Verification Policy

FAFSA Verification

Each year the FAFSA Processing System (FPS) of the US Department of Education selects a number of FAFSAs for "verification." If your FAFSA is selected for verification, the Financial Aid Office will need to collect additional documentation from you and verify some information that you provided on the FAFSA; for example, income information, number of people in the household, or citizenship status, to name a few. The information on this page will give you an idea of what to expect if your FAFSA is selected for verification.

A student whose FAFSA information is selected for verification will be notified of his/her selected status as follows:

  1. the FPS will notify the student on his/her FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). Next to the Student Aid Index (SAI) will be an asterisk (*) referring to a comment in the student section of the FSS that tells the applicant that he/she will be asked by the Institute to provide documentation for verification; and
  2. the CalArts Financial Aid Office will send email notifications on a bi-weekly basis to a student selected for verification. Notifications to the student will begin as soon as a FAFSA selected for verification is received by the Financial Aid Office. Notifications will continue until either the student has submitted all documents required for verification or the deadline for submission has been reached.

CalArts email notifications sent to a student whose FAFSA information is selected for verification will include a link to Self-Service to view any required documentation under the Financial Aid menu and this webpage for information about the student's responsibilities with respect to the verification process, deadlines, and the consequences of failing to complete any required action.

The items that you are required to verify will be posted as missing requirements on your
checklist on your financial aid self-service account. Most students selected for verification will
be required to submit student and parent federal tax information.

For 2024-2025, if selected for verification, and taxes required, student and parent 2022 federal
tax data is required.

How to submit federal tax data

If a student is selected for federal or institutional verification, or in the support of an appeal,
CalArts Financial Aid may request student or parent federal tax returns.

We advise using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax data when completing the FAFSA. If
you are unable to complete the IRS Data Retrieval, you must submit an IRS Tax Transcript if the
student is selected for federal or institutional verification.

Detailed information on submitting tax data can be found below including:

  • Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  • How to obtain an IRS Tax transcript
  • How to submit tax data when you are not required to file a federal tax return
  • How to complete request if you have filed an extension
  • Been a victim of tax fraud
  • Filed an amended tax return
For Tax Filers
IRS Data Retrieval

The best way to submit student and/or parent federal tax data is by using the IRS Data Retrieval
Tool (IRS DRT) that is part of FAFSA on the Web at In most
cases, no further documentation is needed to verify 2021 IRS income tax return information
that was transferred into the student's FAFSA using the IRS DRT, if that information was not
changed. Click IRS Data Retrieval Process for more information on the process.

IRS Tax Transcript

If the student or parent is unable or chooses not to use the IRS DRT in FAFSA on the Web, 2021
IRS Tax Return Transcript(s) must be provided to CalArts Financial Aid (signature not required).
Click IRS Tax Transcript for more information on the process.

The IRS has stopped all faxing of tax transcripts, both individual and business. Private citizens,
and third parties including tax professionals, will no longer be able to receive tax transcripts
through the fax service. Individuals requesting their tax transcripts are recommended to use
the "Get Transcript Online" or "Get Transcript by Mail" services.

Amended Tax Returns

An individual who filed an amended IRS income tax return for 2021 must provide a signed copy
of the 2021 IRS form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income tax Return,” that was filed with
the IRS or documentation from the IRS that includes the change(s) made by the IRS, in addition
to one of the following:

  • IRS DRT information on an ISIR record with all tax information from the original tax return; or
  • A 2021 IRS Tax Return Transcript (that will only include information from the original tax return and does not have to be signed), or any other IRS tax transcript that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified.
For Non-Tax Filers

IRS Verification of Non filing Letter

Parents of dependent students or independent student and spouse, who are non-filing, must
submit an IRS Verification of Non-filing Letter (VNF), IRS form 13873. This document must be
dated on or after October 15, 2022.  If you have not received the VNF letter within 10 days after
mailing the 4506-T form to request the VNF letter, it is acceptable to submit a signed statement
indicating the date that the VNF request was made and that you have not received a response
after 10 days.

Dependent students who did not file, are only required to complete the CalArts Non-filing

Once we have received tax data, it is reviewed and your data self-service check list requirement
will be updated to "complete."

If additional forms are needed from you, you will receive an email directing you to sign into
your self-service account
to view a list of required documents. You can sign into your financial
aid portal to view your check list via self-service.

Submit your information to the Financial Aid Office by:


Submit documents securely only by using the Missing Documents Upload Form (do not them email directly to financial aid office).

Mail (USPS or Express):
California Institute of the Arts
Financial Aid Office 
24700 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355

In Person: 

Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm (closed Fridays in the summer).

If you have questions about this process please contact is via email at

Please allow a minimum of three business days for a form to show as received in self-service.

We are also required to report your revised information as a correction to your FAFSA, therefore, it is important that you do not make further corrections or changes to your FAFSA while verification is pending, and once verification has been completed.

Any student who is selected for verification either by the federal government or the Institute is required to submit all requested documentation before any federal aid (grants, loans and work study) can be disbursed. Although it is recommended to complete verification as soon as possible once selected, students have until 2 weeks prior to the end of the academic term or year that they are enrolled in to submit the required documents, providing enough time for the Office of Financial Aid to complete the verification process and for aid to disburse. Any student who fails to complete verification will not be eligible for any federal aid disbursements for the academic year.

Upon receipt of the FFS, the student should review all information listed on the FFS and submit for processing any errors reported on the original FAFSA to the FPS.

In order to avoid registration holds or delays, verifications documents should be submitted no later than one week prior to the registration deadline. To avoid the cancellation of the student’s financial aid award, the final deadline for submitting verification documents is November 1.

An electronic summary of a student’s original FAFSA and any corrected FAFSA information will be sent from the FPS to the Institute. Once received, all FAFSA data, Verification Worksheets, and any supplemental verification documents will then be reviewed by the Financial Aid Office to verify the accuracy of the student’s FAFSA information and to calculate his/her eligibility for need-based financial aid.

If a student’s FAFSA information changes as a result of the verification process, the Financial Aid Office staff will:

  • a) submit for processing changes to the FAFSA information determined to be in error*;
  • b) recalculate the student’s Federal Pell Grant on the basis of the recalculated SAI;
  • d) notify the student via CalArts email of any change to his/her financial aid package.
  • c) adjust the student’s financial aid package on the basis of the recalculated SAI; and

*Note: Although the Financial Aid Office will be able to submit most changes to FAFSA information, on occasion it may be necessary for the student to submit changes directly to the FPS. In such cases, the Financial Aid Office will notify the student via CalArts email as to which data items must be corrected by the student and submitted for processing to the FPS.

Students and parents are advised that the Institute must and will refer to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) any credible information indicating that an applicant for Federal Student Aid may have engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct in connection with FAFSA applications. Common misconduct includes false claims of independent status, false claims of citizenship, use of false identities, forgery of signatures of certifications, and false statements of income. Note that fraud is the intent to deceive as opposed to a mistake on an application.