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Regulatory Changes to Application Processing

For the 2012-2013 award year, the Department of Education has made a significant change to the documentation requirements for applicants selected for verification. Verification is a process to confirm the information provided on an applicant’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Since most applicants can quickly and easily access IRS data through the Data Retrieval process, the government no longer considers it reasonable for an institution to accept anything less reliable than direct IRS-supplied evidence for verification of income data. Therefore, if an applicant selected for verification has not successfully transferred information from the IRS or did transfer the information but then changed it, the Department of Education 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.

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