Skip to main content
Northwestern University


The Department of Education selects certain FAFSA filers for a review process called Verification. During this process, our office is required to ensure that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. If necessary, we will update your FAFSA application and send it to the Department of Education for processing.

If your application has been selected, both the Department of Education and our office will notify you with instructions on how to proceed. We cannot process your financial aid award until Verification is complete, so we encourage timely submission of all requested documents.  

Required Documents

You may be required to complete and submit one or more of the following documents:

What if we filed an extension with the IRS?

If your family files an extension with the IRS, you should submit the verification worksheet along with IRS extension documentation, W-2 forms and/or statement from self-employed individuals certifying adjusted gross income (AGI) and US taxes paid.

What if we filed an amended tax return with the IRS?

Applicants selected for Verification and who file an amended tax return will not be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. As a result, these families have to submit both an IRS Tax Return Transcript and an IRS Tax Account Transcript to verify that all income data elements reported on the FAFSA are correct. These documents can be requested directly from the IRS online or by calling 1-800-908-9946.   

What happens if there are discrepancies in my application?

Our office is required to update your FAFSA with accurate information and send it back to the Department of Education for processing. We make these changes electronically, and you will be notified by the Department of Education when a change as been made to your FAFSA application. Depending upon the updates made to your FAFSA, your financial aid eligibility may change. You will be notified of any changes to your award when Verification has been completed.

How will I know when verification is complete?

You will be sent an email notification when the verification process is complete.

What if I do not complete the verification process? 

If you do not complete the verification process, you will be ineligible to receive financial aid. If you have anticipated financial aid on your student account, it will be removed and you will be responsible for the payment of any resulting balance.  If you subsequently submit verification documents, you may regain eligibility. We recommend that you complete all document requests by July 1 so that your federal eligibility can be verified before the beginning of the fall quarter.

Back to top