Federal Verification Process

About Verification

The Johnson State College Financial Aid Office compares information reported on the FAFSA to information on other financial aid documents we have requested to insure accuracy.

  • Students can be randomly selected for verification by the Department of Education when your FAFSA is processed or by our office if there appears to be conflicting information.
  • The submission of verification documents is required by law before financial aid can be disbursed.
  • Verification can occur even after you have received your financial aid award and may cause changes to your aid package.
  • Please submit requested information as soon as possible or certain aid types you have been awarded may be forfeited due to availability of funds.


Students selected for verification will be notified by email to check their Document Status on the MyJSC Portal to determine what is required by our office.

Types of Information

We may request documentation of family size, number in college, child support paid, proof of receipt of food stamps, and/or untaxed income; downloadable forms are available from our Forms & Resources page. Federal tax information may also be requested; it is important to read the new requirements below.

Regulations to Verify Federal Tax Return Information

Financial Aid administrators can no longer accept copies of federal tax returns from students and parents for verification purposes. Applicants selected for verification of tax information have two options to provide tax return documentation to our office.

1. Use the IRS Data Retrieval process when filing the FAFSA.

When completing the FAFSA on line, students and parents that indicate they have filed their federal tax returns will be directed to use the FAFSA-IRS Data Retrieval process to access their IRS tax return information.

Because this data comes directly from the tax return that you filed with the IRS, in most cases the data is considered “verified” for FAFSA purposes. Please note the tax return must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) prior to using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval to allow the IRS time to process the return.  If filing a paper return you should be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval in 6-8 weeks from the time you mailed your return.

If families used "estimated income" on the initial FAFSA filing they will be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval process when tax returns are completed. Starting in April the Federal Student Aid processor will remind applicants to make corrections to the FAFSA and use the Retrieval process at that time.

If you encounter problems and need assistance with the IRS Data Retrieval process you can call the federal processor at 1-800-433-3243 or the IRS at 1-800-908-9946. These are issues that JSC will not be able to assist with.

2. Request a copy of your Federal Tax Return Transcript.

If federal tax information is required for verification an official tax transcript will be required for tax filers unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval process.

If selected for verification and any of the following situations apply, an IRS Transcript will be required: a paper FAFSA is used; parents of a dependent student file separate returns, parents who had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year and situations requiring an amended tax return be filed.

Families that chose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval process or used the process, but subsequently changed information will also be required to submit an official transcript.

If a student is dependent for financial aid purposes and both you and parents filed tax returns a transcript will be required from both of you to meet the verification requirements.

PLEASE NOTE: Copies of tax returns can no longer be accepted to verify federal tax data; this is a federal law all colleges must follow; not a JSC policy. If tax returns are submitted they will be shredded and you will continue to receive notification that an IRS Transcript is required.

To assist you in making a request for an IRS Tax Transcript please refer to this page.