• Verification FAQ

    • What is Verification?

      Verification is the process in which the financial aid office must obtain documentation to ensure accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA. The Department of Education (DOE) selects applicants based on common data errors, incomplete, missing, or contradictory information. The financial aid office is required to confirm the information on the FAFSA through documentation. If there are any differences in the information that you provide our office and your FAFSA, then your FAFSA information may need to be corrected. This process ensures that eligible students are receiving the appropriate amount of financial aid that they are entitled to. Federal and state aid will not be awarded until this process is complete. *Verification does not​ function as an audit.

    • How do I know what forms are needed for verification?

      Once selected for verification, each student will receive an email letting them know to refer to HSU Central for a list of necessary documents, as well as their status once submitted.

    • Didn’t I submit this information on my FAFSA?

      Yes. The purpose of verification is to verify that the information included on your FAFSA is correct. This requires us to collect written statements and copies of original documents to prove that either the information was correct, or to substantiate any changes that need to be made to more accurately show the student’s financial need.

    • Do I have to complete Verification?

      A student selected for verification is not required to complete the verification process. However, Hardin-Simmons University cannot disburse any federal and/or need-based aid until this process is complete.

    • How do I acquire the necessary forms?

      Any forms coming from the Financial Aid office will be linked in HSU Central. You may also access these forms through the Financial Aid webpage on the HSU website here.

    • How do I request an official Tax Return Transcript?

      An IRS Tax Return Transcript may be obtained through any of the following ways:

      ● By mail​: Go to www.irs.gov, under the Tools heading, click "Get a tax transcript.” Click “Get Transcript by MAIL.” Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.” The transcript is generally received within 10 business days from the IRS’s receipt of the online request.

      ● Online:​ Go to www.irs.gov, under the Tools heading, click "Get a tax transcript." Click “Get Transcript ONLINE.” Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript.” 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.

      ● Automated​ Telephone Request​ – Call 1-800-908-9946. The transcript is generally received within 10 business days from the IRS’s receipt of the telephone request.

      ● Paper Request Form​ – Find the IRS Form 4506T-EZ or IRS Form 4506-T on the IRS website, and check box 6a and indicate the appropriate tax year. The transcript is generally received within 10 business days from the IRS’s receipt of the paper request form.

      *Instructions updated 5/18/2018
      **A copy of a federal 1040 tax return is ​not​ an accepted form of documentation

    • How long does the verification process take?

      Depending on the time of year, and once all required documents have been submitted, the process of verification can take anywhere from 1-4 weeks to complete. Once verification is complete, it will take up to one week for the student to be able to accept his or her awards.

    • Can I expedite the verification process?

      Absolutely! Here are some tips on making this process go faster:

      ● Take advantage of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or request a Tax Return Transcript, as soon as you are notified that these documents will be needed. 

      ● Complete each worksheet entirely before submitting. Electronic and typed signatures cannot be accepted. 

      ● If you are unsure how to complete any document, call our office to get clarification before submission. 

      ● Include and double-check name, date of birth, and student ID numbers on every document submitted. 

      ● Submit documents that are legible and clear, and may be printed with no additional formatting. 

      ● Check your HSU email frequently as we may contact you if more documents are needed. 

      ● Once documents are submitted, relax! Calling our office frequently to check the status of your verification may slow down the process.

    • Is it okay to make a change to my FAFSA after I have made my initial submission?

      Once you have been notified that you are in verification, it is very important that you do not make any changes to your FAFSA unless told to do so by our financial aid office. Once a change is made, it must be processed, and we must wait to receive the new transaction, which could slow down our process. You may utilize the Data Retrieval Tool if tax information is requested of you, instead of obtaining a Tax Return Transcript, if you choose to do so. Once any changes are made, contact our office to let us know so that we can expect a new transaction from you.

    • Is it okay to make a change to my FAFSA after my verification is complete?

      Once verification has been completed, we have verified the data that contributes to your EFC is correct. Any changes that are made after verification will not be considered.

    • How do I submit my verification documents?

      You can submit your requested documents any of the following ways below: 

      ● By email​: Verification@hsutx.edu 

      ● By fax:​ (325) 670-5822 

      ● By mail:​ The Office of Financial Aid
      Hardin-Simmons University HSU Box 16050
      Abilene, TX 79698 

      ● In person:​ Sandifer Memorial Building 2nd floor 2333 Hickory St. Abilene, TX 79698

    • What is an IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter?

