Verification Policy 

Download the Verification Policy and Procedures

Once students complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Central Processing System (CPS), there is a possibility that the application will be selected for a process called "Verification". This is an audit/review process in which the student's school of choice will be required to conduct the review in order to determine the student's aid eligibility. Generally, CPS will select the application for verification based on conflicting data, a change from the prior year or due to a random selection process. If the application is selected, an asterisk will appear on the Student Aid Report (SAR), next to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). However, the school's Financial Aid Office also is authorized to "Institutionally" select applications for this review process in cases of conflicting information.

Although the school has the option of processing one Pell payment without verifying the application, this school does not take that option due to the risk of financial liability. The University of New Orleans verifies those applicants who are selected by the federal processor for Verification and those who have conflicting information and comments. Students who are selected for verification by the processor or Institutionally Selected by the Financial Aid Office must submit the signed and completed verification forms and documents, along with the supporting documentation such as IRS Tax Return Transcripts, W-2 forms, etc. 

Students are notified, in a timely manner, of all required documents to submit to the school. The verification process cannot begin and/or be completed until all required documents are submitted.

Verification Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is Verification?


An IRS Tax Return Transcript can be found by going to

Then choose the link "Order a Return or Account Transcript"

Or call 1-800-908-9946

Selective Service Registration

A: Verification is the audit process of reviewing and determining a student's eligibility for Title IV assistance. The verification process determines the accuracy of the information a student and/or parent reports on his/her FAFSA.

Q: Who determines whether or not a student is selected for verification?

A: The U.S. Department of Education determines whether or not a student is selected for the audit process called verification. Students are selected based on the information that is reported on the FAFSA application.

Q: How am I notified regarding the verification process?

A: Students are sent notifications from the U.S. Department of Education via their processed FAFSA application which is called a Student Aid Report(SAR). The information is displayed in the comment section. The Financial Aid Office notifies students via their UNO E-MAIL to inform of the verification process selection. Students are informed to check their WebStar "To Do List" where the required documents are listed

Q: Do I have to turn in documents for verification, if I am only interested in TOPS?

A: You do not have to complete and submit the verification forms. However, if you receive a Missing Information Letter from The University of New Orleans, write on the bottom of the form that you are only interested in TOPS, and mail the form back to the UNO's Office of Student Financial Aid. However, if you anticipate receiving Pell Grant, then you must submit your verification documents.

Q: What is the non-traditional household worksheet? Why was the non-traditional household worksheet mailed to me?

A: The non-traditional household worksheet is a verification document that is used to verify other members listed on the Verification Worksheet that are not part of a

Dependent traditional household — such as mother, father, sister, and/or brother .

Independent traditional household — such as spouse, son, or daughter

The non-traditional household worksheet is mailed to all students selected for the verification process. Students should only complete the form if a non-traditional member, such as grandmother, grandfather, aunt, uncle, cousin, foster child, or others are listed in the household section of the Verification Worksheet.

Q: What correct Federal Income Tax Return is required?

A: The correct Federal Income Tax Return that is required is the Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and other certain IRS documents. However, the Federal Return RECAP, Form 8453, and E-filing are not acceptable documents for completing a student's verification process. The only acceptable document is the IRS TAX TRANSCRIPT which needs to be requested from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Q: How to obtain an IRS Tax Transcript?

A: To obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript, go to and click on the "Order a Return or Account Transcript" link, or call 1-800-908-9946.

Q: What if I did not file a tax return?

A: Students or parents who did file a tax return have to complete a Zero Income Form and submit a Wage Record File from the Louisiana Work Department of Labor Unemployment Office.

Q: How long does the verification process take?

A: The verification process is based on the time frame in which it takes a student to submit his or her requested documents to verify the accuracy of the data reported on the FAFSA. However, during peak of processing, (June, July and August) the verification process may take from 4 to 6 weeks to verify a student's document.

Q:What is Selective Service registration?

A:Registration is a way our government keeps a list of names of men from which to draw in case of a national emergency requiring rapid expansion of our Armed Forces. By registering all young men, the Selective Service ensures that a future draft will be fair and equitable. For further question and answers, please see