May 15th is an important deadline for those who filed their FAFSA by February 15th. These dates are considered priority deadlines and go hand in hand when awarding students financial aid. After a student submits their FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education requires every institution to review certain criteria to determine financial aid eligibility.

This process is called verification, or file review. Verification is not optional for students/families that are selected; all forms & documents must be submitted before a student’s financial aid can be determined. Students will not be awarded state, federal, or institutional financial aid until all documents are received and reviewed.

SFS has contacted the students selected for verification through their WSU email (for more information on how to set up a WSU email account click here) and by updating the 2015-16 Financial Aid Checklist (To Do List) in their zzusis student center. Not every student will be asked to verify their information, and verification documents should not be submitted unless they have been requested by SFS. If a student submits their documents without being asked, we will then verify the student’s account and may in turn ask for additional documentation.

If a student is selected for file review and did not meet the February 15th priority FAFSA deadline, they will still need to turn in the requested documentation in order to receive financial aid for the upcoming 2015-2016 academic year. However, they do not need to turn them in by May 15th. Do keep in the mind, the faster the documents are submitted to SFS, the sooner that the student can be offered an actual award for the 2015-16 academic year. The preferred method for submitting documents to SFS is by scanning and uploading them online at submitSFSdocs.wsu.edu.

The requested documents can range from W2s, to verification of family size, citizenship status, tax transcripts and more. One way to avoid being asked to verify tax information with W2s and tax transcripts is by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool found on the FAFSA. This tool allows families to pull information directly from the IRS into their FAFSA. Students and parents can go back to their FAFSA and use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool as early as two weeks after their taxes have been filed with the IRS. Watch this great video from University of California Santa Barbara to learn more about this tool and how it can benefit you.

The Student Financial Services office is excited to help counselors, students and parents through this process. If you have a question or a concern, feel free to contact SFS Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by calling 509-335-9711 or emailing finaid@wsu.edu. If students or parents are visiting campus they can also schedule an appointment to meet with a Financial Aid advisor Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by visiting finaid.wsu.edu. Remember to follow SFS on Facebook and Twitter for the latest financial aid information and quick tips.