Federal Verification and Professional Judgment

Verification is a process that all universities receiving federal aid are required to complete.  The purpose of verification is not to find fraudulent FAFSA applicants, but to find and correct common mistakes made during the filing of the FAFSA.  All need-based aid packaging must be put on hold until a student provides the necessary information requested through the verification process.  If the verification process is not completed, a student will not be considered for any need-based financial aid.  It is important to return the information and requested documentation as soon as possible.  Processing usually takes about three weeks, but can take longer in peak processing periods.

A typical student selected for verification will be asked to complete a verification worksheet and submit either a signed copy of tax form 1040, or IRS Tax Return Transcript.  Depending on the situation, however, other forms and requirements may be requested from the student.

Submitting Tax Information

Students and/or Parents (if applicable) must provide either copies of a signed tax form 1040 or IRS Tax Return Transcript to complete the verification process.

Tax return transcripts can be ordered through the link below, or by calling 1-800-908-9946.

Order tax return transcripts online.


All students and/or parents not required to file a Federal Income Tax Return
will be required to submit the following documentation:

  • The Non-Filer Statement
  • Copies of form W-2 for each source of employment income received for the tax year.

In addition to these documents, Independent students, or parents of Dependent students, also need to submit:

  • IRS Verification of Non-Filing (which can be obtained by use of one of the following):
    • Using the IRS's "Get Transcript Online"
    • Completing IRS Form 4506-T and checking box 7, and mailing or faxing it to the IRS

2023-2024 verification forms

2023-2024 Dependent Verification Worksheet*

2023-2024 Independent Verification Worksheet*

2021 Tax Non-Filer Form*

Borrower Disability Worksheet*

2023-2024 High School Credential Worksheet*


Professional Judgment

Students attending Youngstown State University can request an adjustment to the FAFSA due to a special or unusual circumstance through a process with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. 


Special Circumstance

A special circumstance refers to a change in the student or family’s financial situation that would justify an adjustment to data elements in the Cost of Attendance (COA) or Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation.

Examples of a special circumstance include:

  • Loss of income from work
  • Loss of untaxed and/or taxable income
  • Disability determination
  • Divorce or separation after FAFSA was filed
  • Death of a parent or spouse after FAFSA was filed
  • Additional household members enrolled in college
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Roth conversion
  • Dependent or elder care expenses
  • Private schooling expenses


Unusual Circumstance

An unusual circumstance is applicable to dependent students (under the age of 24) who cannot provide parent information on the FAFSA due to conditions that would justify an adjustment to a student’s dependency status commonly referred to as a dependency override.

Examples of adjustments that may be granted are:

  • Previously married, now divorced students
  • Parent(s) whereabouts unknown
  • Parent(s) incarcerated or institutionalized
  • Parent(s) abandoned student
  • Contact severed with parent(s) due to physical or psychological abuse or endangerment
  • No contact with parent(s)

Students who believe meet the criteria above for either a special or unusual circumstance or both, are urged to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at 330-941-3506 to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our financial aid counselors for further assistance with the process.