guidelines for the 2019-20 verification process
Each year, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) selects approximately 30% of all Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) submissions for verification, a process in which the school's Financial Aid Office must verify the information submitted on the FAFSA. In addition to records selected by USDE, Slippery Rock's Financial Aid Office reserves the right to select any record for verification at its discretion. The following policies and procedures for verifying information are implemented in accordance with federal regulations.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Students completing verification for the 2019-20 academic year will need to verify 2017 income tax information.
Required Verification Documents
For your convenience, electronic documents can be securely submitted using the new Docusign process. Students and parents can complete, e-sign, and/or upload all documents beginning with the 2019-20 financial aid year.
The details listed below explain how to find, complete, and submit requested verification documents. Please log in to MySRU, and click on the Financial Aid and Billing tab to view the status of your financial aid requirements. Many of the required forms can be accessed from MySRU or at Financial Aid Forms.
Students may be required to submit two or more of the following documents:
- A Slippery Rock University Verification Form
- Parent's SIGNED 2017 IRS Tax Return Transcript and/or successful IRS Data Retrieval via the FAFSA
- Student's SIGNED 2017 IRS Tax Return Transcript and/or successful IRS Data Retrieval via the FAFSA
- W2 Forms
- Verification of Non-filing Letter
- Verification of High School Completion
- Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose Form (Must be completed in person at the school or in front of a Notary Public)
- Additional information, as needed, to resolve discrepant information
Instructions for Tax Information (Updated January 9, 2019)
Beginning January 9, 2019, the Department of Education permits schools to accept SIGNED copies of your 2017 tax return. We recommend that you use the IRS data retrieval tool. Also, we can accept a SIGNED copy of your tax return with supporting schedules OR a 2017 Tax Return Transcript. Transcripts can be requested from the IRS at www.irs.gov/transcript. All tax documents can be uploaded securely to the Financial Aid Office using the Tax Information Coversheet.
Parents and students who filed a 2017 IRS tax return can provide tax information by either:
- IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA at FAFSA (recommended)
- Providing a SIGNED copy of your 2017 IRS tax return
- Request a tax return transcript* and upload to MySRU. You can obtain your tax information by:
- ONLINE: Request a tax return transcript at: IRS or
- PHONE: 1.800.908.9946.
For more information on how to obtain your tax information, click here.
*If you filed a joint return, you MUST use the primary taxpayer (top person listed) when requesting the tax transcript by phone or online.
When submitting the documentation, please ensure you are attaching ALL applicable pages to this form. Certain documents may have information printed on both sides of the paper.
Verification of Non-filing Letter
A Verification of Non-filing Letter from the IRS is required if the parent or an Independent student did not file and was not required to file a 2017 Income Tax Return with the IRS. You can request a Verification of Non-filing Letter by mail or online if you already have an IRS account established from a prior year. Use the IRS Form 4506-T or in the Financial Aid Forms section. Mail or fax the form to the IRS. Allow 10 to 15 days to receive the letter.
For more information on how to obtain your Verification of Non-filing Letter click here.
Important Tips for Completing the Verification Process
- Complete the requested verification documents in full. Do not leave any questions blank and provide all required signatures.
- Once verification begins, you may be asked to submit additional documentation. If this occurs, an email will be sent to the student's SRU email account and all requested documents can be viewed on the student's MySRU portal.
Finishing the verification process
Once all requested documents are received, we will review them accordingly. If discrepant information is found, corrections will be made and additional time will be needed for processing. Instructions as to where to submit your documents are listed below.
The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships now accepts required documents through an automated document management tool, which is designed to allow students and/or parents to complete and e-sign forms and securely upload documents directly from your computer desktop or phone.
Current Slippery Rock University Students:
- Login to MySRU
- Select Financial Aid and Billing tab
- Select the "2019-2020 Aid Year"
- Select required documents identified with red flag
- Complete, e-sign, upload, and submit required information using our secure Docusign process.
We recommend that you submit all documents via MySRU. Otherwise, you may mail or fax documents to:
Slippery Rock University
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
108 Maltby Center; Suite 107
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
WARNING: Email is not a secure method for transmitting confidential information. Please do NOT include personal and financial information, such as your bank account, credit card or social security numbers in your email to us.
Notification and Communication
Students selected for verification must submit ALL documentation for the process of verification in order for official financial aid eligibility to be determined. When a student is selected for verification, the student will be notified as follows:
- The Financial Aid Office will notify the student of required documents by mail to the student's permanent home address or by email to the student's SRU email account. Slippery Rock University's Financial Aid Office may contact students via email to give updates on required documents.
- Students can view their requirements and instructions on MySRU which provides 24-hour secure access to information regarding the status of their financial aid application and awards.
Document Submission Deadlines
Verification documents should be submitted as soon as possible. The verification process can take up to 2-3 weeks to complete. We recommend that they are submitted within two weeks of the initial request. This will ensure the Financial Aid Office has the amount of time necessary to review the information, make corrections if needed, and award aid. Failure to submit the required documentation (or submit it in a timely manner) will delay or eliminate the disbursement of federal funds (Direct Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, Pell Grant, Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grants, Perkins Loans, and Federal Work Study).
Verification must be completed prior to the last day of enrollment; therefore, your documents should be submitted in full no later than three weeks prior to the end of the term. For Pell Grant eligibility ONLY, verification can be completed up to 120 days after the last day of enrollment.
Conflicting Information Policy
SRU's Financial Aid Office exercises its right to seek additional information whenever there is conflicting information in a student record. Conflicting information must be resolved before financial aid funds may be processed and/or disbursed. Failure to reach resolution within the enrollment period (which requires written documentation for the student's financial aid file) eliminates aid eligibility. Like verification, resolution of conflicting information must be completed prior to the last day of enrollment; therefore, your documents should be submitted in full no later than three weeks prior to the end of the term. Otherwise, aid eligibility could be eliminated.
The Financial Aid Office will notify the student if there is a need for further documentation to satisfy conflicting information requirements via their SRU email address and at MySRU. The student and/or parent(s) should respond within two weeks of the date of the notification.
Correction of Information
Slippery Rock University will submit the verified corrections to USDE electronically. This will ensure that corrections are made known to all parties and that the needs analysis will be updated accurately and according to federal standards.
Award Change Notification
If corrections/updates to the FAFSA result in a change to the expected family contribution (EFC) prior to the student receiving a Financial Aid Award Letter, the student's initial award letter will reflect eligibility based on the valid EFC. If changes are made after the student has received a Financial Aid Award Letter and those changes affect financial aid, in addition to receiving an updated SAR, Slippery Rock University will notify the student by email to visit MySRU to review revised awards.
Loss of Aid Eligibility
Verification and conflicting information requirements must be completed before financial aid will be disbursed. If financial aid has already been disbursed and the student is subsequently selected for verification, further disbursements will be placed on hold until verification is complete. Failure to submit the required documentation according to published deadlines will result in the cancellation of all federal aid. The University will return financial aid to the federal programs resulting in a balance due to the University.
Students who lose previously awarded and disbursed federal aid due to verification or updates to conflicting information must resolve their account balance. For information on payment arrangements, students should contact the Office of Student Accounts at 724.738.2088, option 5.
Misuse of Financial Aid and Referral Process
Slippery Rock's Financial Aid Office will report any potential fraud or falsified information (on the part of the student, the parent, preparer of financial aid applications, or related parties) to USDE and all other related parties for immediate action. Anyone who suspects fraud or abuse may make a confidential report by contacting the Office of Inspector General at 1.800.MIS.USED (1.800.647.8733) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.