data Retrieval Tool is used on your FAFSA, and no changes were made, our office will not need this document.
- The tax return transcript can be ordered from the IRS by calling 800.908.9946 or going online to www.IRS.gov. They may also be picked up at a local IRS office.
- Proof of dependent/independent Illinois Residency
- Dependent students will need to prove that their parents were Illinois residents as of the day the FAFSA was filed.
- Independent students need to provide documentation that proves they were Illinois residents one year prior to the start of the current academic year. For example, for the 2014-2015 year, the document provided would need to be issued before - September 1, 2013.
- Documents that can be provided to our office include:
- Illinois Driver's License
- Illinois identification card, issued by the Secretary of State
- Utility or rent bills
- Residential lease
- Property tax bill
- Illinois auto registration card
- Statement of benefits from Illinois Department of Public Aid
- Statement of benefits from the Social Security Administration
- Illinois voter's registration card