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Florida Gulf Coast University

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FGCU Financial Aid

Verification

 
 

The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships may, at any time, select applications for verification based upon the FASFA information provided. This process is required to assure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

Financial aid applicants for the 2013-2014 award year, selected for verification, must complete the process by the deadline of September 27, 2014 (subject to change by the Department of Education) or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment, whichever is earlier.

Note: If a student makes subsequent changes to their FAFSA, it is their responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships immediately, since any change could affect their Financial Aid eligibility, and in some instances drastically increase or decrease their initial eligibility status.

All Verification Forms are found on the Online Forms page of our website

          

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What is Verification?
?

Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure its accuracy.

The U.S. Department of Education or the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships may, at any time, select applications for verification based upon the FASFA information provided. This process is required to assure that all aid is awarded to students according to federal, state, and institutional regulations. If selected, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded.

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Why is my FAFSA being verified?

Below are some of the most common reasons; however, there may be others:

  • The submitted FAFSA application has incomplete data.
  • The data on the FAFSA application appears to contradict itself.
  • The FAFSA application has estimated information on it.
  • Random selection
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How will I be notified if I have been selected for verification?

Students will receive an email with instructions if chosen for verification.

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What documents/forms do I need to submit?

A list of Needed items will be listed on Gulfline. The documents required will vary based on each student. Students must provide all requested documents/forms to the Office of Financial Aid in order to complete the verification process and determine eligibility for financial aid.

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Where and how do I send these documents/forms?
  • Students may scan and email your documents/forms to your Financial Aid officer.
  • Students may fax your documents/forms to (239)590 - 7923
  • Students may mail your documents/forms to:

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Florida Gulf Coast University

10501 FGCU Boulevard S.

Fort Myers, FL 33965

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How long does the process take?

Students selected for verification will not be packaged for financial aid until the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships has received all requested, required documentation and the verification process has been completed. Depending on the time of year, the verification review process can take up to 15 business days from the time all requested, required documents are received.

  • All required documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than 14 business days from the initial date of request. Students should monitor their email daily to ensure timely processing.
  • Delays in submitting all required documents will cause a delay in awarding of financial aid, which may result in the student being responsible for paying fees out of pocket at the payment deadline date.
  • Individuals who have filed extensions or are self-employed and file their taxes later in the year are not excused from the verification process.
  • It is recommended that federal income tax returns be filed as soon as possible as tax data is needed to complete the verification process.

Financial aid applicants for the 2013-2014 award year, selected for verification, must complete the process by the deadline of September 26, 2014(subject to change by the Department of Education) or 120 days after the last day of the student’s enrollment, whichever is earlier.

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What happens if there are discrepancies with my FAFSA?

Once all requested documents/forms are received, they are compared to the original FAFSA. If discrepancies are found, the FAFSA will be reprocessed with the correct information. The correction could change the expected family contribution (EFC), which may cause a change in the final financial aid award.

Note: If a student makes subsequent changes to their FAFSA, it is his/her responsibility to notify the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships immediately, since any change could affect their Financial Aid eligibility.

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How can I check the status of my verification?

While the verification is being processed, the progress can be monitored on Gulfline. Under the Financial Aid tab, outstanding verification requirements are listed with a status code. Below is an explanation of each status code:

 

Letter Code

Status

Description

N

Needed

The documents are required by the Department of Education to start the verification process.

I

In Progress

The required documents have been received by our office. The documents are being reviewed. The process can take up to 15 business days to complete.

S

Sent

We reviewed your file and need additional documentation. An email has been sent to you with the details.

R

Received

The necessary documents have been received and processed.

C

Complete

All verification documents have been received and the process is complete.

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How do I verify my income?

Per the U.S. Department of Education, income can only be verified by transferring the income information electronically from a valid tax return to the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or by requesting and submitting a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

If a student is not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, he/she will be required to obtain a tax return transcript from the IRS and submit it the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Copies of tax returns (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ) are no longer accepted.

  • The fastest way to request a Tax Return Transcript is either by phone or online.
  • A Tax Return Transcript should be requested. DO NOT request a Tax Account Transcript or Record of Account unless directed by the office to do so.

Click here for IRS Data Retrieval and Tax Transcript request instructions

 

Participation in the verification process is not optional. If you do not submit the requested documentation, you will not be eligible to receive federal or institutional need-based financial aid and your parents will not be eligible to borrow a federal PLUS loan.

Collection and use of Social Security numbers

In compliance with FL Statute 119.071(5), The Office of Financial Aid at Florida Gulf Coast University may collect social security numbers for the following reasons:

For use in administering federal and state programs/loans, including verification of eligibility. These programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Aid and other related loan programs;
  • Scholarship Programs, including Bright Futures.
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How do I transfer my tax data to the FAFSA?

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Process

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to electronically transfer their tax information to their FAFSA directly from the IRS. Once you have completed your taxes, wait the appropriate length of time (1-2 weeks if filed electronically and 6-8 weeks if by mail) and follow the below steps:

  • Log back into www.fafsa.gov
  • Click on Make FAFSA Corrections.
  • Enter PIN and create a password.
  • Click on Financial Information tab.
  • Change from “Will File” to “Already Completed”.
  • If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Process, click on the Link to IRS link and click OK.
  • On the IRS web site, enter the requested information and click submit.
  • Click the box under the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” and then click Transfer Now.
  • You should then receive a message “You have successfully transferred your 2013 tax information”.
  • Do not change your income data once you successfully transfer it to your FAFSA.
  • Repeat this process under Student Financial Information if the student filed a tax return for 2013.
  • Continue to the Sign and Submit section and complete all required fields. Click “Submit FAFSA Now” and you will receive a confirmation number. You have now successfully submitted the FAFSA correction.

Check out our video tutorial here!

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If I am unable to transfer tax data, how do I order a Return Transcript?

How to Order IRS Tax Return Transcripts

Online Request
  • Available on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov
  • In the Online Services section of the homepage click “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records” under the "Tools" section.
  • There is a "Get Transcript Online" option or a "Get Transcript by Mail" option.
  • Get Transcript Online: Create an account with the IRS if you do not have one already
  • Get Transcript by Mail: Enter the tax filer’s Social Security Number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code. Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
    • Click “Continue”
    • In the Type of Transcript field, select “Return Transcript” and in the Tax Year field, select “2013”.
    • If successfully validated tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the on-line request was successfully transmitted to the IRS.
    • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.
Telephone Request
  • Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their social security number and the numbers in their street address. Generally this will be numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Select “Option 2” to request an IRS Tax Return Transcript and then enter “2013”.
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request, within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request.
  • IRS Tax Return Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party by the IRS.