Verification

If you’ve been selected for verification, don’t assume you’ve done anything wrong. Your school is just checking to make sure your FAFSA data is correct. Provide the documentation your school asks for to avoid delays in receiving your aid.

The required documents will be shown on your EOU Mountie Hub (Webster) account and must be received and processed before any federal or state financial aid will be disbursed.

Verification FAQ (click to expand)

What is Verification?

Verification is a federal aid eligibility review process required by The U.S. Department of Education. For this process, EOU is required to verify that the information on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. We complete the verification process by comparing FAFSA data with federal tax documents* and other forms you provide to the EOU Financial Aid Office. Corrections to your FAFSA and college financing offer may be necessary if discrepancies are found. Without complete documentation, a student will not receive federal or state financial aid.

*Each academic year’s (AY) FAFSA EFC is calculated from and based upon a tax year two years prior (prior-prior year or PPY) to the AY. For example, the 2019‑20 FAFSA bases your EFC on the 2017 tax year and the 2020‑21 FAFSA will use the 2018 tax year. We will ask you for tax and income information from the FAFSA base year.


Why was I selected?

FAFSA records are selected by The U.S. Department of Education’s processor. The Financial Aid Office does not have the selection criteria; however, many times, FAFSA records are selected because of errors made when a student and/or parent files the FAFSA.

The Department will use data-based statistical analysis to select for verification the FAFSA applicants with the highest statistical probability of error and the greatest impact of such error on award amounts.Supplementary Information

What Documents do I Need to Supply?

You will need to turn in a verification worksheet (either dependent or independent) and federal tax documents (i.e. IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) or Tax Return Transcripts (TRT)). You may also need to submit W-2s and/or other worksheets. Documents that you submit will be shown as satisfied on your EOU Mountie Hub (Webster) account at my.eou.edu.  Students will be notified via EOU email when their verification is complete.

How do I send personally identifiable information (PII) securely?

  1. Send via United States Postal Service (USPS);
  2. Fax to 541-962-3661;
  3. Upload through secure document dropbox;
  4. Encrypt document and attach to email, preferably from your EOU email account. The minimum acceptable encryption is AES 256-bit. Password must be provided separately.

WinZip instructions for file/folder encryption and password protection

There are many applications that have the ability to encrypt attachments. An example is provided below for WinZip™, with the caveat that this is not the only acceptable method, and unless very carefully configured, WinZip would not fit the Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) which is defined by FIPS 140-2. The minimum acceptable encryption is AES 256-bit for PSIs.

  1. Open a folder to the location of the file(s)/folder(s) that you wish to encrypt.
  2. Select the file(s)/folder(s) that you wish to encrypt. Note that in order to select more than one file/folder, you must press the “Ctrl” key on the keyboard while selecting them.
  3. Right-click over one of the selected items.
  4. Select WinZip. From the submenu that appears, select “Add to Zip File.”
  5. In the “Add Files” dialog box, specify a ‘File name’ and ‘Destination’ (location) for the finished Zip file.
  6. Select “.Zip” as the Compression Type.
  7. Under Encryption, check the “Encrypt files” box.
  8. Click the “Add” button.
  9. A pop-up window may appear saying “You should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the various encryption methods before using this feature. Please press the F1 key for more information, particularly if this is the first time you are using encryption.” Select the “OK” button to continue.
  10. In the “Enter Password” field, enter an appropriate password. Passwords must be at least eight characters and must contain at least one of each the following: a lowercase character (a-z), an uppercase character (A-Z), a number character (0-9), and a symbol character (!, @, #, $, %, ^, &, *, etc.).
  11. In the “Re-enter Password” field, enter the same password from Step #10, and remember the password for future reference.
  12. Click the “OK” button.
  13. A pop-up window may appear saying “Add Complete. Your files have been added. The files will be compressed and encrypted when saved.” Click the “OK” button to continue.
  14. The encrypted WinZip file should be in the location identified in Step #5 above.
  15. The password must not be included in the same message and should either be included in a separate email or verbally provided to the intended user.

Get Transcript by Mail Help 

Nontax filers (except for dependent students) will need to provide proof from the IRS of nonfiling (i.e. Verification of Nonfiling Letter (VNF)).

Is a Verification of Nonfiling Letter Required to Complete Verification?

Are There Exceptions or Alternatives to Collecting a Verification of Nonfiling Letter?


Deadlines:

If you are selected for verification, all required documentation must be submitted to the financial aid office and processed before federal and state grant aid is disbursed or before a Federal Direct Loan will be originated.  Failure to provide the required verification materials will prevent disbursement of federal and state aid and may result in permanent loss of eligibility for the terms in question.

The verification process must be completed before the last day of enrollment for the current academic year or 90 days after last enrollment.  The Financial Aid Office must have originated all Direct Loans by the last day of enrollment.  The Financial Aid Office does not originate loans until the verification process is complete.

If you have been offered an Oregon Opportunity Grant fall term, verification must be completed before fall reporting is closed, which is typically around the seventh week of the term, or you will lose all eligibility for the year.  Submit documents early.

Instructions:

Other Situations May Require Different or Additional Documentation

Amended Tax Return: If you (or your parents) filed an amended tax return, you must provide both your IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) and a copy of your signed, 1040X form(s).Other Tax Returns: If you filed taxes in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, a signed copy of that filed tax return is acceptable documentation.Freely Associated States (Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau & Federated States of Micronesia): A copy of the individual’s Wage and Tax Statement from each employer that provided such a statement and a signed statement identifying all of the individual’s income and taxes for the year is acceptable.Other Foreign Countries: In cases where the filer filed a tax return or a similar document with a foreign country, signed copies of that tax return or their documentation, using income and tax information (converted to U.S. dollars) that corresponds most closely to the income information reported on as IRS tax return is acceptable.Non-Filers: If you did not file taxes, you need to write a letter certifying:

  • You did not file and are not required to file;
  • List the sources of your income and the amount of income from each source not reported on a W-2;
  • A copy of each W-2 for the relevant tax year; and
  • A statement explaining how you survived and paid bills in that year
  • You must also submit verification of non-filing dated on or after October 1.

Since individuals without a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number are unable to obtain a verification of ninfiling from the IRS, these individuals whose income is below the IRS filing threshold must submit to the institution a signed and dated statement–

  1. Certifying that the individual(s) does not have a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number; and
  2. Listing the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and resources that supported the individual(s) for the 2018 tax year.

Note: A dependent student who is a nontax filer is excluded from the requirement to provide verification of the dependent student’s nonfiling status from the IRS or other relevant tax authority.Student (and Parent) Income and Assets: We need to ask about the value of any assets you may have.  These numbers must reflect the value at the time the FAFSA was filed.

DO NOT include: a small business if it is owned and controlled by the student (and spouse, if appropriate) and has 100 or fewer full-time or full-time equivalent employees, your principal place of residence or a family owned and operated farm, or retirement funds (ex: IRA, KEOGH, etc.).  If the answer is $0, enter that number.

Remember, the value of an asset is always the value minus any debt owed. Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

If an individual is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:

  • A copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for relevant tax year;
  • A copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for the relevant tax year and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual’s Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the relevant tax year; and
  • A verification of non-filing letter as stated above for non-filers dated on or after October 1 of the appropriate year (i.e. October 1, 2019 for tax year 2018).

Note: The verification/confirmation of nonfiling letter is still required for a dependent student who filed for a tax extension beyond the initial automatic 6-month extension.