Students who apply for federal assistance may be selected for a process called verification. The verification process requires that you submit documentation to verify the data submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please understand the verification process is triggered by the Department of Education when the FAFSA is processed. Rarely, does the College of Charleston select students to be verified.
The Financial Aid Office will notify you by email and MyCharleston if you have been selected for verification. Note we adhere to the strictest confidentiality.
The documents needed to complete this process are:
1. Federal Verification Worksheet:
- Worksheets may be found via Financial Aid Download Forms website.
2. Federal tax return verification:
- The easiest way to provide parent tax return data to CofC is using the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool allows students and parents to access the IRS tax return information needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- If you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, we highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax return transcript to CofC.
- To access the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool:
- Log into you FAFSA
- Click the Financial Information tab
- Find and click Link To IRS
- You will not be asked to enter your PIN if you entered a PIN to begin your FAFSA.
- Your FAFSA will be saved and you will be transferred to the IRS Web site.
- On the IRS Web site, enter the requested information.
- Once the IRS has validated your identification, your IRS tax information will display. You can either transfer your information from the IRS, or choose to return to FAFSA on the Web from the IRS Web site. If you do not transfer your information or choose not to return from the IRS Web site, you will have to login to open your saved FAFSA.
- If you transfer your IRS tax information, questions that are populated with tax information will be marked with “Transferred from the IRS.
If you are not eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to provide tax information, and CofC requests a copy of your or your parents' tax return, you will be required to obtain an official IRS Tax Return Transcript from the IRS. See information below on how to obtain an official tax transcript from the IRS. Personal or tax preparer copies will not be accepted. Submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript to the College of Charleston Financial Assistance and Veterans' Affairs Office.
How to get a Tax Return Transcript:
A Tax Return Transcript will show most line items contained on the return as it was originally filed. In most situations a Tax Return Transcript is sufficient. However, if you need a statement showing changes that you or the IRS made after the original return was filed, you must also request a tax account transcript. Both transcripts are generally available for the current and past three years and are provided free of charge.
You can obtain a free transcript on the IRS.gov Website (www.irs.gov) by clicking Order a Transcript under the Online Services option, or by calling 800-908-9946 and following the prompts in the recorded message, or by completing and mailing a request for a transcript to the address listed in the instructions.