FAFSA Next Steps & Verification

Next Steps

After you have filed your FAFSA, the Department of Education (DOE’s) Central Processing System (CPS) will forward a copy to Anderson University. You will also receive your FAFSA results in a Student Aid Report (SAR) acknowledgment. If you provided your e-mail address you will receive an e-mail with a link to your SAR on the Web. Once you receive your SAR you should:

  • Review all of your FAFSA answers and make sure they are correct especially if you initially used estimated income and tax information.
  • SAR items requiring special attention are highlighted in bold type.
  • If you need to make corrections to your FAFSA information, you can make them online at fafsa.gov. You must use your Federal Student Aid ID (fsaid.ed.gov) to access your record online.
  • Note any additional or missing information that may be requested including notice that you have been selected for verification and promptly follow-up with the Office of Student Financial Services.

Financial Aid Deadlines

Students that have completed the FAFSA application and submitted all outstanding documents to the Office of Financial Services by the priority processing deadline of August 1 will have their financial aid account processed and aid awarded by the first date of the term.

Students that submit FAFSA applications and outstanding documents after the priority processing deadline of August 1 should be prepared to set up payment arrangements and purchase books and supplies out-of-pocket while the financial aid process is being completed.

Student accounts without payment arrangements will be subject to having their courses dropped for non-payment.


Because students sometimes make errors on their FAFSA application, the Central Processing System (CPS) requires Anderson University to assist with verifying FAFSA applications and making corrections. The CPS selects which applications are to be verified.

Being selected for verification means you may be asked to provide documentation or complete one of the verification worksheets that are specific to the answers you provided on the FAFSA. No further action can be taken on your request for financial aid including all federal, state, or need-based university funds until you submit the required information and complete the verification process.

Students will be notified via U.S. mail or e-mail of which worksheet, if any, is required in addition to any outstanding Action Items that need to be completed. Students may also view their outstanding “To Do” list action items through AccessAU Student Self Service at accessau.anderson.edu. Students should respond within two weeks of receiving AU’s request for follow up.

Follow Up
All action items and requests for documentation must be completed before AU can determine financial aid eligibility. Scanned documents can be e-mailed to sfs@anderson.edu. An official financial aid award letter will be mailed after all required documents are submitted to the Office of Student Financial Services.

Verification Worksheets

Estimated Awards and FAFSA Corrections
Verification Worksheets are used to verify non-tax items, such as household size and number in college. Students may be required to complete one of the following verification worksheets, which are available below in PDF format. Download Adobe Reader to view PDF documents.


2018-2019 School Year
2019-2020 School Year

FSA ID/PIN Replacement
The FSA ID – a username and password – has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents, such as Master Promissory Notes, to complete Entrance loan counseling and the FAFSA.

Creating an FSA ID
Apply for a FSA ID at www.fsaid.ed.gov. Users who already have a Federal Student Aid PIN will be able to enter it and link it to their FSA ID.

Users cannot “start over” if they make a mistake in setting up the FSA ID; fixing the one they have is the only option. Each FSA ID is linked to one e-mail address. Consequently the parent and student must use separate e-mail addresses.

Helpful Tips
Only the FSA ID owner should create the FSA ID. When an account is created by someone else, like a parent for a student, the chances that the FSA ID owner will correctly remember the password or the answers to the challenge questions is substantially reduced.

Including an email address on the FSA ID account is highly recommended. If a user forgets their username or password, they can request that a secure code be e-mailed to them to allow them to reset their username or password. Without an e-mail address, the only resolution is to successfully answer the challenge questions.

What if I have lost or forgotten my FSA ID?
While usernames are not case sensitive, passwords are case sensitive. Users who think they have forgotten their username or password can use the help button, or click the “forgot my username” or “forgot my password” button for additional assistance after the second incorrect password attempt, to avoid locking their account.

What if my FSA ID account is locked?

Unlike the PIN, which could be deactivated and then recreated, the FSA ID is intended to be permanent. Individuals who have lost access to their FSA ID must contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) by phone or Web chat.

Students, parents, and borrowers who require additional assistance with their FSA ID should contact FSAIC at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Web chat is also available from the FAFSA.gov “Help” page under “Contact Us.”

Once FSAIC has confirmed that access has been lost, the issue will be escalated to an FSA ID specialist. The process to reset an FSA ID can take several days as the student will need to submit a copy of a government-issued photo ID.

The FSA ID serves as an electronic signature and provides access to personal records, so never share the FSA ID.


Q. What forms must I file?

A.  You need to file either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Renewal FAFSA application if you filed a FAFSA last year.

Q. Is there a deadline to file the FAFSA?
A.  There is a deadline for Indiana residents.  For Indiana residents the FAFSA must be received by March 10.  For all students Anderson University has established a March 1 priority date that will be used when awarding financial aid.
Q. How do I file the FAFSA?

A.  Both the regular and renewal FAFSA can be filed on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. A paper version of the FAFSA is available in the Office of Student Financial Services.

Q. Who is to complete the FAFSA?

A.  Any student who wants to be considered for need-based grants from the federal or state government or from the university.  To receive a student loan the FAFSA has to be completed as well.

*If you are a dependent student your parents will also need to complete a portion of the FAFSA.

