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Verification Forms

The Department of Education selects certain FAFSA filers for a review process called verification. During this process, our office is required to ensure that the information reported on the FAFSA is accurate. If necessary, we will update your FAFSA application and send it to the Department of Education for processing.

If your application has been selected, both the Department of Education and our office will notify you with instructions on how to proceed. We cannot process your financial aid package until Verification is complete.

Only submit the Verification documents listed below if your To-Do list in CAESAR specifically requests them. Not all documents are required from each student selected. Your To-Do list in CAESAR will specifically state which documents are required. Students who do not see "Verification Worksheet" on their To-Do list in CAESAR should not submit this form unless it is specifically requested by the Office of Financial Aid. For more information on the federal Verification process, please see our Verification FAQs

2021-22 Verification Forms

  • 2021-22 Household Size Verification Form (INDEPENDENT) - Students in Graduate and Professional programs (including Med and Law regardless of NU Dependency Status) selected for verification for the 2021-22 academic year should complete this form. Undergraduates who are considered independent for the purposes of federal aid should complete this form if selected for verification.
  • 2021-22 Household Size Verification Form (DEPENDENT) - Only undergraduate students who are selected for verification for the 2021-22 academic year and are considered dependent for the purposes of federal aid should complete this form with their parents.
  • Signed 2019 1040 Tax Return, 2019 IRS Tax Transcript, or Update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
    • Please see below for more information about how to document your taxes for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • 2021-22 Student (and/or Spouse) Non-Filer Statement - This form should be completed if you (or your spouse) did not file taxes in 2019.
  • 2021-22 Parent Non-Filer Statement - This form should be completed if the parent(s) of a dependent undergraduate student did not file taxes in 2019.
  • 2021-22 Other Untaxed Income Reported (INDEPENDENT) - This form should be completed if an independent student reported untaxed income on the FAFSA.
  • 2021-22 Other Untaxed Income Reported (DEPENDENT) - This form should be completed if a dependent student or their parent(s) reported untaxed income on the FAFSA.
  • 2021-22 High School Completion and Identity Verification Form - This form must be completed in person and should only be completed if specifically required by the Office of Financial Aid and the Department of Education.
    • If you are an undergraduate student, you must also bring documentation of your high school completion when you come into our Chicago office to verify your identity. More information about acceptable documentation is on the form.
  • 2021-22 Verification of Identity Using Notary - This form is for distance learning student who are unable to appear in person at Northwestern University to verify identity. The original document must be mailed to the Office of Financial Aid. Faxed and emailed copies are not accepted.
    • You may also need to send documentation of your high school completion to our office. Please see below for more information about acceptable documentation of high school completion.

2022-23 Verification Forms


Documentation of High School Completion

If your FAFSA was chosen for verification of your high school completion status and identity and you are an undergraduate student, you will need to provide one of the following documents to indicate your high school completion status at the time you begin college in for the applicable academic year:

  • A copy of your high school diploma
  • A copy of your final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded
  • A copy of your General Educational Development (GED) certificate or GED transcript
  • An academic transcript that indicates you successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree
  • A homeschool diploma, or a transcript (signed by parent/guardian) that lists the secondary school courses you completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting
    • Please note: If you were homeschooled in another state, you must submit the secondary school completion credential for homeschool required by your state (if your state law differs from the above requirement)

Graduate students at Northwestern are required to have a bachelor’s degree before admission. Given this, documentation of high school completion will NOT be required of graduate students as long as your academic program has your undergraduate transcript(s) on file. We will verify this with your program and will follow up with you if additional documentation is required.

Updating your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or Requesting Federal Tax Transcripts from the IRS

If you need to document your FAFSA tax and income information for the relevant filing year noted above, you can send our office a signed copy of the relevant filing year 1040 tax return form. If you choose not to send us a signed copy of your 1040, then you will need to either update your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or request a copy of your federal tax transcript from the IRS.

Updating your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

You can update your FAFSA tax and income information at fafsa.gov using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. You can find more information about completing the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the Federal Student Aid website.

The security and privacy protection standards for the IRS Data Retrieval Tool have been updated beginning with the 2018-19 academic year. If the Data Retrieval Tool is available for your FAFSA submission, you will be taken to the IRS website while you are completing the FAFSA, where you’ll need to provide your name and other information exactly as you provided it on your tax return. Some information will be prepopulated from your FAFSA form.

Once at the IRS site, you’ll see a page that indicates whether your tax information is available (you won’t see the actual information). You can choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, or you can cancel your request and return to the FAFSA site. If you choose to import your information into the FAFSA form, you’ll find that on the FAFSA site, instead of your tax information being displayed, you’ll see “Transferred from the IRS” in the appropriate fields. You won’t be able to make changes to those answers.

