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Financial Aid

Verification

Annually, the U.S. Department of Education selects 33% of all students applying for federal aid for verification. All students selected will be notified by the University. If the statement "Your FAFSA has been selected for a review process called verification. Your school has the authority to request copies of certain financial documents from you and your parent(s)"  appears under the comment section of your Student Aid Report, you have been selected for verification.
 
We recommend that you submit all verification documents and forms using our secure Eagle File Transfer platform to ensure protection of your sensitive data. For instructions please
click here or view the How to Guide: EFT. Documents can also be sent by email, fax, or mail: 
 
Fax: 601-266-5769
Mail: The University of Southern Mississippi, Office of Financial Aid
          118 College Drive, Box #5101
          Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Dependent Students

By federal aid definition, dependent students are:

  • 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

Both parent(s) and student must complete a verification worksheet, provide copies of IRS tax transcripts for both parent(s) and student, and all other documentation as requested. 

When submitting the worksheet, please be certain that all sections are completed, the student has physically signed the student tax section, and the parent has signed the parent tax section. Incomplete forms and forms with electronic signatures will not be accepted. 

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)


The verification process for 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020) requires us to review the student's and parent's 2017 tax return transcript. An IRS Tax Return Transcript can be obtained online, by phone (1.800.908.9946), or by completing IRS Form 4506-T

The verification process for 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021) requires us to review the student's and parent's 2018 tax return transcript. An IRS Tax Return Transcript can be obtained online, by phone (1.800.908.9946), or by completing IRS Form 4506-T

Instead of requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript, some individuals may be eligible to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on their FAFSA. 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 return transcript to our office

View instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool here

If the student did not file taxes, an IRS Tax Return Transcript is not required. When the completed Dependent Verification Worksheet is received, a financial aid counselor will waive the Student Tax Transcript item on the Student's SOAR To-Do List. If the student earned income, but was not required to file taxes, that income must be listed on the Verification Worksheet under the Student Income Information page. 


If the parent did not file taxes in the requested tax year, a letter of non-filing is required from the IRS. A letter of non-filing can be obtained online or by completing IRS Form 4506-T.

 

 

Only submit the below forms if they have been requested by the Financial Aid Office. 

Documentation of Dependents

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)

Statement of Educational Purpose

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)

Independent Students

 By federal aid definition, independent students are:

  • You are working on a degree beyond a bachelor’s, such as a master’s or doctorate
  • You have a child or children, or other legal dependents, who receive more than half their financial support from you
  • You are married (or separated but not divorced)
  • You are at least 24 years old
  • You are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces
  • You are currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces for other than training purposes
    If, at any time since you turned 13, both your parents were deceased, your were in foster care, or were a ward of the court
  • You are an emancipated child as determined by a court judge
  • You are homeless or at risk of homelessness as determined by the director of a HUD approved homeless shelter, transitional program, or high school liaison

The student (and spouse if married) must complete a verification worksheet, provide copies of IRS tax transcripts, and all other documentation as requested. 

When submitting the worksheet, please be certain that all sections are completed and the student has physically signed the student tax section.  Incomplete forms and forms with electronic signatures will not be accepted.

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)

The verification process for 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020) requires us to review the student's (and spouses if application) 2017 tax return transcript. An IRS Tax Return Transcript can be obtained online, by phone (1.800.908.9946), or by completing IRS Form 4506-T

The verification process for 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021) requires us to review the student's (and spouses if application) 2018 tax return transcript. An IRS Tax Return Transcript can be obtained online, by phone (1.800.908.9946), or by completing IRS Form 4506-T

Instead of requesting an IRS Tax Return Transcript, some individuals may be eligible to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on their FAFSA. 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 return transcript to our office

View instructions on how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool here

If the student (or spouse if applicable) did not file taxes in the requested tax year, a letter of non-filing is required from the IRS. A letter of non-filing can be obtained online or by completing IRS Form 4506-T.

Only submit the below forms if they have been requested by the Financial Aid Office.

Documentation of Dependents

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)

Statement of Educational Purpose

  • 2019-2020 (Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020)
  • 2020-2021 (Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021)

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. We recommend that you submit all verification documents and forms to the Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid using our secure Eagle File Transfer platform to ensure protection of your sensitive data.

Contact Us

Office of Financial Aid
Kennard-Washington Hall (KWH) 101
118 College Dr. #5101 Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Fax 601.266.5769

Campus Map

Email
financial.aidFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.4774

Contact Us

Student Services One Stop
Hardy Hall, First Floor
730 East Beach Blvd. 
Long Beach, MS 39560

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map

Email
OneStop_GPFREEMississippi

Phone
228.214.3370