Financial Aid FAQs

Verification Questions and Answers

  • Do I have to complete the verification process?

    No. However, if you don't complete it, you will be forfeiting your eligibility for financial aid—including a Dartmouth scholarship. 

  • Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA form?

    The purpose of the process is to confirm that the information reported on the FAFSA is correct. If any information is incorrect, we must make corrections and submit them to the Department of Education for reprocessing.

    You and your family agreed to provide financial information when you completed the FAFSA. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to "If asked, provide information that will verify the accuracy of your completed form."

  • Once I've sent Dartmouth a copy of the verification forms, data retrieval or tax transcripts, and W-2s I'm done, right?

    Not necessarily. After reviewing the documents you submitted we may need to request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies. We will notify you via email. We ask you to respond promptly to these requests as this will help to finalize the verification process.

  • What if I (or my parents) have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

    As instructed by the verification forms, provide our office with a copy of your Form 4868 (the request for an extension to file a federal return) and W-2 form(s). If you do not have W-2 form(s), please submit a statement with your estimated adjusted gross income and income taxes paid. You (and/or your parents) must submit a signed copy of the completed tax return as soon as it is available.

  • What if I didn't file a federal tax return?

    If federal regulations did not require you (or your parents) file a return, simply indicate that you did not file on our Federal Verification Worksheet. Submit all completed verification forms along with a copy of all W-2 Forms to our office.

    If you (or your parents) were required to file a federal tax return but did not, we will be unable to review your aid application until the tax return is filed.

  • What is the difference between a tax transcript and a tax return?

    A Tax Return Transcript is a line-by-line summary of the actual tax return you filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Department of Education requires us to confirm that the information you provided on your FAFSA is the same information you filed with the IRS.


  • The IRS website offers two different types of transcripts, a return transcript and an account transcript. Which one should I order?

    • Tax Return Transcript? YES!!!
    • Tax Account Transcript? NO!!!

    You are required to supply a tax return transcript as it includes all lines of the tax return you filed.

  • I am divorced or separated but filed a joint tax return with my spouse. What do I do?

    You will be required to provide proof that you were separated on or before the day you completed the FAFSA. One example of acceptable documentation is court documentation that shows a separation date. Another example of acceptable documentation is proof of separate physical addresses on bills for both parties dated on or before the day you filed the FAFSA. You will also be required to provide IRS tax transcripts and all W2s for both you and your spouse.

  • My current address is different from what's on my tax return. What do I do?

    When using data retrieval or the online PDF request tax transcript options, when prompted, you should enter the address you filed your tax returns with. If you must order a paper version to be mailed to your new address you may be able to request a tax return transcript via telephone or you may need to complete the IRS Form 4506T to request a free copy of a Tax Return Transcript.

  • I tried using IRS Data Retrieval, but I am having trouble with my FSA ID username and password. What should I do?

    If you are having trouble with your FSA ID user name or password, contact us or FAFSA Customer Service immediately for troubleshooting solutions.

Financial Aid