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Verification

Verification FAQs


Explanation of Verification

The U.S. Department of Education and The University of Texas at San Antonio are federally obligated to select a percentage of financial aid recipients for a review process referred to as verification. If your application is selected for verification, you will be notified when you receive your Award Notice.  Student’s may also check their ASAP accounts to view a list of the required documents necessary to complete the process. UTSA is required to complete this process prior to certifying student loans or disbursing financial aid funds to a student's account. Failure to complete the verification process may result in the cancellation of student financial aid.

Verification Submission Guidelines

If your application is selected, you are required to submit several official documents as indicated below. Please submit all documentation at the same time and write your name and myUTSA ID at the top of every document. Documentation submitted by fax cannot be accepted. You may submit verification documents to us via US mail, drop box or in person at Financial Aid and Enrollment Services. Please use our Verification Frequently Asked Questions below for additional information and instructions on submitting a verification packet.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)

You may use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax information form the IRS to your FAFSA in lieu of submitting tax forms. Simply log onto your FAFSA and submit an update using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. View our Verification FAQs below for a listing of who is and is not eligible to use this new tool.

Dependent Student Checklist

OR

  • Signed copies of the student tax return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ)
  • Signed copies of the parent tax return (1040, 1040A or 1040EZ)
  • Dependent Verification Worksheet

Independent Student Checklist

OR

*The IRS DRT is not available for use if you are a married couple filing separately.

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Verification FAQs

Am I required to respond to a Verification request?

Yes. The U.S. Department of Education requires that you comply with our requests for official documents. Failure to submit and return all the requested information within the designated time frame may result in the cancellation of your student financial aid. UTSA is required to complete Verification prior to certifying student loans and disbursing federal aid.  Furthermore, failure to turn in necessary documentation could result in you being dropped for non-payment.

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Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA?

The U.S. Department of Education and The University of Texas at San Antonio are federally obligated to select financial aid recipients for a review process referred to as verification. The purpose of verification is to allow UTSA to verify the information you reported on your FAFSA to ensure its accuracy. If any information needs to be updated or corrected, UTSA can and will make those corrections and submit them to the Department of Education for processing on your behalf. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to provide information in the event you are selected to check the accuracy of your completed FAFSA.

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How do I send you the information?

Documentation can be submitted in person at the Enrollment Services counter, via U.S. mail, or at our drop box location. Documentation submitted via fax will not be accepted and the documents will have to be resubmitted in the proper fashion. Faxed verification documents will be shredded for security purposes.

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Will all my tax information and documents be kept confidential?

Yes, all your tax returns and financial information are kept confidential. If your parent(s) are requesting specific information regarding your verification or financial aid, we will not release information unless you (the student) have provided us with a Student Authorization to Release Education Records Form.  This form allows you to designate whom you want to have access to your financial aid information.

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What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) and how do I use it?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) allows students and parents to access IRS tax return information and transfer it directly into their FAFSA. You are ineligible to use the DRT if you (or your parents) are married but filed separately or if your marital status marital status has changed as of January 1. We highly recommend using this tool if you are eligible for several reasons:

  • It's the easiest way to provide tax data
  • It's the best way to ensure your FAFSA has accurate tax information
  • You won't need to provide a copy of your or your parents tax returns if selected for verification

Please note that the IRS DRT may not be available for immediate use after filing your federal taxes. If you filed your taxes electronically, it could take up to 2-3 weeks for your tax information to become available on the DRT. If you filed a paper tax return, please allow 6-8 weeks to use the DRT. If you do not use the IRS DRT to provide tax information and we request a copy of your (or your parents') tax return, you may be required to obtain an official tax return transcript from the IRS.

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What if I amended my taxes, can I still use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

No, if you amended your taxes, you cannot use the DRT. You will need to submit a signed copy of your orignal tax return along with your amended tax return (1040X) to our office. If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you may request a tax return transcript from www.irs.gov.

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Which pages of my (and my parent/spouse) federal tax return do you need?

Please submit a signed copy of both your parents and your (and spouse if applicable) federal tax returns and any other supplementary forms that indicate any income earned. This also includes any foreign income earned from employment abroad. If you are filing a 1040 or 1040A, you must submit the first two pages that includes wages and taxes paid. If you are filing a 1040EZ, you will need to submit only one page that has both the wages and taxes paid. You may choose to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax information from the IRS to your FAFSA in lieu of submitting tax returns.

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What if my parents or I don’t have a copy of our official federal tax returns?

If you do not have a copy of your tax return, you must contact the Internal Revenue Service to request a Tax Return Transcript of your federal tax return. You and/or your parent can go online at www.irs.gov, click on "Tools", then click "Get Transcript for My Tax Records" or you may call 1-800-829-1040. 

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Once I've submitted all my verification documents, taxes, I'm done, right?

If necessary we may request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies that arise during the processing of your paperwork.  Please check your preferred email as indicated on ASAP and your ASAP account regularly for any updates concerning the review and processing of your file.  In the event we must contact you, please respond to these requests as quickly as possible as failure to do so will only further delay disbursement of your financial aid.

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What if my parents or I have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

Unfortunately, we will not process your verification until your taxes have been officially filed with the IRS and you have submitted all your signed federal tax documents and supporting documentation to our department. Your financial aid awards will not disburse until verification is complete. 

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What if I wasn’t required to file a federal tax return?

 If you or your parents were not required to file a tax return, please self-certify this information by checking the appropriate box for those persons under STEP 2: INCOME INFORMATION AND/OR TAX FORMS on the Verification Worksheet. A "verification of non-filing" statement from the IRS may be requested upon further review. Additional information or documents may be necessary to complete your verification and may be requested by UTSA at any time.

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How do I know who to include in the Household on my verification form?

People in your house hold must live with you between July 1 of the current year and June 30 of the following year.

Dependent Students: List the people that your parents will support. Include yourself, your parents, and your parents’ dependent children (if your parents provide more than half support, or if they would be required to give parental information when applying for federal student aid).

Independent Students: List the people that you (and your spouse) will support. Include yourself, your spouse, your children, and other people if they live with you (and you provide more than half of their support and will continue to provide half their support). 

Include other people as part of your family only if:
They lived with your parents and received more than half their support from your parents at the time you completed your FAFSA, and they will continue to receive more than half of their support from you and/or your spouse during the academic year.

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Do I include everyone in my household who attends college?

Write in the name of the college for any family member who will be attending college at least half-time between July 1 of this year and June 30 of next year and will be enrolled in a degree or certificate program.

Dependent students:  If your parent(s) happens to be attending a college or university, you do not include them in your number in college.

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My parents are divorced. Am I required to submit my step-parent's information for the verification? What if they don't support me financially?

Yes, you must include your step-parent's information on the verification forms and submit copies of their federal income tax returns. The U.S. Department of Education requires that you submit all requested information for the parent(s) with whom you live and also anyone married to the parent with whom you live.

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What if my parents don't support me?

If you are a dependent student, your parents must submit any and all financial information requested by the UTSA, regardless of whether or not they support you or intend to continue supporting you. If you have an unusual circumstance surrounding your parental support, please email us at financialaid@utsa.edu.

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Questions?

If you have any further questions please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services at (210) 458-8000 or toll-free at (800) 669-0919.  Or if you prefer, email us at financialaid@utsa.edu from your preferred email account as indicated on ASAP.