Verification Process

Verifying your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The federal government randomly selects a number of FAFSAs to undergo the verification process. This is a quality assurance tool utilized by the Department of Education as well as colleges and universities throughout the country to ensure students are consistently awarded the correct types and amounts of aid.

Your role in verification

You will be notified of what documents our office needs in order to complete your verification.

Generally, the documents that will be requested are (but are not limited too):

  • A completed copy of either the Dependent Verification Worksheet or the Independent Verification Worksheet
  • Dependent Students: a copy of your and your parent(s) prior-prior year federal Tax Return Transcripts
  • Independent Students: a copy of your and your spouses (if married) prior-prior year federal Tax Return Transcripts
  • In some circumstances, copies of all your, and if applicable, your parent(s) or your spouse’s prior-prior year W-2’s
  • New for 2018-2019: parents of dependent students, independent students and spouses who did not file a tax return are required to get a verification of non-filing letter from the IRS.

You and your parent(s) or spouse (if applicable) should submit these documents to our office as soon as you can upon receiving notification that you were selected for verification. The sooner we receive your verification documents the sooner we can complete your verification and award financial aid. You will not be eligible to receive any financial aid until the verification process has been completed. Contact the office of financial aid at 417-255-7243 if you have any questions.

Using the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Data Retrieval Tool

Every FAFSA is subject to verification, but the time it takes can be reduced by transferring your IRS data directly to your FAFSA. You may use the Data Retrieval Tool either during the initial application or during a correction. Doing so may also reduce the amount of paperwork requested from you or your parents.


Please allow 2-3 weeks once all verification documents have been submitted for processing.