There is a process called “verification” that financial aid applicants should be made aware. A selection of students that file the FAFSA will be randomly selected to participate in a “verification” process which requires the applicant to furnish a copy of the federal tax transcript to the financial aid office. The financial aid office will then “verify” that the information submitted on the FAFSA is completely accurate.
If you are selected for verification, please do not panic; however, realize that you must oblige with the request and furnish your tax transcript, as instructed. Tax transcripts must be requested from the IRS and furnished to the college directly from the IRS. This is different from past years when families could submit a copy of their tax returns to the college. New rules and regulations dictate that if selected for verification, tax transcripts need to be requested from the IRS and in turn sent directly to the college. The verification process is random so know that you did not doing anything wrong if selected, it is just a process that you need to go through.
For a resource guide for the financial aid process, check out Financial Aid Sense, an invaluable tool to help you through the process.