Every year a percentage of FAFSA filers are selected for a process called verification. Verification requires schools to collect documentation to check the accuracy of the information reported on the FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, the verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded. Some people find they are selected every year, while others are never selected or only selected periodically. You can lower your chances of being selected for verification by using the IRS data retrieval process for yourself and your spouse/parents (if applicable) when completing the application and by taking your time and answering each question accurately according to the directions provided on the FAFSA.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification after you have been awarded, any funds that have been awarded will be locked until the verification process is complete. If the verification process is not completed in a timely manner, your aid may be cancelled, which could result in a balance owed to the college.

If you are selected for verification, you will be notified through your Gateway student email. You can also find a list of any necessary forms by logging into My Gateway | Self-Service | Financial Information | Financial Aid | Required Documents. All Financial Aid documents requested in the Required Documents must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office before your award can be determined.

The Financial Aid Office may be required to verify the following data elements on your FAFSA:

  • Adjusted Gross Income (parent and student, if the student is dependent).
  • Taxes Paid (parent and student, if the student is dependent).
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers).
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items (parent and student, if the student is dependent).
  • Household Size.
  • Number in College (excluding parents for a dependent student).
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information.

To verify the above elements, we may ask for some or all of the following documents; however, documents requested are not limited to this list. Specific documents requested will be based on a student's individual situation.

  • Copies of signed federal income tax return forms or IRS Tax Return Transcripts for the student, parent and/or spouse as necessary.
  • Dependent or Independent Verification Worksheet.
  • W-2s showing wages for student, parent and/or spouse as necessary.
  • Non-Filing Tax Form.

The worksheets listed above can be accessed through the Forms and Publications page under the Financial Aid Forms section.

Once verification begins, we may need to ask for additional documentation based on the information and documents provided. Please be sure to check your Gateway student email and the Required Documents on a regular basis for any updates on required forms or documents.

Once verification has been completed students are notified of the availability of their award letter by Gateway student email. This email will also contain instructions on how to log into My Gateway to review the award letter and take any appropriate action as needed.

If you have any questions or need verification forms or workshets for the prior school year, email the Financial Aid Office at