To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS and FSA announced on March 30,2017, the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on and will be unavailable for the 2017-2018 FAFSA.

For your 2017-18 FAFSA, please refer to your 2015 tax return and import the numbers manually from the lines requested on your FAFSA, and order a tax return transcript from the IRS at

The IRS DRT has been enabled again for the 2018-2019 FAFSA as of October 1, 2017.


If your FAFSA has been selected for verification by the US Department of Education, you must turn in the required documents (shown on your EOU Webster account) before any federal or state financial aid will be disbursed.

What is Verification?

The U.S. Department of Education selects certain FAFSA applications to be checked for the accuracy of information.  This means the Financial Aid Office is required to gather specific documentation from the student to prove accurate FAFSA results.  Without this complete documentation, a student will not receive aid from the Federal Government.  Sometimes students will experience changes to their financial aid eligibility following the verification process.

For each FAFSA year, the base tax year is two years earlier. For example, the 2017-18 FAFSA uses the 2015 tax year and 2018-19 FAFSA uses the 2016 tax year.

Why was I selected?

FAFSA records are selected by the US Department of Education processor. Your school’s 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.

What do I Need to Turn in?

You will need to turn in a verification worksheet and Federal tax documents (either IRS Data retrieveal tool, or Tax Return Transcripts and W-2s. The worksheet and information supplied by you is shown on your EOU Webster account at  Students will be notified via email of any changes to a student’s EFC or Title IV aid changes resulting from the verification process.

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If you are selected for verification, all required documentation must be submitted to the financial aid office and processed before any federal aid is disbursed, or before a Federal Direct Loan will be originated.  Consequences for failure to provide the required verification materials, is financial aid will remain incomplete and will not be disbursed.

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 originate 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 for 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.



Eastern Oregon University

Verification Worksheet Directions


Federal Student Aid Programs


Your application was selected by the Department of Education for review in a process called “Verification.”  The law says that before awarding Federal Student Aid, we must ask you to confirm the information that you and your spouse (if you have one) or you and your parent(s) reported on your FAFSA.  We will compare your FAFSA with the information on this worksheet and with any other required documents.  If there are any differences, your FAFSA information may need to be corrected.  If corrections are needed, the Financial Aid Office will do those for you.  Please, make no further corrections to your FAFSA.  You must complete and sign a worksheet, attach any required documents, and submit the form and documents to the financial aid office.  If you have questions, please contact our office right away.

You financial aid award is only estimated until this process is complete.  The Department of Education will send you an email notification if there is a change to your FAFSA.  You will be notified by an email to your EOU email account if corrections result in a change/cancellation of any award(s).

The main difference between dependent and independent is that for a dependent student, all of these instructions will be for both the student and his/her parent(s).

Directions for Independent (Dependent) Students:  (Adobe Reader DC required; download file and view in Reader for best results)

Submit the completed Independent (Dependent) Verification Form. Fill the form out completely. Do not leave areas blank that require a dollar amount. If the answer is $0, write that in the space provided.  When you complete the form, make sure that you sign it.

Family Information: List the people who live in your household that you (or your parents) will support, including yourself. If the number in household and/or number in college you are reporting on the Verification Worksheet does not match the number(s) you reported on the FAFSA, you may be asked to submit a written explanation of the discrepancy, which must be signed and dated by you.

Independent students,  include:

  • yourself (and your spouse),
  • your children, if you will provide more than half of their support between July 1 of the academic year and June 30 of the academic year, and
  • other people if they now live with you, you provide more than half of their support and you will continue to provide more than half of their support between July 1 of the academic year and June 30 of the academic year.

Dependent students, include:

  • yourself, even if you don’t live with your parents,
  • your parents,
  • your parents’ other children if (a) your parents will provide more than half of their support between July 1 of the academic year and June 30 of the academic year, or (b) the children could answer “No” to every question in Step Three on page 5 of the FAFSA, and
  • other people if they now live with your parents, your parents provide more than half of their support and your parents will continue to provide more than half of their support between July 1 of the academic year and June 30 of the academic year.

Income Verification: If you (and your parents) successfully completed the IRS data retrieval tool (DRT) for your FAFSA, you do not need to send an IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you did not use the DRT and wish to complete it, you can find a video on YouTube to help you through the IRS Data Retrieval proves:  If the link doesn’t work, copy and paste it into your address bar.

If you did not, or choose not to use the data retrieval tool, then submit a 2015 (for 1718) or a 2016 (for 1819) Federal Tax Return Transcript. If you and your spouse (or parents) filed separately, you will each need to submit a tax return transcript.  You can print your tax return transcript by going to this website and following the instructions:

If you were unable to obtain an IRS Tax Transcript following the period after the IRS processes 2015/2016 income tax returns.  You may use the following, alternate documentation.  You must supply all three documents.

  1. A signed copy of the relevant (i.e., applicant, spouse) 2015/2016 IRS tax return.
  2. A copy of the IRS response that was provided to the tax filer stating that the IRS could not provide the requested transcript. The copy of the IRS response must be signed and dated by the tax filer.
  3. IMPORTANT: In addition to the documentation specified above, the tax filer must also provide to the institution a completed and signed IRS Form 4506T-EZ or Form 4506-T that includes on line 5, “Eastern Oregon University, Financial Aid Office, One University Blvd, Inlow Hall 104, La Grande, OR  97850-2899; 541-362-3550” as the third party to whom the IRS is to mail the 2015/2016 IRS Tax Return Transcript.

The following schedules and forms are also required.  Not everyone will have these.  If you or your spouse (or you or your parents) have or used any of these forms, please submit a copy of each:

  • W-2’s (for everyone who worked)
  • Schedule C (business income)
  • Schedule F (farm/ranch income)
  • Schedule K-1 (S-corporation shareholder income)
  • 1099R (distributions from IRS, pensions, annuities, etc.)

Amended Tax Return: If you (or your parents) filed an amended tax return you must provide signed copies of both your IRS Tax Return Transcript and your 1040X forms.

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 2015 (for 17-18) or for 2016 (for 18-19); and
  • A statement explaining how you survived and paid bills in 2015/2016
  • You must also submit verification of non-filing

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 a 2015/2016 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, provide the following documents:
§ A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2015/2016;
§ 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 tax year 2015/2016; and
§ A copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015/2016 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 tax year 2015/2016.
§ A verification of non-filing letter as stated above for non-filers.