Verification is a review process required by the U.S. Department of Education that requires institutions to determine the accuracy of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This process requires NAU to request additional documentation to determine a student’s eligibility for federal grants and loans. Students selected for verification will be notified via email. The verification process must be completed before financial aid can be awarded or disbursed.

Required Documentation

Selected students will need to provide documentation that will be compared to the information reported on the FAFSA. If errors are found, NAU must correct those errors before a student’s eligibility can be determined. Required verification forms vary by student. To review the specific verification documentation assigned to you, log in to the Financial Aid Student Portal. All documents must be uploaded via the portal for review.

There are three options available to verify tax and income data:  

The Financial Aid Direct Data Exchange, replacing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool starting with the 2024–25 FAFSA form, will transfer contributors’ federal tax information from the IRS directly into your FAFSA form. All contributors must provide consent and approval to
  • disclose their personally identifiable information provided on the FAFSA form to the IRS for matching purposes;
  • obtain their federal tax information from the IRS via direct data exchange;
  • allow the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to use their federal tax information to determine the student’s eligibility and amount of federal student aid;
  • allow ED to share their federal tax information with colleges, career/trade schools, and state higher education agencies for use in awarding and administering financial aid; and
  • allow ED to reuse their federal tax information on another FAFSA applicant’s form (e.g., if a parent has multiple dependent students or a parent’s own FAFSA form).

NOTE: Even if contributors don’t have an SSN, didn’t file taxes, or filed taxes outside of the U.S., they will still need to provide consent and approval.

IMPORTANT: If a required contributor doesn’t provide consent and approval to have their federal tax information transferred into the FAFSA form, you (the student) will not be eligible for federal student aid—even if the contributor manually enters tax information into the FAFSA form.

Tax filers can request a copy of their IRS Tax Return Transcript online or via mail from the IRS. Non-tax filers should request the IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter. 

Tax filers can provide a signed copy of tax return with all accompanying schedules (Schedule 1,2, and 3 if applicable). 


Timely submission of verification documents is essential for financial aid packaging. Verification document submissions are accepted throughout the aid year. However, it is in the student’s best interest to submit all documents as soon as possible. Students are responsible for satisfying their balance due by the first day of each term regardless of the status of the verification process. 

Per federal regulations for Federal Grants, applicants must complete verification within 120 days of the student’s last date of enrollment or by the date published in the federal register, whichever is earlier. For Direct Loan programs, applicants must complete verification by the last date of enrollment. 


Verification is complete once NAU has reviewed all required documentation and the data reported on the FAFSA accurately reflects the documentation received. Once verification is complete, students will be awarded via the Financial Aid Student Portal and notified via email within 5 business days.