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Verification FAQ

What is verification and why did I get selected?

Verification is the review process used to make sure the information you entered on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. 
The U.S Department of Education selects a number of students for verification. UMass Lowell may also select applicants for verification to correct any potential conflicts in information. 

If your FAFSA is selected, per federal guidelines, we are required to collect all necessary documentation from you and your parents or spouse (if married).  It is your responsibility to submit the required verification documentation to The Solution Center as soon as possible.  

IMPORTANT: Incomplete verification may result in cancellation of your financial aid.

How will I know if I have been selected for verification?

New incoming students will get an initial letter mailed home and subsequent notifications to the university student email account requesting required verification documents. Returning students will only receive emails.  You may also view missing paperwork on your SiS To Do List.

What documents do I need to submit for verification?

If you are a DEPENDENT student please submit the following documents: 

  • Dependent Verification Worksheet
  • Student and Parent W2 Forms
  • Student and Parent IRS Tax Return Transcripts; It is strongly encouraged you use the IRS Data Retrieval (DRT) option 

If you are an INDEPENDENT student please submit the following documents: 

  • Independent Verification Worksheet
  • Student and Spouse (if married) W2 Forms 
  • Student and Spouse (if married) IRS Tax Return Transcripts; It is strongly encouraged you use the IRS Data Retrieval (DRT) option 

How do I know you received my documents?

You may check the status of documents submitted on your SiS To Do list.  Allow 48-72 hours from the time you submit documents to The Solution Center to update your To Do List.

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) Option?

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is the fastest and easiest option to transfer your income tax information from the IRS directly to the FAFSA online. We strongly encourage you to use the IRS DRT to reduce errors and the chances of being selected for the verification process. 

Why should I use the IRS Data Retrieval Option?

  • Reduces the chances of being selected for verification
  • If selected for verification, it will satisfy the tax return transcript requirement 
  • Tax Information on the FAFSA will be the most accurate
  • You can use the DRT to update your income information and avoid unnecessary processing delays
  • It is the most effective way to prevent conflicting information on the FAFSA
  • It is strongly encouraged by the Department of Education and Financial Aid Administrators 

What if I can't use the IRS Data Retrieval Option?

If you meet any of the criteria below, you will NOT be able to use the DRT: 
  • Filing status is ‘Married Filing Separately’ or ‘Head of Household’
  • Marital status has changed as of January 1 of the corresponding tax year
  • Filed an amended tax return
  • Filed a foreign or Puerto Rican return in lieu of federal return

If you cannot use the DRT, you will need to provide hard copies of your tax return transcripts if requested by the school.

I submitted all of the documents needed for Verification. Why are you requesting more?

Some of the reasons additional information may be requested include, but are not limited to: 
  • Required documentation is incomplete
    • Sections left blank
    • Missing signatures 
    • Missing Pages 
  • Additional forms that may be needed upon request: 
    • Low Income Verification Form 
    • Confirmation of Assets
    • Child Support Confirmation 
    • Untaxed Income Verification Form 
    • UML Non-Filer Income Tax Statement 
 An email, letting you know what information is still needed to complete verification, will be sent to your UML student email. You can also view missing documents on your SiS To Do List.

What happens if discrepancies are found once verification is complete?

Your financial aid will be adjusted based on the new verified Expected Family Contribution (EFC). An email will be sent your student email account letting you know about the changes. You can also see these changes on your SiS account.

Can I make changes to my FAFSA after verification is complete?

No. Changes made to the FAFSA after verification is complete will not be accepted by the school. If you have any questions contact The Solution Center.

How long does verification take?

Generally, once all of the requested verification documents are received, the verification review process can take up to 10 business days to complete. If additional information is needed to resolve any further discrepancies, the review process may take longer.