Adams State must check the accuracy of all applications the U.S. Department of Education’s Central Processing System (CPS) selects for verification. CPS selects applicants for verification due to edit checks which identify inconsistencies or potential errors, as well as randomly selects applicants for verification. ASU must also verify any application that it has reason to believe is incorrect, discrepant, or is found to have conflicting information with other offices within ASU.

Data to be Verified

  • Household size
  • Number in college
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)
  • US income taxes paid
  • Untaxed income and benefits including food stamps (SNAP benefits), child support, social security benefits, IRA/Keogh deductions, foreign income, educational credits, and the Earned Income Credit (EIC)

Verification Process

Students selected for verification are sent a letter including instructions regarding the documents that should be submitted to ASU within 60 days. The student’s financial aid file is held on a pending status and no offer will be made nor disbursed until the requested documentation has been received and reviewed. Aid will not be offered nor disbursed based on a tax extension (IRS form 4868). The final tax return must be received in order to disburse aid. Exceptions to verification requirements may be granted for students that are only eligible for Unsubsidized Stafford loans and PLUS loans, as these applications do not have to be verified.

The data reported on the verification worksheet, federal income tax transcript, and any other supporting documentation is checked against the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR). Generally speaking, when the new information conflicts with the original information presented on the FAFSA, corrections, updates, and adjustments may need to be made and a new expected family contribution (EFC) is calculated. Students will be notified through campus email of any changes or additional documents needed.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool

While completing a FAFSA, the IRS Data Retrieval Tool can be used to view and transfer tax information from the IRS if you have already filed your tax return (e.g. 2020 tax return for 2022-23 FAFSA).

The transfer option is not available if the tax filer:

  • filed taxes as married, filing separately
  • filed as head of household
  • filed an amended tax return
  • filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return
  • filed taxes recently, within the last 3 weeks

For these filers, tax information will need to be manually entered in the FAFSA and you may be required to obtain a copy of your IRS Tax Return Transcript (or your parents’ if you are a dependent student). Order an IRS Tax Return Transcript online or call 1-800-908-9946.

If “none of the above” is selected in the “Financial Information” tax filer section of the FAFSA, you may be required to enter the ID of the tax filer and link to the IRS.

You will temporarily leave the FAFSA website while linking to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. On the IRS site, follow the screen prompts to request your tax data retrieval. You must enter your personal information EXACTLY as it is listed on your tax return, including your name, address abbreviations, etc. When the IRS data transfer is complete, the student (and parent for dependent students) will need to re-sign the FAFSA with their ID.