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 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.

Required verification documents include:

Additional documents may also be required. Some of these include:

a copy of your high school diploma or final high school transcript that shows the graduation date

  • Low Income Verification Worksheet
  • Selective Service
  • Unusual Enrollment statement and official transcripts
  • Child Support Paid
  • SNAP Food Benefits
  • Identity and Statement of Educational Purpose

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

If the OSFA requests your tax information, you must order a Tax Return Transcript directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and submit a SIGNED (by the tax filer) copy to us. If we request 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 2013-2014 aid, you must submit the 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 2012 tax return was filed. Additional information may be required.

Tax Return Transcript Ordering Tips

  • There is no fee to order IRS Tax Return Transcripts.
  • There are two ways to order your tax return transcript: online or by phone.
  • The tax filer's social security number, date of birth, street address and Zip Code are required to order a transcript.
  • It takes five to ten days for you to receive the transcript once your order is received by the IRS.
  • The transcript must be mailed to you, not Harper College.
  • Go to Order a Transcript for more information or to place a Tax Return Transcript order.
  • The Tax Return Transcript submitted to us must be SIGNED by the tax filer.
  • We cannot accept the Tax Account Transcript or the Record of Account Transcript.

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.