Carroll College, Helena Montana

Verification Questions

Q: What is verification?
Verification is a process used to verify certain information on the FAFSA to ensure accuracy.  Approximately 30% of all FAFSA applicants are selected for a process called verification by the Department of Education.

In this process, Carroll College will be comparing information from the FAFSA with unaltered IRS data via the IRS Data Retrieval tool (if applicable) or copies of the student (and parent's or spouse's, if applicable) Federal tax return transcripts, W-2 forms, other financial documents, as well as educational records (if necessary). The law requires the college to verify this information before awarding Federal financial aid.  If there are differences between the FAFSA information and supplied financial documents, Carroll College will make corrections electronically and notify the student in writing.

Q: What items are necessary for verification?
A: Students will be notified of specific, acceptable documentation needed for one of five custumized verification group(s), however, typical items required include:

  • Verification worksheet
  • Federal Income Tax Return Transcript or successful use of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (student, parent and/or spouse, if applicable)
  • W-2 (from all employers) for non-tax filers

* Stipulations may apply in certain cases; therefore the Financial Aid Office will notify you of any additional documentation requirements as applicable.

Q: When do I have to complete verification?
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.

Q: Can verification affect how federal aid is applied to my account?
Students who have been selected for federal verification cannot have federal aid disbursed to the school until the verification process has been completed.  Failure to complete verification will result in cancellation of all federal and institutional need-based aid.

Q: What happens if my parents or I do not file our federal taxes by the deadline?
If individuals have been granted an extension, they may provide a copy of the IRS Form 4868 Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or a copy of the IRS extension approval, along with copies of all W-2 forms, or if self-employed, a signed statement of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and U.S. income taxes paid.  Once the tax return has been filed with the IRS, and the tax return transcript is available, Carroll may require a copy of the tax return transcript or successful use of the IRS Data Retrieval tool to re-verify any information provided.