Home » Verification



The U.S. Department of Education mandates that schools use the verification process to confirm the accuracy and completeness of information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The verification process is meant to ensure that Federal student financial aid is disbursed equitably and according to Federal law and program regulation. The Federal Processor determines who is selected for verification. If selected by the Federal Processor, the student is notified on the Student Aid Report (SAR). The Financial Aid Department of Columbia College also has the authority to select files for verification if a conflict of information is determined.

Verification Process

  1. If a student’s application has been selected for verification, the student will be notified on the SAR.
  2. Typically, the students can expect to receive notification that they have been selected for verification within 3~4 business days after they apply for FAFSA.
  3. The Financial Aid Office receives the student’s FAFSA result from the federal processors & notifies by phone and/or e-mail & sends a Verification Letter & Verification worksheet to those students who have been selected for verification.
  4. The Verification Letter will direct the student to submit several required documents with the verification worksheet together to the Financial Aid Office.
  5. Students must complete the required documents in their entirety, sign, and mail them to the Financial Aid Office at least 30 days before the start of the next payment period that you register for.

Elements to be verified

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

  • Adjusted Gross Income (parent & student, if the student is dependent)
  • Taxes Paid (parent & student, if the student is dependent)
  • Income Earned from Work (for non-tax filers)
  • Certain Untaxed Income Items (parent & student, if the student is dependent)
  • Household Size
  • Number in College (excluding parents for a dependent student)
  • Receipt of SNAP (food stamps) Benefit
  • Child Support Paid
  • High School Completion/Identity of Educational Purpose
  • Any other inconsistent or conflicting information.

Documents Needed to Complete Verification

There are three verification groups for the 2023-2024 award year. To verify these elements, the Office of Financial Aid may request that you provide the following documents based on your group selected.

  • The IRS Tax Return Transcript for 2021 for both student and spouse/parents
  • SNAP/food stamps benefits received in 2021 & 2022
  • Statement of child support paid in 2021
  • SNAP/food stamps benefits received in 2021 & 2022
  • Statement of child support paid in 2021
  • High school completion status (in English)
  • Complete an Identify/Statement of Educational Purpose
  • Provide all documents in V4-Custom & Tax Return Transcript
Note: If the student has not filed the 2021 Tax Return, he/she will need to provide documentation from the IRS that indicates a 2021 IRS income tax return was not filed with the IRS

How to apply for Tax Transcript

IRS Tax Return Transcript Request Process (Not Tax Account Transcript)

Tax filers can request a transcript, free of charge, of their 2021 Federal Income Tax Return Transcript from the IRS in one of the following ways.

OPTION 1: Online Immediate Assess to Your Electronic Tax Transcript(Number)

  • Available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov
  • In the Tools section of the homepage click “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records
  • Click on “Get Transcript ONLINE” on the left & Create a Login by clicking “GET STARTED
  • Complete steps 1-6 to set up an account
    • Step 1: Apply for your temporary account confirmation code. Enter your name, email address, and Click “Send email confirmation code.”
    • Step 2: Enter the temporary account confirmation code that was emailed to you
    • Step 3: Enter Personal Information
    • Step 4: Answer questions to verify your identity
    • Step 5&6: Create a security profile, user ID and password
  • Select “Higher Education/Student Aid” as your reason for requesting the Tax Return Transcript
  • Select the “2021 Return Transcript
  • When the Tax Return Transcript displays, print a copy or to save the file.
  • If the transcript request was unsuccessful, print the IRS Web page with the message.

OPTION 2: Online Request for Mailed Transcript(Number)

  • Available on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov
  • In the Tools section of the homepage click “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records
  • Click on “Get Transcript by Mail
  • Enter the tax filer’s SSN, DOB, and Address. Use the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed.
  • Click “Continue
  • In the Type of Transcript field, select “Return Transcript” and in the Tax Year field, select “2021”.
  • If successfully validated, you can receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript within 5 to 10 days.
  • If the transcript request was unsuccessful, prints the IRS Web page with the message.

OPTION 3: Telephone Request for Mailed Transcript

  • Available on the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946
If one of above three ways was unsuccessful, please do the following step.

OPTION 4: Paper Request for mailed Transcript –IRS Form 4506T-EZ or 4506-T(Number)

  1. IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used. (Download IRS Form 4506 T-EZ)
  2. Complete line 1-4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form.
  3. Line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4.
  4. The tax filers (or spouse if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
  5. Mail or fax the completed IRS Form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
  6. Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5 to 10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request.
  7. Processing form 4506T-EZ means verifying the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it is not able to provide the transcript.
  8. If the IRS cannot provide tax transcript, submit the following four documents.
  9. Tax non-filers have to use IRS Form 4506-T (Download at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506t.pdf ) with check #7 Verification of Non-filing.
  10. If the IRS cannot provide the tax transcript, the following four documents must be submitted by the student.

Documents must be submitted to Columbia College

  1. A signed copy of tax refund of prior year
  2. The printed IRS Web pages with the message (1&2)
  3. The copy of the completed and signed Form 4506T-EZ
  4. The copy of the IRS response to Form 4506T-EZ with signature and date by student

Questions about Verification Forms?

Read more about FAFSA Verification Process on our Verification Page.

Download Adobe Reader

PDF Reader is required to view these documents. Click on the icon below to download Adobe Reader.

Eligibility Infographic