Verification is a process required for the university when a student is selected by the U.S. Department of Education. Students and parents (for dependent students) must complete a verification worksheet, provide signed copies of tax returns, and often provide additional information based on the student's situation. The U.S. Department of Education selects 33 percent of all students who apply for federal assistance. If a student's application is selected, the university will notify you of the required documents. To expedite the process, review the Student Aid Report. If the statement "Your school will ask you to provide certain tax documents" appears under the comment section, you have been selected.
Paperwork required for verification is determined by the student's situation. Verification worksheets can be downloaded from the links below. Please complete the second page accurately as it will determine what other documents are necessary. To determine which verification worksheet to submit, dependent students are defined by the following:
- Not over the age of 24
- Not working on a master's or doctorate degree
- Not married
- Does not have children for whom the student provides more than half support
- Not an orphan or ward of the court
Not a veteran
IRS Tax Transcripts are required for completion of verification. You can order an IRS Tax Transcript online at https://sa1.www4.irs.gov/irfof-tra/start.do or by calling 1.800.908.9946.
You may be eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA in lieu of requesting the transcript. We highly recommend using the tool for several reasons:
- It’s the easiest way to provide your tax data.
- It’s the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- You won’t need to provide a copy of your or your parents’ tax returns to our office.
For instruction on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool click <Here>.
Special Note: Please make sure all signatures (student, spouse, and parents) are on all documents given to our office. We are unable to process your applications if signatures are missing. All verification documents and forms can be faxed to the Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid at 601.266.5769.