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Financial Aid Verification

UT participates in a federal verification program called Quality Assurance. The US Department of Education assures accuracy when administrating financial aid.

You may have received notification that you have been chosen for verification. However, you will not have to supply UT with any information unless we tell you that you are on Quality Assurance.

During QA, the university will ask you to provide documentation to confirm the information on your FAFSA. This includes a verification worksheet, tax documents, and it may include a copy of your tax return transcript. If you are a dependent student, UT will ask for a copy of your parents’ tax return transcript.

Transcripts provide taxpayers with a computer-created record of their tax return which includes most of the line-items filed with the IRS, including any accompanying forms and schedules. The return transcript does not reflect any changes the taxpayer, his/her representative, or the IRS made after the return was filed.

The IRS allows you to place orders online for tax return transcripts.

If you have questions about the Quality Assurance Program, contact a One Stop counselor.

Order Tax Return Transcripts

Check Your Status

To view outstanding requirements and messages about your financial aid status, log into MyUTK.

Required Documentation

You need to provide a Student Verification Worksheet along with tax documentation, either using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or an IRS tax transcript. The worksheets are located in UT financial aid forms.

If you have been chosen to verify your independent status, please complete the IRS data retrieval (or submit the tax transcript) and submit one of the following types of documentation:

Reason Selected Documentation to Resolve
Military service DD214 or letter from military branch stating Intent to Release
Foster care or dependent/ward of the court Court decision indicating status
Emancipated minor Court decision of emancipation
Legal guardianship Court decision of legal guardianship
Homeless or at-risk for homelessness Certification from one of the following:
School District Homeless Liaison, Director of an Emergency Shelter Program, Director of a Transitional Living Program, Director of Homeless or Runaway Center

IRS Information

If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you filed your FAFSA, you may still do so.

  1. Login at fafsa.gov to “Make a Correction”
  2. On the FAFSA, in the Financial Information section, click “Link to IRS’”
  3. On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”
  4. Proceed to the Sign and Submit Page.

You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:

  • Your marital status changed after December 31
  • You filed an amended return (See Tax Transcript below)
  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You filed a tax return using a Tax ID Number (TIN)
  • You filed a foreign tax return – Submit a signed copy of your return to the financial aid office
  • The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return

If you are not able to use the retrieval tool, you must submit an IRS tax return transcript.

Note: Tax information electronically filed within the last two weeks or submitted by mail within the last eight weeks may not be available.

If you are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit an official IRS TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT, (not an Account Transcript.) There are three ways to do this:

1) Request one electronically on the IRS website at www.irs.gov

  • In the Tools section of the homepage, click “Order a Return or Account Transcript”
  • Under Choice 3, click “Order a Transcript”
  • Then select “Return Transcript”

2) Call the IRS at 1-800-908-9946 and follow the prompts to request a Tax Return Transcript.

3) File Form 4506T-EZ

If you filed an Amended Return:

  • Submit both an IRS Tax “Return Transcript” and an IRS Tax “Account Transcript,” or
  • Submit the Record of Account, (using IRS Form 4506-T), which could take 30 days

REMEMBER: Include your student ID number on your tax return transcript before you submit it.

NOTE: If you are applying for aid at other schools, please make a copy of your tax transcript for your records before you submit to us. We will not keep paper copies of any documents, and the IRS will currently only accommodate one request.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may mail or hand deliver the completed documentation to One Stop.

The University of Tennessee
Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Mail Stop 0230
Knoxville, TN 37996-0230

When sending your documentation, please remember the following:

  • Clearly identify that your information is being sent in reference to your QA inquiry.
  • Send all documents at the same time.
  • Remember to make photocopies for your records.
  • Print your name and nine-digit student ID number on each page of the documents that you submit.

Each recipient who is selected must verify the accuracy of selected data elements reported on the FAFSA. You and/or your parent(s) must complete and sign the forms and submit all required documentation within 30 days. Failure to submit all requested documentation will result in forfeiting your financial aid eligibility.

You do not have a choice. Your participation is mandatory. It is required as a result of your acceptance and receipt of federal funds. Your signature on the FAFSA signifies your agreement to provide proof of your application information.

A hold will be placed on all your financial aid, and you will be ineligible for any further federal, state or institutional aid – including loans. Students scheduled to graduate in December will have their records flagged.

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