Back to Top
Approximately 30% of all applications are picked for a process called Verification by the U.S. Department of Education. Verification is a routine process required by federal law before financial aid can be disbursed.

Effective July 13, 2021: The Department of Education changed its verification requirements for the 2021-2022 academic year, to provide relief to students and colleges during the current pandemic. The verification process requires institutions to collect and verify household size, income and other financial information before determining a student’s financial aid eligibility.

Effective May 18, 2022: The Department of Education changed its verification requirements for the 2022-2023 academic year, to provide relief to students and colleges during the current pandemic. The verification process requires institutions to collect and verify household size, income and other financial information before determining a student’s financial aid eligibility.

While the Department of Education has temporarily suspended the verification process, institutions are required to review files throughout the year to resolve conflicting information concerning financial aid eligibility. Maryland state financial aid and other scholarships may require a review of verification information. Therefore, you may still be required to complete the verification process at any time to maintain your aid eligibility. It is important to respond to any requests you may receive from our office and check your MyAACC account regularly.

What are the requirements?

The set of data elements subject to verification may change from one year to the next. You will be asked to complete a verification worksheet and provide copies of all required tax information, including signed copies of your taxes or tax schedules and any income or earnings statements such as W2 and 1099 forms. In addition, you may need to submit tax and income information belonging to your parent or spouse. You may also be asked to verify your high school completion status and asked to complete a Statement of Educational Purpose and Identity.

Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

All students and their parents are strongly encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when filling out their FAFSA.

  1. Log in to your current FAFSA form, in the finances section, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
  2. Click the “Link to the IRS” button.  Log in with your FSA ID to be transferred to the IRS to retrieve your information.
  3. At the IRS site, enter your information exactly as it appears on your Federal income tax return and click the “Submit” button.
  4. Check the “Transfer My Tax information into the FAFSA form” box, then click the “Transfer Now” button. Do not make changes to the tax information once the “transfer” has taken place.
  5. You will know that your Federal tax return information has been successfully transferred because the words “Transferred from the IRS” will display in place of the IRS information on your FAFSA.
  6. Follow the same steps for parent information, if required.

Our office will usually receive your updated information in three to five business days. 

Once we receive a successful match, your "Requested Financial Aid Documents" list will be updated.

Requesting a Tax Return Transcript

You can request a tax return transcript from the IRS. 

A tax return transcript shows the most line items from your tax return (Form 1040) as it was originally filed and any accompanying forms and schedules. It does not reflect any changes that you, your representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed.

Confirmation of Non-Filing

Parents and Independent Students and their spouses who did not file Federal Income Taxes are required to submit a Confirmation of Non-Filing Letter to our office along with all W2 Forms and 1099 forms.

Dependent students who did not file taxes are not required to submit a Confirmation of Non-Filing.

You can use IRS Form 4506-T to request the Confirmation of Non Filing from the IRS. 

Check Box 7 when you make this request.

You can order a transcript or other return information free of charge, or designate a third party to receive the information. The letter must indicate that an IRS income tax return was not filed for the year requested by our office. Allow the IRS 10 business days to process your request. It is best to submit this information with the rest of your paperwork. Failure to submit this letter will delay the processing of your financial aid.

How do I know if I am selected?

The financial aid office will contact each student with a letter and/or email requesting any documents needed for verification. You can view your requested documents on MyAACC (Menu > Self Services > Financial Aid). Your list will be customized outlining the documents we need to review for your financial aid application. Forms can be downloaded and printed from the portal. Complete and sign all requested items and submit them to our office for processing.

In order for you to protect your privacy, our office recommends that you submit all documents containing personal information to our office in person, by mail or by fax.

What happens during the verification review?

Our office is required to submit all changes resulting from verification to the Federal Student Aid Processor. The processor sends a revised electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student. The revised SAR highlights the data that was changed and states that the changes were made by our school.

Our office will complete the verification process prior to mailing or emailing a Financial Aid Notification. In order to be eligible to receive federal, state and college student financial aid, you must meet all of the General Eligibility Requirements. As a result, the notice that you receive will reflect your eligibility after all documentation has been reviewed.

Aid awards may need to be adjusted if there are differences between the data reported on the FAFSA and the data reported on your tax transcripts and verification worksheet. A file can be selected for verification at any time. Any transaction with the Federal Student Aid Processor can cause information to change and be subject to further review.

Is there a deadline?

There is not a specific deadline for verification. Our office recommends that students submit verification documents as soon as they are notified of their selection. In all circumstances, the verification process must be completed by the last day of enrollment during the school year for which your application has been selected, unless they meet certain federal criteria to be considered for late disbursements.

If students choose not to, or fail to submit verification documents, we will be unable to complete the review of eligibility for financial aid. If students do not wish to complete the process and want to cancel the financial aid application, students should send written notification to our office.

Can I avoid being selected in a future year?

There is no way to avoid being selected. Using the IRS Data Retrieval can minimize the documents required if selected for verification. Individuals that use the data retrieval tool are typically not required to submit their federal tax return transcript.

Are there consequences for providing false or misleading information?

By law, AACC must refer to the Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information it discovers, including as part of the verification process, that indicates an applicant for federal student aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with his or her application for such aid.

Any decision to refer information to the OIG will be coordinated by AACC’s legal counsel in accordance with the guidance provided in the Federal Student Aid Handbook. The relevant student file will be held in the office of the Director of Financial Aid to ensure that all information is secure once a report is made to the OIG. If found guilty of purposely giving false or misleading information a student may be fined, sentenced to jail or both.

Important Notes

Please be aware that if you worked and earned income, (regardless of whether you received a W-2 or 1099 from your employer), you may be required to file a federal income tax return. Contact the IRS or your tax preparer for guidance.  Any tax filing issues must be resolved before we can process your financial aid application.


We're here to help.

Financial Aid & Veterans Benefits

Financial Aid


Send Email


Once documents have been submitted to our office, they are part of your official file at AACC and cannot be returned.

It Starts with the FAFSA

Grants, loans, scholarships and work study - Financial Aid begins with the FAFSA. Complete yours today (AACC Code: 002058)!

Go to FAFSA >>

Learn about applying for financial aid and scholarships.