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Your FAFSA and the Verification Process

Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will notify you if you have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education for the process known as verification. Hampshire College may also select you for the verification process. The U.S. Department of Education may select a student based on certain information provided on the FAFSA, or it could be a random selection. Hampshire College may select a student because of inconsistent or conflicting information.

The verification process requires the student to complete and return a specific Verification Worksheet to the financial aid office. There are five different Worksheets: the Standard, Child Support Paid, Custom, Aggregate, and Household Resources. Students must be sure to complete their specific worksheet. You may view which of the five is required by clicking on the "My Financial Aid" link on TheHub. Once you have confirmed which worksheet is required, click here to print the appropriate worksheet. 

Some additional forms and data may be required for each of the five different worksheets. Carefully read the instructions on your specific worksheet to make sure you provide all of the requested information. Some of the additional information may include the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT), an IRS tax return transcript, copies of W2 forms, and proof of a high school diploma. Depending on your individual situation, we may also request other additional information, such as a 1099-R or the 1040X form. These additional forms will appear on The Hub.

The Standard, Aggregate, and Household Resources Worksheets also require the financial aid office to verify the student's and the custodial parents' income.  More information about the income verification process.

The Custom and Aggregate Worksheets require proof of a high school diploma or an equivalent. Please attach the appropriate document (see list on worksheet) to the worksheet.

The Standard, Child Support Paid, and Household Resources Worksheets may be mailed, faxed, or scanned and emailed to the financial aid office. The Custom and Aggregate Worksheets cannot be faxed or scanned and emailed; these must be either mailed to the office or the student may complete the Identity and Statement of Education Purpose section of the worksheet in person at the financial aid office.

If you have questions about the verification process or about the verification worksheets, please call the financial aid office at 413.559.5484.

Special Verification Cases

There are several tax and financial situations which require additional forms to complete the verification process. Please review the cases listed below. Please contact the financial aid office if you have any questions about any of these cases. If you are sending any forms to the financial aid office please be sure to write the student's name or college ID number on the document so we may match it to the appropriate file.

Filers of amended tax returns. Students or parents who file an amended tax return cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). In place of the DRT, please provide the following forms to the financial aid office to complete verification:

1. a signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed, and
2. a signed copy of the original tax return that was filed or an IRS Tax Return Transcript.

Victims of identify theft. Tax filers who cannot get an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) must call the IRS' Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) toll-free at 800.908.4490. After the IPSU authenticates the tax filer's identity, she can ask the IRS to mail her an alternate paper tax return transcript known as the TRDBV (Transcript DataBase View) that will look different than a regular transcript, but it is official and can be used for verification. The tax filer will then send the TRDBV to the financial aid office.

Filers of joint returns who are no longer married. When dependent students' parents filed a joint return and have separated, divorced, married someone else, or been widowed, the students must submit to the financial aid office a copy of each W-2 form for the parent whose tax information is on the FAFSA. Similarly, an independent student must submit a copy of each of his W-2 forms if he filed a joint return and is separated, divorced, or a widow.

For filers of non-U.S. tax returns, obtaining an IRS tax return tanscript is not possible. In these cases we may accept a copy of the tax return, which must be signed by the filer or one of the filers of a joint return. We will use the income and tax information that most closely corresponds to the information on the IRS tax return, and convert monetary amounts into U.S. dollars as appropriate.

For non-tax filers we must receive a W-2 from for each source of employment income. We also need a signed statement giving the sources and amounts of the person's income earned from work not on W-2s and certifying that the person has not filed and is not required to file a tax return. Persons from a foreign country who are not required to file a tax return can provide the signed statement certifying their income and taxes paid.

Rollovers of qualified IRA, pensions, and annuities. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) and the IRS Tax Return Transcript are not able to identify rollovers of IRA, pension, and annuity distributions. Generally, amounts of any distributions that were excluded from taxable income under the IRS rules--the difference between line 15a and line 15b or between 16a and 16b--are considered untaxed income for the purpose of calculating an applicant's expected family contribution (EFC). In the case of a rollover, the tax filer may provide the financial aid office with a copy of the 1099-R form which identifies the amount of any rollover (box 7). The financial aid office will adjust the amount of untaxed IRA and pension distributions on the FAFSA using this form.

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