Northwest College

Federal Financial Aid Verification


What is Verification?

Verification is a quality control process in the administration of Federal Student Aid required by the U.S. Department of Education. Being selected for verification does not necessarily mean the applicant made an error when filing their application. The NWC Financial Aid Office (FAO) is simply required to conduct activities that will verify the accuracy of information provided by students (and parents, if applicable) when they apply for federal student aid.

What Information is required to be Verified?

Students whose applications are selected for verification will be required to submit specified documentation to the Northwest College FAO.

1. Tax Documentation

If the student/parents have filed a federal tax return,  DO NOT send photocopies of any 1040/ 1040A/ 1040EZ/ 1040X tax return forms unless they are specifically requested by NWC's Financial Aid & Scholarship Office.

PREFERRED OPTION:     Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. 

The best way to verify income is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) which is part of FAFSA on the Web. If students/parents have not already used the IRS DRT, go to, login to the student’s FAFSA record, select “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the Financial Information section of the form. From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student is eligible to use the IRS DRT to transfer 2016 IRS income tax information into the student’s FAFSA. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS DRT see your financial aid administrator.

NOTE: If married and the student and spouse or the parents filed separate 2016 IRS income tax returns, the IRS DRT cannot be used and the 2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) must be provided for each.

You must submit a 2016 Tax Return Transcript to the FAO.

Pick one of the following options in order to obtain a transcript:  

Online Request. Go to , under the Tools heading on the IRS homepage, click "Get a Tax Transcript."  Two options:

  1. Get Transcript ONLINE.  Allows the user to immediately receive an online PDF version of their IRS Tax Return Transcript or, if appropriate, a verification of non-filing. The online tool uses an enhanced two-step, multi-factor authentication process that requires the user to register before submitting a transcript request.  To use the new online tool, the user must have:
    1. access to a valid email address, AND
    2. a text-enabled mobile phone (pay-as-you-go plans cannot be used) in the user’s name, AND
    3. specific financial account numbers (such as a credit card number or an account number for a home mortgage or auto loan). Note that the IRS Get Transcript Online registration process will not result in any charges to the card or to the financial account.

    During the Get Transcript Online registration process, the IRS will send the user a confirmation code via email and an authentication code via text. The IRS email and text will contain a one-time code that the user will use to finalize the Get Transcript Online registration.

  2. Get Transcript by MAIL.  This request will result in the IRS mailing a paper transcript to the address on file with the IRS. Unless the tax filer has formally changed their address with the IRS (through the IRS change of address processes), the address on file with the IRS is the one used on the individual’s last filed tax return.

    NOTE: To use the “Get Transcript Online” tool, the user must have (1) access to a valid email     address,         (2) a text-enabled mobile phone (pay-as-you-go plans CANNOT be used) in the user’s name, and (3) specific financial account numbers (such as a credit card number or an account number for a home mortgage or auto loan). The transcript displays online upon successful completion of the IRS’s two-step authentication.

OTHER OPTIONS to obtain tax transcripts

Telephone Request: call  1-800-908-9946. 

Paper Request Form: use  IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T.  found at 

Use the Social Security Number (or the IRS individual taxpayer identification number) and date of birth of the first person listed on the 2015 IRS income tax return, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used on the 2016 IRS income tax return).

NOTE: Request a return transcript, NOT an account transcript, unless you (or parents, if applicable) have amended the return. Then request both a return transcript and an account transcript.

NOTE: It can take up to 30 days for the IRS to process your request.  Please plan accordingly.

*If the student (and parents, if applicable) earned income from work and were not required to file a federal tax return, the FAO will need a copy of  2016 W-2 form(s), which the student/parents can request directly from the IRS if copies aren’t available.  Request a Wage & Income Transcript.

2. Institutional Verification Form

There are separate forms for this process, depending on the type of verification required.  Your Request Letter will list the titles of all forms needed.  Download forms by clicking on the Financial Aid Forms tab on the NWC Financial Aid website. Visit the Financial Aid Forms

3. Other information, as requested (items may include, but not limited to):
  • A copy of the student's military discharge (Form DD-214).
  • A copy of the student's Marriage Certificate.
  • Copy of 2016 student/spouse and/or parent W-2 forms
  • Proof that a student:
    • has not borrowed more than the aggregate student loan allowance
    • does not owe repayment on a previous over-award
    • is not in default on a federal student loan
  • Verification of Child Support Paid/Received
  • Verification of Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • A copy of the student's Social Security card.
  • A copy of Birth Certificate(s) and proof of dependency for children the student supports.
  • Proof of Selective Service registration and/or clearance from the Selective Service for failure to register
  • High School (or equivalency) completion status
  • Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose
  • Official transcripts from all other post-secondary institutions (institutions of higher education)


  1. All required documentation must be received and reviewed by the FAO, and any discrepancies must be resolved before a student's eligibility can be determined.
  2. Upon completion of the verification process, the FAO will notify the student of the results. If the student is eligible for financial aid they will receive an Award Letter.
  3. Northwest College does not award federal aid or certify federal student loans until the verification process is complete and any/all corrections are made, reprocessed, and received by the FAO.


Financial Aid
Orendorff Building, ORB104
307-754-6154 (Fax)
307-754-6225 (TTY)


Students who are selected for verification will be notified by the FAO of the documentation requirements.

All required documentation should be submitted as soon as possible after it is requested.