Verification Guidelines

Your financial aid application may be selected by the U.S. Department of Education or Harper College for a process called Verification. This is a federal requirement whereby you must submit documentation to the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) that confirms the information filed on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate and truthful.

Note: Not all financial aid applications are selected for verification. Unless you hear from us about verification, you do not need to provide any additional documents.

If your application is selected for verification:

  • You are notified by an email from the OSFA, along with reminder email requests.
  • The U.S. Department of Education chooses which documents you need to submit to Harper College.
  • All required documents are listed in the email and are posted with instructions in the View My Financial Aid Status / Eligibility section of the My Finances tab in the MyHarper student portal.
  • Submit your documents promptly. It can take up to 3 to 4 weeks for staff review during peak processing times.
  • OSFA will not accept incomplete verification documentation. Be sure to sign the appropriate documents as instructed.
  • Your verification must be complete before federal, state and institutional need-based assistance can be awarded.

If you are asked to provide proof of Illinois residency, follow the guidelines below using the academic year you are requesting assistance and whether you are a dependent or an independent student.

For 2014-2015:

For 2013-2014:

How to Order a Tax Return Transcript from the Internal Revenue Service

If the OSFA requests your federal tax information, you must order an IRS Tax Return Transcript directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and submit a copy to us. If we request federal tax information for both you and your parent(s) or spouse, separate Tax Return Transcripts must be ordered for each tax filer.

Note: there are different types of Tax Transcripts available and a choice of tax years.

  • For 2014-2015 aid, you must submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2013 tax year.
  • For 2013-2014 aid, you must submit the IRS Tax Return Transcript for the 2012 tax year.

Be sure to contact a financial aid advisor if you filed an amended tax return or made any changes after your tax return was filed. Additional information may be required.

How to Request a Tax Return Transcript

There are several ways to order a free, official copy of your Tax Return Transcript from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  We recommend requesting your copy online or by phone.

Online:  The IRS provides an online service called Get Transcript at www.irs.gov/transcript for tax filers to receive a PDF version of an official IRS Tax Return Transcript.  A PDF document will immediately display upon the authentication of the tax payer’s identity and can be printed.  

Phone:  Call 800-908-9946 to request to have an IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed to you.  It takes 5 to 10 days for you to receive the transcript once your order is received by the IRS.

IRS Tax Return Transcripts may also be requested by using the IRS2Go mobile app, or by mailing or faxing the paper Form 4506T-EZ, which can be printed out from the IRS website.

Note:

  • The tax filer's social security number, date of birth, street address and Zip Code are required to order an IRS Tax Return Transcript.
  • The transcript must be mailed to you, not Harper College.
  • Do not submit the Tax Account Transcript or the Record of Account Transcript unless you are asked to do so. 
  • For more information, go to www.irs.gov.

Correction Procedures

Many files require the OSFA staff to make corrections and submit them electronically to the federal processor. Corrections may include changes discovered through the verification process, school identified changes, dependency overrides, etc. Students are encouraged NOT to make any changes to their FAFSA (unless requested by the OSFA) as this could delay the process of completing your file.

Notification of Award Changes

If the student's financial aid awards change as a result of the information submitted, an updated award notification will be emailed to the student.

Be sure to check your email and MyHarper regularly for verification requests and other information from the OSFA. Should you have any questions, please contact our office.