Verification is the process by which schools review student financial aid applications for accuracy. Institutions that participate in Federal Title IV aid programs are required to perform verification on a selection of students. Verification is done by collecting the documents the student used to complete the FAFSA and comparing them with the information the student provided on the FAFSA. You will not be able to receive financial aid until the verification process is complete. To receive maximum consideration for aid such as grants and/or work study, turn in all documents as quickly as possible.
If the student or parents file a tax extension, the student can tentatively be awarded, however no aid will disburse to the student's account until the tax returns are filed, and the student and parent must do one of the following:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to make corrections to the FAFSA; or
- Provide a copy of the Tax Transcript from the IRS to the financial aid office.
The U.S. Department randomly selects financial aid applications for the verification purposes. UNC Charlotte also reserves the right to select a student for verification. Students typically are selected for verification for the following reasons: FAFSA appears to contain inconsistent information or student used estimated tax return information when completing the FAFSA.
What is The Verification Process?
- Once our financial aid office receives your processed FAFSA, and if selected for the Verification process, a missing information E-mail notification will be sent to you indicating what information and documents are needed. After all requested information is submitted to the financial aid office, your file will be reviewed. If the financial aid office has further questions regarding your file, you will be contacted for additional clarification or document requests. It is your responsibility to respond to these requests. If you do not turn in the required information, your file will be held until all missing information has been received. You are encouraged to contact the financial aid office at any time with verification questions.
- You can also view required documents via your My UNC Charlotte account.
What Documents Does UNC Charlotte Need to Complete Verification and what is Verified?
- Verification Form [must be signed by student and parent (if required)] which verifies:
- Family Size (as defined on the FAFSA)
- Number of College Students (at least half-time pursuing a degree in student's household)
- Untaxed income of student, spouse (if required), parent (if required)
- Untaxed income may include child support received, untaxed interest and dividends, payments to tax deferred savings and pension plans, etc.
- Taxable financial aid received by student
- Child support paid by student, spouse (if required), parent(s) (if required)
Since most applicants can quickly and easily access IRS data through the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process, we no longer consider it reasonable for an institution to accept anything less reliable than IRS-supplied evidence for verification of income data. Therefore, if an applicant selected for verification has not successfully transferred information from the IRS, or one who did transfer the information but then changed it, the Department expects the institution to require the applicant, and if necessary the applicant’s parents, to provide an official IRS transcript of their Federal income tax information.
- The Federal IRS Tax Transcript [for student, spouse (if required), parent(s) (if required)] which verifies:
- Adjusted Gross Income
- Taxes Paid
- Tax-exempt interest
- Untaxed IRA Distributions/Deductions
- Untaxed pensions and annuities
- Keogh retirement plan and self-employed SEP
- Education Tax Credits
My parents do not claim me on their taxes; why am I still considered a dependent?
For state and federal financial aid purposes, a student is only considered independent if one or more of the following are true:
- you are 24 years old;
- you are enrolled in a graduate degree program;
- you are married;
- you have children or other dependents who receive more than half of their support from you;
- both of your parents are deceased;
- you are (or were until age 18) a ward/dependent of the court;
- or you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.
If none of these statements apply to you, you must provide parent information on your FAFSA and other financial aid documents. Extenuating circumstances may be reviewed by the financial aid office on a case by case basis to determine whether or not a professional judgement is necessary.