Since most financial aid applicants can readily access IRS data using the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval Tool process, the federal government no longer considers it reasonable to accept anything less reliable than direct IRS-supplied tax return transcripts for verification of income. If an applicant is selected for verification of income information but did not use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer their information from the IRS, or who transferred the data but then changed it, must submit an official IRS-supplied federal tax return transcript.
What happens if there are discrepancies between the FAFSA application and the requested documentation?
After you submit all required documents, our financial aid
office will compare them with your Student Aid Report (SAR). If necessary, correction(s) will be made by our office based on the
documentation you provided to us. If correction(s) to a student's FAFSA result in a change in
the amount of financial aid that was initially awarded, our office will generate a revised financial aid award.
What if I did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option when I completed my FAFSA or I did but then changed the data?
You may go back to the online FAFSA
and utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool option to satisfy the federal tax document requirement.
We will need a federal tax return transcript to complete the
verification process. If you filed an amended federal tax return, please contact our office; additional forms are required for this.
Where do I need to sign and date?
Please include all required signatures and dates where requested. Failure to
do so will delay processing of your financial aid award.
If you are a dependent student, parental signatures and dates are required. If you are a married independent student, your spouse's signatures and dates are required.
What happens after all my documentation and signatures are submitted?
Once you have successfully submitted all required
documentation and signatures, the data you provided will be verified for
accuracy. This process can take up to three weeks but possibly longer
if reviewed during periods of high volume. Should any discrepancies
exist, corrections will be made and your financial aid award will be
based upon this corrected information.
Tips for Completing the FAFSA & Verification Process
Please read each question on the FAFSA carefully and answer
accurately. After completing the FAFSA and each subsequent correction
to the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the
Federal Processor. READ every SAR entirely, especially the comments
section. The SAR will notify you if your application has been selected
for Verification. If selected, please submit all documents as soon as
possible to the UW-Stevens Point Office of Student Financial Aid. Any
discrepancy must be verified by our office per federal guidelines. This
will slow down the processing of your application for financial aid.
The verification process can take up to several weeks for completion.
Your patience is appreciated. Below are some tips and information that
can be helpful through the process of completing the FAFSA and the
verification process (if selected).
Applicants that are selected for verification include a very
high percentage that have not filled out the FAFSA correctly. Due to this, when completing your FAFSA, be sure to follow the instructions
given and review your information for accuracy before submitting it.
You must use the name printed on your current Social Security Card on the FAFSA.
Read each line item on the FAFSA carefully, especially when
answering questions concerning household size, number in college, asset
information, and marital status. It is strongly encouraged to have
applicants and if applicable, their parents, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
option when completing the FAFSA.
submitting verification documents to our office, be sure all documents
requiring a signature are signed, all worksheets are fully completed
(include numerical value or if zero, write zero, do not leave answers
blank), and list student name and ID # on every document. Submit
copies, and keep originals for your own personal records.
If you and/or your parent(s) will not file a federal income tax return, you will be asked to verify this on the applicable Verification Worksheet.
Additional information may be required to complete
verification after submission of income information. If this is requested of you, please provide it as soon as
possible as we process all paperwork in date of receipt order which
would delay your aid.
Tips for Determining Household Size When Completing the FAFSA
- Include yourself, your spouse (if legally married), your legal
dependents, and others for whom you provide MORE than 50% of their
If your parents are divorced, use the household information for
the parent with whom you lived with the most. If that is 50/50, then
use the household information of the parent who provides MORE than 50%
of your support when filling out the FAFSA. The parent who claims you
as a dependent on their taxes does not matter when detemining which
household you report.
- If you live with both parents equally and they provide equal
financial support, then it is the parent who provides your health
insurance whose household information you must report.
- If the parent whose household you report is remarried, you must
include the step-parent and their tax information as well. If the
parent lives with a boyfriend/girlfriend, that person cannot be included
in the household since they are not legally married.
Will selection for verification prevent my aid from disbursing?
Financial aid cannot be disbursed
until you have submitted all requested documents, the information has
been verified by the Office of Student Financial Aid, and the
Department of Education has received and accepted any changes to the
original FAFSA information.
How can I be considered to receive the maximum amount of aid each year?
Financial aid packages are based upon many factors, including
financial need, available funding, federal and state regulations, and
In order to maximize your financial aid:
Complete your taxes as quickly as possible. File your FAFSA each year before our March 15 priority date and utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool if eligible to do so.
- If notified of your selection for verification, immediately submit all requested documentation to our office for review.
- Be sure all documents you submit to our office are signed.
- Be sure your name and Student ID number are on all documents you submit.
- Submit documents by fax to 715-346-3526 or through regular mail to: 1108 Fremont Street, Student Services Center Room 106, Stevens Point, WI, 54481
- If you need copies of your IRS tax return transcripts, call the IRS at (800) 908-9946 or ORDER A TRANSCRIPT free of charge.
- For returning students, regularly check your UWSP email account.
All requests for information and changes to your financial aid package
will be communicated via UWSP email.
- For new students, regularly check the permanent email account
you reported on your FAFSA. Information regarding your financial aid
will be sent to you via that address until you are assigned a UWSP email
account. Upon receiving your UWSP email account, notifications will be
- Students may use their accesSPoint account to identify if anything is missing or if any action is needed to ensure that a financial aid award is offered in a timely manner.
Avoid these common mistakes:
Forgetting to complete your FAFSA by the priority date.
- Assuming you’ve submitted your FAFSA without double-checking is
risky. Be sure to sign the online form with your FSA ID (parents too if
applicable!). Ensure that your FAFSA has been submitted successfully
via the confirmation page. Once you receive the link to your Student
Aid Report (SAR), verify that the information is correct and check your
Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
- Delays in submitting verification documents can be costly, because
many forms of aid have limited funding and are awarded on a first come,
first served basis. By the time your verification is completed, our
office may have run out of some types of aid.
- If you submit incomplete or illegible documents, you will be asked
to submit acceptable forms. This will cause delays in processing your
- Sending copies of income tax forms with information covered up by
another form will result in a delay. You will be asked to submit a
- Submitting documentation not requested by the Office of Student
Financial Aid may result in delays in processing your application for
- Failing to sign your required forms will also result in delays.