As part of the financial aid process, colleges might ask you to verify that information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is accurate. When a college contacts you to verify financial information, it is not meant to intimidate or scare you. The financial aid office simply wants to ensure they are providing their students with the best possible aid package by guaranteeing accuracy.
If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when initially filing the FAFSA, you may be asked to do so during verification. This tool allows families to connect directly to the IRS from the FAFSA and thus transfer all tax information, while providing accurate figures to the school's financial aid office. If you are unable to access the DRT, the college may request copies of both you and your parent's Tax Transcript, which can be found on the IRS website.
It is also possible that verification will require more than just tax forms, as other documentation or worksheets may be requested. Remember that if you are accepted to more than one college or university, you may be asked to submit verification to more than one institution. The best way to stay current with verification and general correspondence from each college is by frequently checking your email, postal mail, and the school's online portal. Colleges and universities prefer to communicate directly with you rather than your parent, so make sure to check your email, portal, and mailbox regularly! The Financial Aid Office is a great resource for questions regarding verification and the overall process, so be sure to contact them with any questions or concerns.