Financial Aid Verification

Federal Verification

Federal verification is a process in which the U.S. Department of Education requires a university to verify the information provided on a student’s FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, the Office of Financial Aid is required to request additional documentation. The U.S. Department of Education selects students either randomly or if the FAFSA data were incomplete, estimated, or inconsistent. 

Verification Process:

  1. You’ll receive an email saying that you’ve been selected for verification. 
  2. You will be directed to complete an online process where you’ll submit required documents. 
  3. Once your information has been reviewed and verified, your financial aid will be applied to your student account.

Tax documentation should be from 2018 (for the 2020–2021 FAFSA) or 2019 (for the 2021–2022 FAFSA).

  • Dependent students must provide their parents’ tax return or complete the IRS Data Retrieval tool on the FAFSA. In addition, if you filed your own taxes, you must provide your own tax return or complete the IRS Data Retrieval tool.
  • Independent, married students who used the “married filing separate” tax filing status must provide their spouse’s IRS tax return.
  • Independent students who are currently married but were not married for the tax year requested by the FAFSA must provide a copy of their spouse’s IRS tax return (or IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter) for that tax year.
  • If you did not file a tax return for the tax year used on the FAFSA, you must submit the IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter, which provides proof that the IRS has no record of your tax return for that year. You can request this letter online (if you have filed a tax return in previous years) or by mail (if you have never filed a tax return) using the IRS Get Transcript Service.

AB540/DREAM Act/Undocumented Students

California students who are eligible to complete the California DREAM Act Application may be selected for verification and required to submit additional information by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Any necessary verification documents will be linked in myUSF Student Self-Service on the "Financial Aid" tab, under "Financial Aid Status."

New first-year students who graduated from a California High School and completed a Dream Act Application may follow the documentation instructions above, but will not have the option of using the IRS Data Retrieval.

Out-of-state, undocumented students are not required to provide proof of non-filing from the IRS.

In order to obtain IRS tax documentation, California Dream Act applicants and their parents may have to apply for an ITIN, if you do not already have one.

These documents can be faxed to (415) 422-6084. If you have any questions, please contact the USF Office of Financial Aid:

Office of Financial Aid
2130 Fulton Street, LM-203
San Francisco, CA 94117
Email: financialaid@usfca.edu

Phone: (415) 422-3387
Fax: (415) 422-6084