      The IRS Verification of Non-Filing Letter is an official letter from the IRS that provides proof that the IRS has no record of a filed form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ on file for the requested year. This is required anytime an independent student, parent, or spouse non-tax-filer is subject to verification. This can be obtained by calling the IRS or visiting the IRS website, find form 4506-T, check box #7 and indicated the tax year of the information requested by your financial aid office.

    • My parents file taxes in a different country. What documentation do I submit?

      Many different foreign tax returns can be accepted for verification purposes. You will need to submit a copy of the original return, as well as a signed copy of the amounts in U.S. dollars from the lines of the form that correspond most closely to those on the common IRS form.

    • My parents are not required to file taxes for the country in which they live. How do I verify income?

      If you are a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen, whose parents live in a foreign country that does not file taxes, contact the financial aid office to discuss what documents will be needed.

    • Why do you need my 1040X if I linked my tax information to my FAFSA?

      When a student or a dependent student’s parent(s) files an amended tax return, we must document both the original and amended tax return information. The linked information does not include any changes that were made with a 1040X. In this case, you will need to provide a signed ​copy of the IRS form 1040X that was filed with the IRS, AND​ either of the following: 

      ● An IRS Tax Return Transcript containing information from the original tax return filed; or 

      ● Unchanged IRS Data Retrieval Tool data on the Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR).

    • Who do I include in my household on my FAFSA and Verification Worksheet?

      Dependent Students​: List yourself and your parents as well as the people that your parents support (more than 50%) that live in your household. This can include siblings and step-siblings, other relatives, friends that live with you and are supported by your parents. Unborn children may be included if they will be born before or during the school year. *If someone in your household receives more than 50% of their support from another parent outside of the house, they may not be included in your household. Independent Students:​ List the people that you (and your spouse, if applicable) support. This includes yourself, your spouse (if applicable), and any children or other people that will live with you and will get more than half of their support from you throughout the school year. Unborn children may be included if they will be born before or during the school year. *Foster children and children for whom your parents are the legal guardians are not included in household size.

    • Can I include my parent in my total number of household members attending college if they are currently enrolled in a college program? Can I include my younger sibling taking dual credit courses in high school?

      No. Per FAFSA regulations, parents are excluded from this number, and high school dual credit courses are not considered for college attendance.

    • Who is considered a parent in the financial aid process?

      The FAFSA requires students to provide information about their legal parents only. This includes biological, adoptive, and step-parents. Foster parents, grandparents, and legal guardians are not considered parents for financial aid purposes.

    • My parents are divorced. Which parent do I include on my FAFSA?

      You will need to include the information of the parent with whom you live over half of the year. This will also need to be the parent whose information is on the FAFSA, and whose signature is on any document we request.

    • My parents are self-employed and don’t have W-2’s. What other documents can I submit?

      You may request a Wage and Income Transcript from the IRS that includes data from the following forms: W-2, 1099, 1098, Form 5498, and IRS Contribution Information.

    • What if my parents don’t support me?

      Sometimes a dependent student’s parents are unwilling to provide financial information for their child’s FAFSA. However, parent information is required, whether or not the parent wishes to continue supporting their child. Providing financial information does not obligate a parent to pay for their child’s education,​ but refusing to provide this information will prevent the student from qualifying for most forms of financial aid. For the purposes of federal student aid, a student is a dependent until he or she reaches the age of 24, gets married, or satisfies other specific criteria to be considered an independent student. Parent information is still required even if the parents do not support the student, or claim the student on their taxes. If you need help discussing this matter with your parents, or you think your situation needs further review, contact our office at (325)670-1217.

    • I’m in verification but am eager to see how much school will be once I get all of my awards. Can you tell me how much will have to pay?

      We know that you want to be prepared for the investment you will be making in Hardin-Simmons. We have an Estimated Cost Calculator available for you to use to help you get an idea of what portion of tuition you will be responsible for. Award amounts are subject to change. The amount shown will be an estimate of the total cost you will owe per semester​.

    • Who should I contact with questions?

      We know that figuring out financial aid can be stressful, but we are here to help you every step of the way. If you weren’t able to find the answer to your question here, call our office and we will connect you with the person who is best suited to assist you. Each member of our team specializes in their given field and will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

      Main phone: (325)670-1217

      Email: financialaid@hsutx.edu

     

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