Carroll College, Helena Montana

Step 5 - Verification Process


Verification uses documentation to confirm that the information provided on a student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is correct. The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify, or confirm, the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the FAFSA.  In this process, Carroll College will be comparing information from the FAFSA with unaltered IRS data via the IRS Data Retrieval tool (if applicable) and/or copies of the student (and parent's) Federal tax return transcripts, W-2 forms or other financial documents as well as educational records (if necessary). The law requires the college to verify this information before awarding Federal financial aid. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the federal financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid for which they do not qualify.


If your Student Aid Report (FAFSA results) indicates you were selected for verification and you have not yet submitted the following to the Carroll College Financial Aid Office, you must:

Download either the DEPENDENT STUDENT VERIFICATION WORKSHEET or the INDEPENDENT STUDENT VERIFICATION WORKSHEET, complete and return to the Carroll College Financial Aid Office. 

Submit unaltered IRS Data directly from the IRS. The IRS Data Retrieval process (available February 7, 2016), will enable Title IV student aid applicants and parents of dependent applicants to transfer certain tax return information from an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website directly into their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web application. If IRS Data Retrieval was not utilized on the original FAFSA, make a correction at or send a copy of the student and (parent's, if dependent) 2015 Federal income tax return transcript to the Carroll College Financial Aid Office.  

Availability of 2015 Tax Data:
Whether the filer owed IRS or was due a refund determines when the IRS processes the return.  For those who owe taxes, the return is processed in May and June - which can delay use of the IRS DRT or accessing the tax transcript.

Applicants cannot use Data Retrieval if:

  • Parents are married filing separately
  • Parents are married filing head of household
  • If an amended return is filed
  • If filing a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return

Applicants unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval process or those who have altered IRS data MUST request a tax return transcript from the IRS.

The Tax Return Transcript is a simplified version of the completed return and serves as a document to prove that a person has filed a particular tax return with the IRS.

A Tax Return Transcript shows most lines items from your federal tax return (Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ) as it was originally filed with the IRS, including any accompanying forms and schedules.  It does not reflect any changes you, your representative or the IRS made after the return was filed.  In many cases, a return transcript will meet the requirements of lending institutions such as those offering mortgages and for applying for student loans.

Federal tax return transcripts may be requested by utilizing one of the following options:

There is no charge for transcript requests using any of the options listed above.  Please allow five to ten business days for delivery of your order online or by phone.

If the student, parent and/or spouse did not file and are not required to file a federal tax return in 2015, copies of IRS Form W-2 (from all employers) must be submitted to show proof of earnings. 

Transcripts for Victims of IRS Identity Theft

Transcripts for Victims of IRS Identity Theft

Tax filers who, because of IRS identity theft, are denied an IRS Tax Return Transcript using one of the regular request processes will be referred to the Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free number at 800-908-4490. 

Filers who believe they are victims of identity theft do not need to be referred to the IPSU; they may call the Identity Protection Specialized Unit number directly (800) 908-4490.  After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer's identify, the tax filer can request that the IRS mail to the tax filer an alternate paper tax return transcript.  The alternate transcript is known as the TRDBV (Transcript DataBase View), and will look different from the regular IRS Tax Return Transcript provided as a result of the standard request methods.

The TRDBV, however, is an official transcript that meets the Department's acceptable documentation requirement and therefore can be submitted to the school to meet verification requirements. Unless the school has reason to suspect the authenticity of the TRDBV, there is no need for the school to obtain an IRS signature or stamp or any other validation.


All verification documents should be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid prior to the start of the semester. Failure to do so can result in a delay in disbursing federal and institutional need-based aid.

Verification must be completed no later than 14 days prior to the end of the first semester of enrollment. Failure to complete verification will result in the cancellation of all federal and institutional need-based aid. In addition:

  • No federal loan(s) will be released until verification is completed.
  • Students employed under the federal work-study program cannot work more than 60 consecutive days from the beginning of the semester without completing verification.

Records selected for verification will be reviewed and processed within four weeks of receipt of all required verification documents.  If aid revisions are required, the student will receive a revised award letter notification via MyCarroll.

Carroll College must review the requested information under the financial aid program rules (34 CFR, Part 668).


Please contact us at .


IRS Data Retrieval Overview (PDF) »

IRS Data Retrieval Tutorial (VIDEO) »

Tax Return Transcripts Overview (PDF) »

Tax Transcripts By Mail

The IRS has provided the ability to request transcripts by mail.  You may request transcripts by mail via the IRS Electronic Transcript Request website.

Sample Tax Return Transcript