What is FAFSA Verification?

Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be selected for a review in a process called verification. This is to ensure that the information provided on your FAFSA is accurate.

To verify that you provided correct information we will compare your FAFSA with the information on the verification worksheet and any other required documents. If there are differences, your FAFSA information will be corrected and sent to the Department of Education for processing. Any changes to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) may affect your aid eligibility .

What documents are required for verification?

You will receive an email in your Shawnee State email account from the Financial Aid Office outlining the documents that are needed for the verification process.

Copies of the verification forms you may be asked to complete can be found at the Financial Aid Forms page.

Please be sure to submit the correct verification worksheet. The verification worksheet must be signed by you and, if you are a dependent student, your parent. We cannot accept electronic signatures. Be sure to provide your SSU ID number on all documents submitted to our office.

Verifying Income Information

In order to verify income information you should use the IRS Data Retrieval through FAFSA on the Web or request a tax return transcript from the IRS.

IRS Data Retrieval

If you did not originally use the IRS Data Retrieval, go to, log in to the student’s FAFSA record, select the “Make FAFSA Corrections” link, and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student/parent is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval to transfer the federal IRS income tax information into the student’s FAFSA.

Once you use the data retrieval, do not make any changes to the transferred information. If you are unable or choose not to use the IRS Data Retrieval tool, you will be required to provide a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS.

Tax Return Transcript

Please be sure to request a Tax Return Transcript (not the tax account transcript). The Federal Tax Return must be filed at least two weeks (if filing electronically) and eight weeks (if filing a paper return) before using the IRS Data Retrieval or requesting a tax return transcript.

You may request your Tax Return Transcript by phone, online, or by mail.

  • To order by phone: Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946.
  • To order online: Go to
  • To order by mail: Complete Form 4506-T (Request for Transcript of Tax Return) and mail to IRS.

Please do not send any documentation to the Financial Aid Office unless requested to do so. This could result in the FAFSA being selected for verification.

Once the verification process is complete, you will receive your financial aid award notification.

Where should verification documents be sent?

Your verification documents may be faxed or mailed to the Financial Aid Office with the exception of the Certification page and Statement of Educational Purpose. These two forms must be mailed or brought in person as we need original signatures.

  • By Fax:

    (740) 351-3435

  • By Mail:

    (Financial Aid Office
    Shawnee State University
    940 Second Street
    Portsmouth, OH 45662

  • In-Person:

    Student Business Center
    Morris University Center
    Second Floor
    (Campus Map (PDF))

Verification for Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

If an individual is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension beyond the six months by the IRS, provide the following documents:

  • A copy of the IRS' approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for tax year;
  • Verification of non-filing from the IRS dated after October 1, 2021; and
  • A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for tax year and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for tax year.

Verification for Individuals who Filed an Amended Tax Return

If an individual filed an amended IRS income tax return for tax year requested, provide the following:

  • A signed copy of the original IRS income tax return that was filed with the IRS; OR
  • An IRS Tax Return Transcript; AND
  • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” that was filed with the IRS.

Verification for Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft

Individuals who are victims of IRS tax-related identity theft must submit to the institution:

  • A Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV); AND
  • A statement signed and dated by the tax filers indicating that they were victims of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.

You must contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490 to request the Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV). Upon authentication of the tax filer’s identity, the IRS will provide, by U.S. Postal Service, a printout of the tax filer’s IRS income tax return information.

Verification for Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns

An individual filed or will file an income tax return with Puerto Rico, another U.S. territory (e.g., Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Marianas Islands), or with a foreign country, must provide a signed copy of that income tax return(s) for the tax year requested.