The 2014–2015 FAFSA verification items are the same as those for the 2013–2014 award year with one addition – Other Untaxed Income. For the 2014–2015 award year, certain applicants will be required to verify the untaxed income information they provided on the FAFSA. Those applicants will be placed in a new Verification Tracking Group – V6: Household Resources Verification Group.
If the financial aid administrator determines that the amounts provided and verified from Question 45, Question 94, and from other income information (e.g., adjusted gross income, income earned from work, untaxed income not included on the FAFSA) do not appear to provide sufficient financial support for the number of household family members reported, the applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant’s parents or spouse must explain how the family was financially supported during the 2013 calendar year. USDE has provided suggested text that institutions may use to collect untaxed income items that may have been received by members of the family.
Also, for 2014–2015, applicants will no longer be assigned to Verification Tracking Group V2 (SNAP-Food Stamps). However, SNAP-Food Stamps must be verified for applicants placed in Verification Tracking Groups V1, V4, V5, and V6.
A few modifications have been made to some of the acceptable documentation requirements between 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 and additional clarification and guidance from USDE has been provided. Those items that have been significantly changed are:
- Nontax filers: If you question a claim that the tax filer has not, will not, and is not required to file a 2013
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS) income tax return, you must require the applicant to submit a “Verification of Nonfiling” from the IRS that the tax filer did not file a 2013 IRS income tax return. The request for “Verification of Nonfiling” can be obtained by the tax filer using IRS Form 4506-T and checking box 7. IMPORTANT: According to the IRS, a response to the request for a “Verification of Nonfiling” for the 2013 tax year will not be issued until after June 15, 2014.
- Number of Household Members: The number of household members for dependent students must now include both of a dependent student’s legal (biological or adoptive) parents if the parents live together, regardless of the marital status or gender of the parents
- Child Support Paid: In addition to the paper documents discussed in the Federal Register notice, you may accept records of electronic payments as documentation that child support payments were made.
- High School Completion Status: Previously Obtained Documentation – If, prior to an applicant being selected for verification of his or her high school completion status (Verification Tracking Groups V4 and V5), you have already obtained documentation that confirms the student’s high school completion status for purposes other than the Title IV verification requirements, you may rely on that documentation as long as it meets the criteria outlined in the Federal Register notice.
- Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose: An applicant placed in either Verification Tracking Groups V4 or V5 is required to submit a signed, original Statement of Educational Purpose to the school. After examining the original Statement of Educational Purpose for accuracy and completeness, the school may convert it into an electronic record. Either the original or the electronic record of the original must be maintained for at least the required Title IV record retention period.
For further information about 2014-2015 verification, including a chart of the FAFSA information you must verify and acceptable documentation for each Verification Tracking Group, see DCL GEN-13-16 and the Federal Register notice published June 13, 2013.