Learn about the FAFSA verification process and the steps you will take next to complete verification and finalize your financial aid at UM.
What is FAFSA verification?
Five Things You Need to Know About FAFSA Verification:
- Verification is a process to confirm the information you've submitted on your FAFSA and the UM Financial Aid Office is with here to help every step of the way.
- Generally, you will be asked to provide more documentation and complete a verification worksheet(s) and turn these in to the Financial Aid Office.
- It's important to complete the verification process as UM cannot process your financial aid until the verification process is complete.
- Once verification is complete, you will receive an email notifying you of the finalized award amounts.
- While you’ve most likely received an award offer from UM, those amounts are estimated and you will receive your finalized financial aid amounts after you finish the verification process. The Financial Aid Office is required to ask for additional documentation if, when reviewing a student's application, there appears to be discrepant information.
If you have any questions about the process or need assistance, the UM financial aid office is happy to help.
What do I need to do?
Log into your CyberBear account to view which documents you need to submit.
- Once logged in, click on the “Financial Aid” tab.
- Select “My Overall Status of Financial Aid.”
- Select “2021-2022” as the aid year.
Please submit these required items to the UM Financial Aid Office no later than May 15, 2021.
After all your documents have been submitted, staff in UM’s Financial Aid Office will review your eligibility and reach out to you through your UM student email account if they have any questions, so be sure you are regularly logging into your student email.
Why was I selected for verification?
FAFSA verification selection is random. Just because you've been chosen for verification does not mean that there was something wrong with your FAFSA.
Approximately 30% of all students who submit a FAFSA are selected for verification. Selection is made by the U.S. Department of Education. You may be selected for verification more than once during your college career.
Helpful Verification Information
IRS Data Retrieval Tool
As part of the verification process, students and parents may be required to submit their federal income tax return data to the financial aid office. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows users to transfer tax information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. This information is then forwarded to the schools listed on the FAFSA, which in turn satisfies the requirement to provide tax data.
Note: If after using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool a family alters any of the income data, the data will be invalidated and a tax transcript will be required in its place.
Not everyone is able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The alternate way of providing the required data is to submit an IRS tax return transcript.
For Information on the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, refer to the IRS Data Retrieval/Return Transcript Instructions.
IRS Tax Return Transcript
As part of the verification process, students and parents may be required to submit their federal income tax return data to the financial aid office. Those individuals who are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will need to provide an IRS tax return transcript or a signed copy of that tax year's federal return (i.e. 1040 Form).
A tax return transcript is a record of the tax data in the IRS database, and as such is considered acceptable documentation.
For information on requesting a return transcript, refer to the IRS Data Retrieval/Return Transcript Instructions.
Tax Extension Filers
Beginning with the 17-18 FAFSA, the reported tax data is from the prior-prior tax year. If a family selected for verification still has not filed their taxes by the extension deadline (October 15) then they will need to submit documentation to the financial aid office showing that the IRS authorized an extension past the October deadline.
To satisfy verification requirements, some individuals are required to confirm their identity. Students do this by bringing government ID, in person, to the financial aid staff in Griz Central.
Those students unable to do so (distance only students) or who want to satisfy the requirement before they arrive on campus, can do so by completing the Identity Verification & Statement of Educational Purpose. This form will need to be completed in front of a notary public and the original document, along with a copy of the ID presented to the notary, sent to the financial aid office.
Amended Tax Returns & Identity Theft
For grant aid to appear on the bill as a pending credit, verification documentation must be submitted prior to May 15 for the autumn semester, November 1 for the spring semester and April 1 for the summer semester.
For the Federal Pell Grant, students have up to one hundred and twenty (120) days after they cease to be enrolled in the academic year to complete verification. If enrolled in the summer, verification must be completed by September 15.
Understand that completing verification includes the time required for the school to submit corrections to the federal processor. Students need to also allow time for the financial aid office to determine award eligibility.