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About Verification

Verification is a quality-control method used by the U.S. Department of Education to check the accuracy of information submitted on the FAFSA.

All schools that disburse federal Title IV funds are required to participate in the verification process. It is the policy of Bluefield College to verify all students selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, in addition to any students selected for verification by Bluefield College. Procedures published in the current Department of Education Verification Guide are used to review, evaluate, and correct errors.

Verification Steps
  1. The Financial Aid Office will send you a request outlining all forms and information that must be submitted to satisfy verification requirements.
  2. If selected for verification, you will have until census date (last day to add or drop a course) to submit all required items to the Financial Aid Office.
  3. If you do not submit the required items within the time frame, your application will be closed for the remainder of the academic year. You may reactivate your file by submitting the required documents along with a change in aid form no later than the end of the semester for which you are applying for aid. If extenuating circumstances exist, you may schedule an appointment with a counselor to discuss your situation.
  4. A revised award letter will be sent to the financial aid applicant if any awards change because of verification.

The General Provisions of 34 CFR 668.14(f) of the Federal Register requires that Bluefield College ensure the consistency of the information related to a student’s application for federal student aid, regardless of the source of that information. All information received must be reconciled with one exception; if the applicant dies during the award year, the College is not required to pursue the resolution of conflicting data.

If the Financial Aid Office has any conflicting information on an applicant, or believes an applicant’s application information is in error, it must resolve the discrepancies prior to disbursing any federal student aid. The requirement to resolve conflicting data is separate and distinct from the verification requirements and procedures, and supersedes any verification policies. Further, if a discrepancy is discovered after federal aid has been disbursed, it must be reconciled and the student will be required to repay any amount of aid received in excess of his or her eligibility.

Note: If the Financial Aid Office suspects that a student, or other individual, has intentionally misreported information or altered documentation to fraudulently obtain federal financial aid funds, the office can report its suspicions, and will provide the evidence, to the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Education, for review.

Verification Update

The U.S. Department of Education continues to move to a more individualized verification process where only certain elements of the verification are performed on particular students. This means that Bluefield College will not require the same documentation from each student. Instead, the College will require only documentation that is relevant to the individualized verification. You will be notified by email (to your BC email address) of the individual forms you will need to complete. You may also see your required forms in your MyBC account. Additional documentation may cause unnecessary delays in processing your financial aid file.

Only submit forms as requested by the Financial Aid Office. All verification items must be submitted to:

Bluefield College
3000 College Avenue
Bluefield, VA 24605
Fax: 276.326.4356

Which Documents Do I Submit?

Click for additional information regarding Tax Returns and the IRS Data Retrieval. Tax Returns are no longer accepted for verification purposes. The following are forms that may be requested by the Financial Aid Office. Only submit requested forms.

2016-2017 Financial Aid Year

  • V1 Dependent Verification Worksheet – Standard Verification.
  • V1 Independent Verification Worksheet – Standard Verification.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 student tax return* if the student did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 spouse tax return* if the spouse did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA and if you are married and filed separate tax returns.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 parent tax return* if the parent did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA and you were required to provide parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • V4 Custom Verification Group (Dependent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, as well as SNAP benefits and payments of child support.
  • V4 Custom Verification Group (Independent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, as well as SNAP benefits and payments of child support.
  • V5 Aggregate Verification Group (Dependent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, in addition to items in the Standard verification group.
  • V5 Aggregate Verification Group (Independent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, in addition to items in the Standard verification group.
  • V6 Verification of Household Resources (Dependent) – Student must verify the items in the Standard Verification Groups, as well as certain other untaxed income on the 2016-17 FAFSA.
  • V6 Verification of Household Resources (Independent) – Students must verify the items in the Standard Verification Groups, as well as certain other untaxed income on the 2016-17 FAFSA.

*There are a few cases where a student, parent, or spouse cannot utilize the IRS Data Retrieval option or obtain a copy of a tax transcript. Examples of these situations and acceptable documentation are listed below.

2017-2018 Financial Aid Year

  • V1 Dependent Verification Worksheet – Standard Verification.
  • V1 Independent Verification Worksheet – Standard Verification.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 student tax return* if the student did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 spouse tax return* if the spouse did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA and if you are married and filed separate tax returns.
  • IRS Tax Transcript of 2015 parent tax return* if the parent did not use the IRS Data Retrieval (unchanged) when completing the FAFSA and you were required to provide parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • V4 Custom Verification Group (Dependent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose.
  • V4 Custom Verification Group (Independent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose.
  • V5 Aggregate Verification Group (Dependent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, in addition to items in the Standard Verification Group.
  • V5 Aggregate Verification Group (Independent) – Student must verify high school completion status and identity/statement of educational purpose, in addition to items in the Standard Verification Group.

*Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) is unavailable indefinitely. The two agencies hope the DRT will be available for Academic Year 2018-2019's financial aid application cycle, beginning October 1. What this means is that students selected for verification must request a tax return transcript from the IRS by mail or online and submit it to the financial aid office. You can request a transcript at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/get-transcript. Please review the documents needed above to determine if this information is required since this manual process takes much longer than DRT's automated interface.


Students or Parents Filing an Amended Return

  • Submit a signed copy the of IRS Form 1040X that was filed.
  • Submit a signed copy of the original return that was filed or a tax return transcript.
  • Submit a transcript obtained from the IRS that list tax account information.

Students or Parents are Victims of Identity Theft

  • Contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 800.908.4490.
  • Request an alternative tax return transcript TRDVB (Transcript DataBase View).
  • A statement signed and dated that indicates that the tax filer is a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.

An individual who is required to file a 2015 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS, must provide:

  1. A copy of IRS Form 4868, ‘‘Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,’’ that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2015;
  2. A copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for tax year 2015; and
  3. A copy of IRS Form W–2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015 and, if self-employed, a signed statement certifying.

In addition, an individual who filed or will file a 2015 income tax return with the relevant taxing authority of a U.S. territory, commonwealth, or with a foreign central government must provide:

  1. A transcript that was obtained at no cost from the relevant taxing authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign central government, that includes all of the tax filer’s income and tax information required to be verified for tax year 2015; or
  2. If a transcript cannot be obtained at no cost from the relevant taxing authority, a signed copy of the 2015 income tax return(s).