Requesting Federal Tax Transcripts from the IRS

You can request a copy of your federal tax transcript from the IRS, free of charge, in one of four ways. Tax transcripts can be submitted to our office via email, regular mail, or fax. When submitting tax transcripts, please be sure to indicate the student’s name and Northwestern ID number on the top of each page and please black out the first 5 digits of any social security numbers that are included on any forms that you send to our office.

Online Tax Transcript Request, Transcript Available for Immediate Download:

This is the preferred request method as it will allow for immediate download of the transcript PDF

  • Available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov
  • On the homepage, click “Get Your Tax Record”
  • Click the “Get Transcript Online” button to register for/sign into your IRS account. To register for and use this service, you need: 
    • your SSN, date of birth, filing status and mailing address from latest tax return,
    • access to your email account,
    • your personal account number from a credit card, mortgage, home equity loan, home equity line of credit or car loan, and
    • a mobile phone with your name on the account.
  • Follow the instructions to either sign into your IRS online account or register for a new account
    • If you are having trouble signing into your IRS online account or registering for a new account, then you may need to request that the tax transcript be mailed to you, which you can also complete online and does not require that you sign into your IRS online account or register for a new account.
  • Once you are logged into your IRS online account, choose "Higher Education/Student Aid" as the reason you need a transcript
  • Select "Go"
  • An outline of the transcript options available for you to request will appear. For federal verification purposes, you will need to select a "Return Transcript" for the applicable year. We cannot accept any other type of tax transcript for federal verification purposes.
    • Select 2019 if you are completing verification for the 2021-22 academic year
    • Select 2020 if you are completing verification for the 2022-23 academic year
  • Once you select the applicable year under the "Return Transcript" heading, a PDF copy of your transcript should pop up in a separate window

Online Tax Transcript Request, Transcript Delivered by Mail:

  • Available on the IRS website at www.irs.gov
  • On the homepage, click “Get Your Tax Record”
  • Click the “Get Transcript by Mail” button then click "OK" to accept the disclaimer. To use this service, you need your:
  • Enter the tax filer’s SSN, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code. Use the address currently on file with the IRS. Generally, this will be the address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Click “Continue”
  • In the TYPE OF TRANSCRIPT field, select “Return Transcript” and in the TAX YEAR field, select the applicable tax year:
    • 2019 if you are completing verification for the 2021-22 academic year
    • 2020 if you are completing verification for the 2022-23 academic year
  • Click “Continue”
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address included in their online request within 5 to 10 business days from the time the online request was successfully transmitted to the IRS. Tax Return Transcripts requested online cannot be sent directly to a third party (NU) by the IRS.

Telephone Tax Transcript Request:     

  • Available from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-9946
  • Tax filers must follow prompts to enter their SSN and the numbers in their street address. Generally, these will be the numbers of the street address that was listed on the latest tax return filed. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file. For a joint return, use the primary tax filer’s social security number, date of birth, street address, and zip or postal code.
  • Request the "Tax Return Transcript", and then enter the applicable year:
    • 2019 if you are completing verification for the 2021-22 academic year
    • 2020 if you are completing verification for the 2022-23 academic year
  • If successfully validated, tax filers can expect to receive a paper IRS Tax Return Transcript at the address that was used in their telephone request within 5-10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. IRS Tax Transcripts requested by telephone cannot be sent directly to a third party (NU) by the IRS.

Paper Tax Transcript Request Form - IRS Form 4506T-EZ:

  • Download IRS Form 4506T-EZ at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506tez.pdf
    • IRS Form 4506T-EZ should be used instead of IRS 4506-T because it is sufficient to request an IRS Tax Return transcript
  • Complete lines 1-4, following the instructions on page 2 of the form. Note that line 3 should be the most current address as filed with the IRS. It is the address where the IRS Tax Return Transcript will be sent. If the address has recently changed, include the address listed on the latest tax return filed on Line 4. However, if an address change has been completed through the US Postal Service, the IRS may have the updated address on file.
  • Line 5 provides tax filers with the option to have their IRS Tax Return Transcript mailed directly to a third party (NU) by the IRS.
  • On line 6, enter:
    • "2019" if you are completing verification for the 2021-22 academic year
    • "2020" if you are completing verification for the 2022-23 academic year
  • The Tax Filers (or spouse, if requesting information from a joint tax return) must sign and date the form and enter their telephone number. Only one signature is required to request a transcript for a joint return.
  • Mail or fax the completed IRS form 4506T-EZ to the appropriate address (or FAX number) provided on page 2 of Form 4506T-EZ.
  • Tax filers can expect to receive their transcript within 5-10 days from the time the IRS receives and processes their signed request. NOTE: Processing Form 4506T-EZ means verifying/validating the information provided on the form. If any information does not match the IRS records, the IRS will notify the tax filer that it was not able to provide the transcript.