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Federal Verification

What You Need to Know

Federal verification is a process which requires institutions to verify the accuracy of information provided on a student's FAFSA in an effort to assure federal aid is distributed to those who are eligible. Approximately 20% of FAFSA applications are selected by the federal processor for verification each year.

Schools may be required to verify any or all of the following criteria:

  • Household size (number of people in your household)
  • Number enrolled in college (number of household members attending a post-secondary educational institution at least half time)
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or income earned from work if income is below minimum required for income tax filing
  • U.S. Income Tax Paid
  • Certain Untaxed Income and Benefits, such as education credits; untaxed IRA distributions; untaxed pensions; IRA deductions; and interest on tax free bonds
  • Other Untaxed Income, such as: payments to tax-deferred pension and savings; child support received housing; food and other living allowances paid to members of the military, clergy and others; veterans noneducation benefits; other untaxed income; and money received or paid on the applicant’s behalf
  • Child Support Paid
  • Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP benefits
  • High school completion status
  • Identity/Statement of educational purpose

University of Dayton students selected for verification will be notified via email. Instructions for completing the process will be detailed in that email correspondence. All requested documentation should be submitted within 30 days of request. Failure to do so may result in the reduction and/or cancellation of any need-based federal, state, or university aid. 

Visit our Financial Aid Forms Process page for more information about how to complete and submit this information.

Documentation Requirements

The verification worksheet is used to verify self-reported household size and household number in college. 

All financial aid forms are provided electronically through Adobe Sign. The Verification Worksheet will be emailed to students and parents (if dependent for aid purposes) that are required to complete federal verification. 

To satisfy our request for IRS documentation*, please read the options below, then select one:

  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool - Allows for transfer of IRS tax year data directly into FAFSA (recommended)
  • IRS Tax Return Transcript  
    To request an IRS tax return transcript, call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 or request online. Use this option when one of the following scenarios exist:
    •  the tax filer was deemed ineligible to use the IRS DRT, or
    •  the tax filer originally transferred the IRS data to the FAFSA using DRT but then updated the IRS data manually, or
    •  the tax filer filed an amended tax return. In this case, the filer must also submit a signed copy of IRS Form 1040X to us.
  • Signed Copies of IRS Federal Tax Returns (Form 1040)
    • If selected for verification for the 2023-24 aid year, we may accept signed copies of your 2021 return, including all schedules.
*Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns
  • A tax filer who filed an income tax return with Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands may provide a signed copy of his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority. However, if we question the accuracy of the information on the signed copy of the income tax return, the tax filer must provide us with a copy of the tax account information issued by the relevant tax authority before verification can be completed. 
  • A tax filer who filed an income tax return with the tax authority for American Samoa must provide a copy of his or her tax account information.
  • A tax filer who filed an income tax return with tax authorities not mentioned above, i.e. a foreign tax authority, and who indicates that he or she is unable to obtain the tax account information free of charge, must provide documentation that the tax authority charges a fee to obtain that information, along with a signed copy of his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority. 

If you did not file a federal return for the required tax year, you will still be required to submit wage statements (W-2, 1099, etc) from all entities for which you had earned income, in addition to the Student and/or Parent IRS Tax Information form, which is emailed to you directly.

In addition, independent students and parents of dependent students must request the IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter (VONF).

If you attempted to request the VONF but were unsuccessful, please contact our office for further instructions. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Verification is a process by which the University of Dayton reviews the demographic and financial information on the FAFSA as selected by the Department of Education. Selection for verification does not imply that you have made an error or made false statements.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) does not share with applicants the specific reason why their FAFSA was selected. The DOE uses a formula, not revealed to colleges and universities, to select applicants based on common data errors.

An IRS Tax Transcript is a document issued by the IRS which provides most line items from your originally filed federal tax return. The two fastest methods to request a transcript are either online at or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.

Yes, you must complete and submit the requested verification documents for your federal financial aid to be disbursed. Failure to complete the verification process could result in the delay or reduction of your financial aid. If you do not wish to utilize federal financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid. If you are an incoming student, failure to complete Verification can possibly affect your University aid as well.

If a student who is selected for verification does not complete the verification process, then any Federal and/or need-based aid (Pell Grant, SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct loans, certain scholarships, and institutional aid) will NOT be awarded or disbursed.

Once your verification documents are reviewed with your FAFSA, there is sometimes a need to make corrections to your FAFSA based on the information the student has provided. When a correction is requested to your FAFSA, processing will delay your verification by 3 to 5 business days while we wait to receive your corrected FAFSA.

An international student must be considered an eligible noncitizen to be eligible for federal aid to then complete the FAFSA. Eligible noncitizens include U.S. permanent residents who hold valid green cards, U.S. nationals, individuals who hold form I-94 and have been granted refugee or asylum status and certain other noncitizens.

During verification, the Office of Financial Aid compares information from the student’s FAFSA with all other required verification documents. If needed, we will correct a student’s FAFSA and submit them to the federal processor. Therefore, it is very important during or after verification that a student (or parent, spouse) NOT make any changes to the FAFSA as this will only delay the awarding and disbursing of Federal or need-based aid (Pell Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Work-Study, certain scholarships, etc.).

Verification processing time is generally two weeks during peak season (June-October), and one to two weeks during non-peak season (November-May) once all required documents have been received. Therefore, students should start the process as soon as possible. We recommend having paperwork submitted NO LATER THAN JUNE 1 in order to be ready for the fall term. See below for a few ways to expedite the process:

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool OR Request Tax Return Transcripts as soon as notified.
  • Complete the required AdobeSign form(s) accurately and attach all necessary documents.
  • Keep a copy of all documents submitted for your records

We will reach out via the student’s University of Dayton email address. We encourage students to regularly check their university email.


Office of Recruitment and Admission

Albert Emanuel Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1602