Q. How is the FAFSA signed if we file electronically using the web?

A.  The FAFSA can be signed electronically with the use of a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID).  Your parent(s) will need their own FSA ID if you are filing the FAFSA as a dependent student.​

Q. How do I apply for academic scholarships from the university?
A.  No separate application is required.  Eligibility for academic scholarships will be reviewed in May after final grades are posted.  For those students already receiving an academic scholarship, it will be renewed automatically if the required GPA is met.  If you aren’t currently receiving an academic scholarship but feel you will meet the eligibility requirements at the end of the semester, contact your Student Financial Services counselor.


Option 1 — IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import data from their tax return directly onto their FAFSA. It is the fastest, easiest, and most secure method of meeting verification requirements. Students and parents do this either when initially filling out the FAFSA on the Web or later as a correction.

Factors that determine when the IRS Tool can be used are:

  • filing electronically vs. paper filing
  • expecting a refund vs. owing the IRS
  • submitting payment when filing vs. paying after submission

A link to the IRS DRT is displayed if you can answer “NO” to all three “Did you” screening questions (as seen in the image on the right).

Electronic Tax Filers please wait two weeks after filing before trying to use the Data Retrieval Tool. Click here for a Timeline of Availability for 2015 IRS Tax Information [PDF].

HINT: Successful use of the DRT requires you to enter your address EXACTLY the way it appears across the top of your tax return. This includes any spaces, capitalization, or abbreviations. If you have moved since you filed your return, use the address which was current at the time you filed.

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool is not available to students and parents if any of these conditions apply.

  • The person did not indicate on the FAFSA that the tax return has been completed.
  • The person is married and filed the tax return either as “Head of Household” or “Married Filing Separate”.
  • The student or parent marital status conflicts with their tax filing status. The user’s “marital status” and “tax return filing status” must be a valid combination.
  • The marriage date is January or later.
  • The tax return was amended (see Amended Tax Returns below).
  • Neither married parent entered a valid SSN.
  • A parent entered all zeros for the SSN because parent does not have a Social Security Number.
  • The first three digits of the SSN are 666.
  • The person filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.

Notify the Office of Financial Aid if the parents filed separate IRS income tax returns for 2015 or had a change in marital status after December 31, 2015.

Option 2 — IRS Tax Return Transcript

If using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is not an option you must request a Tax Return Transcript for the student and spouse or for your parents, as applicable.  Warning: we cannot accept an IRS tax Account transcript. Regardless of the method used, be sure to request the correct form: TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT.

  • For immediate online results go to www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript, select “Get Transcript Online”, and create an account.
  • To place an automated order call (800) 908-9946.
  • Use the IRS2Go mobile app.
  • Mail or fax a paper request using IRS Form 4506-T [PDF].
    • Required field on Form 4506-T Line 6 – indicate which type of tax return you filed (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ).
    • Required field on Form 4506-T Line 6a – check the box for a tax Return transcript

Detailed instructions on How to Request a Tax Return Transcript [PDF]

The IRS will respond with either:

  1. Your Tax Return Transcript, or
  2. A “Verification of Non-Filing Letter” indicating the IRS could not provide the transcript (see Option 4 below)

In either case, please sign and forward the IRS response to Anderson University, Office of Financial Aid.

Option 3 — Have the IRS mail your Tax Return Transcript to Anderson University

Tax filers who mail or fax a paper form 4506-T [PDF] can choose to have the transcript mailed to a third party (Anderson University). On line 5 enter our school information – Anderson University, Office of Financial Aid, Attn: Beth Parker, 1100 E. Fifth St, Anderson, IN 46012-3495.  Indicate on line 6 which type of return you filed (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ).

Option 4 — When a tax return transcript is unavailable

When the parent or student requests an IRS tax return transcript and the outcome is unsuccessful the IRS will respond with a “Verification of Nonfiling Letter” or a letter indicating the request could not be fulfilled at this time. Anderson University requires a copy of the IRS response. For unsuccessful online requests please forward a signed copy of a screen print from IRS.gov showing a message that the transcript request was unsuccessful.

In rare cases where there is proof that using the IRS DRT was not an option and a transcript is unavailable the university may accept a signed copy of the tax return (Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) for verification.

Option 5 — Filing Extensions

When students or parents have been granted a tax filing extension, Anderson University will accept a copy of IRS Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return” as a temporary alternative. Also, AU will require a copy of all W-2 forms or, if self-employed, a signed statement with the amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) and amount of U.S. income taxes paid for the tax year.

AU will award financial aid for the fall semester only to students who filed an extension (or whose parents filed an extension). Once the return has been filed, AU will require income to be verified by either using the IRS DRT or a Tax Return Transcript.

Additional Documentation Details
Amended Tax Returns

Students or parents who file an amended return cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

Instead, they must provide the following information to complete verification:

  1. A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X (the amended tax return form), and
  2. A signed copy of the original tax return that was filed or an IRS transcript , and
  3. An IRS Tax Return Transcript (which does not have to be signed), or acceptable IRS alternative, such as a Record of Account Transcript, a Return Transcript for Taxpayer (RTFTP), or an Information Returns Processing Transcript Request—Wages (IRPTR-W).
Victims of IRS Identity Theft

In addition to collecting a copy of the Tax Return Transcript, the school must also collect a statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.