If your application is selected for a process called verification, BSU will be comparing information from your application with the actual information from you and your parent(s)' federal taxes, and other financial documents. 

Federal regulations state that we have the right to ask you for this information before awarding federal aid.  If there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, correction will need to be made electronically by the student or the BSU Office of Financial Aid.

Complete the required verification form below and submit it to your financial aid administrator as soon as possible, so that your financial aid will not be delayed.  If you need assistance contact the Office of Financial Aid.


Students and parents who have filed or completed their 2018 Federal Income Tax Return prior to completing the FAFSA will be able to select the IRS Data Retrieval option on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to transfer certain tax information to the FAFSA.

Bowie State University highly recommends the use of the IRS Data Retrieval option during the initial filing or when subsequent corrections are made to your 2020-2021 FAFSA. This option provides the fastest, easiest and most secure solution for meeting certain verification requirements.

How It Works-When a parent or student selects the IRS Data Retrieval option, the Central Processing System (CPS) will conduct a data match with the IRS. As the federal income tax filer, you will be redirected to a secure IRS website, where you will permit the IRS to transfer income data to the CPS. Data that is successfully matched will be marked on the FAFSA with the following notation, “Transferred from the IRS.”

A successful match between CPS and the IRS will allow the financial aid office staff to forego the need for certain federal income tax return documents, as long as income data fields are not subsequently changed on your FAFSA.

This process avoids reporting errors and processing delays that can otherwise occur when the option is not selected. Please note that you may still be required to supply other income information as part of the general verification process.

To successfully use this option you must:

  • Have a federal tax return filed with the IRS.
  • Have a valid social security number.
  • Have a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID

You will be unable to use this option if:

  • Your marital status changes after end of the tax year.
  • You filed married filing separately.
  • You filed an amended return.
  • You filed a foreign tax return.
  • You completed a paper FAFSA.

If you indicate that your tax filing status as “Will File” on the FAFSA  because you had not filed a return yet, please remember to change this status to “Already Filed,” update all relevant income fields to your FAFSA, and select the IRS Data Retrieval option once you have actually submitted a federal income tax return to the IRS.

According to the IRS, electronically filed tax return information will be available online from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed. Data from paper tax returns will be available in 6-8 weeks.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification, and you chose not to use this option or you changed the IRS data, you will be required to provide an IRS Tax Return Transcript or signed copy of Tax returns to the Financial Aid Office.

Verification Forms

Along with the completed verification form please submit the following if you and/or your parent(s) were unable to complete the IRS Data Retrieval process:

  • Copy of your (student's) and your spouses' (if independent and married) 2018 IRS Federal Tax Transcript or signed Tax Returns
  • Copy of your parents' (if dependent) 2018 IRS Federal Tax Transcript or signed Tax Returns
  • For dependent student who worked but did not file a 2018 tax return, the student must provide a copy of 2018 W-2's

Verification Notes

  1. If students and/or parents completed FAFSA using “estimated income” or completed FAFSA prior to filing 2018 Federal Income Tax Return, log into and update your FAFSA (Submit Correction) with actual income as reported in 2018 Federal Income Tax Return. Bowie State University  highly encourage you to utilize IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) . Using DRT is secure and information is accurate and it is highly likely that your FAFSA will not be picked up for verification.
  2. If you indicated your tax filing status as “Will File” Change that field to “Already Filed” and update all income fields or discrepancies if system prompts you to.
  3.  For parents and/or students with conflicting tax statues that differ per IRS regulations, additional information can be requested regarding discrepancies.