Verification Forms & Petitions

Verification

What is verification?

Verification is a process to confirm the information you provided on your FAFSA. The US Department of Education may at any time select your application for verification based on the information you provided. Visit their website for more information about verification and what happens after you submit your FAFSA.

How do I know if I am selected for verification?

You will receive an e-mail from the Office of Student Financial Aid that explains how to access the To-Do List on the SF State Gateway. Click on the links in your To-Do List and read the instructions carefully. Please print out and complete the documents which are required, and be sure to read them thoroughly. Once completed, the documents should be submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid via DocuSign or by mail. If submitting paperwork online through DocuSign, please ensure that it is physically signed with a pen on paper. Documents can be securely uploaded via DocuSign.

Be sure to keep copies of all documents submitted for your records.

What happens once the documents are submitted?

Financial aid counselors will review all submitted documentation and correct any discrepancies. In your student portal's To-Do list, you can monitor the status of the documents. Items will be removed from the To-Do list once they are received. Once all items have been removed, your financial aid package should be ready to view within 2-3 weeks after this. If there are any issues that require follow-up, the checklist item will be added back and listed as "Incomplete." Please be sure to monitor your To-Do list after you have submitted your documents. Documents that are incomplete or illegible will cause a delay in receiving your award offer. In some cases, we may require additional documents as we complete your file, in which case you will be notified via e-mail, and the document will be added to your To-Do list.

There is a "Student and Parent Tax Information" requirement on my To-Do list. What do I need to submit?

Students and parents have two ways to submit tax information:

  1. The online IRS Data Retrieval Tool
  2. Order a Free IRS Tax Return Transcript

How do I view my Verification requirements on the Gateway

Login to your SF State Gateway account. After logging in, follow these steps:

  1. Under the Student heading, select "Financial/Jobs."
  2. Next, select "Student Center."
  3. You will see the "To Do List" on the right-hand side.
  4. Click on "More" to get detailed information on your To-Do list items.
  5. Submit your documents.
  6. Continue to monitor your student e-mail and/or Gateway. If we need additional documents, you will be notified.

Tax information can be securely and directly linked to your FAFSA application using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Click here for instructions on how to use the Data Retrieval Tool. You can also view this helpful IRS Data Retrieval Tool tutorial from UC Santa Barbara!

HOW SOON AFTER FILING A FEDERAL TAX RETURN CAN I USE THE IRS TOOL?

  • For electronic tax filers: IRS Data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 2 weeks of filing.
  • For paper tax filers: IRS Data will be available to fill in the FAFSA within 6 – 8 weeks of filing

Who is eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool

You will be given the option to view/transfer your IRS information if you have:

  • Filed your Federal Tax Return(s)
  • A valid social security number
  • A Federal Student Aid ID (if you do not have a FSA ID, you will be given the option to apply for one)
  • Not changed your marital status since December 31 of the previous year

Who is not eligible to us the Data Retrieval Tool

The following circumstances make you ineligible to use the Irs Data Retrieval Tool:

  • Filed an amended Federal Tax Return
  • Will not file a Federal Tax Return
  • Are married but filed separate tax returns
  • Those without a valid SSN - filers who used a Tax ID Number (TIN)
  • Filed a foreign tax return (including Puerto Rico)

Parents who are married but filing separately must submit two separate IRS transcripts. A signed and translated copy of foreign tax return must submit to our office are required for those filing a foreign or Puerto Rican tax return.

Students and Parents who are not eligible to use the Data Retrieval Tool must request a Tax Return Transcript.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification and you cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Option, you can print a tax return transcript from the IRS website and submit it to the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Print it online

  1. Go to irs.gov/Individuals/get-transcript
  2. Click "Request Online"
  3. Create a log-in and follow the instructions.
  4. Be sure that you request a "TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT. "(Not Tax Account Transcript).

Get Transcript by Mail (Allow 5 to 10 calendar days for your transcript to arrive)

  1. Go to irs.gov/Individuals/get-transcript
  2. Click "Request by Mail"
  3. Create a log-in and follow the instructions.
  4. Be sure that you request a "TAX RETURN TRANSCRIPT. "(Not Tax Account Transcript).

Order by Phone (Allow 5 to 10 calendar days for your transcript to arrive)

  1. Call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-908-9946.
  2. Follow the voice instructions and prompts.

Please see the instructions below on how to submit 2017 tax information under uncommon circumstances.

Married Filing Separate or Unmarried - Both Living Together

If your 2017 tax filing status was Married Filing Separate OR a parents' marital status was listed as "Unmarried - Both Living Together" on the FAFSA, submit:

  • IRS Tax Return Transcript for each parent

If one or both parents did NOT file taxes in 2017, an IRS letter of non-filing must be provided for each parent.

Change in marital status after 2017 taxes was filed

If your tax filing status was Married Filing Jointly and have since separated, submit:

  • 2017 IRS Tax Return Transcript and copies of all of your W-2s.
  • For information on how to retrieve a tax return transcript, please review our tax return transcript tab.

Amended Tax Filers

An individual who filed an amended IRS income tax return for the tax year 2017 must submit:

  • 2017 Tax Account Transcript, in addition to one of the following:
    • For information on how to retrieve a tax return transcript, please review our tax return transcript tab.
    • Completed the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA with all tax information from the original tax return; or
    • A 2017 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(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified.

Foreign Tax Filers

Those who filed taxes in another country must submit the following:

  • Foreign Tax Return reflecting 2017 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and taxes paid and
  • A translated copy of the foreign tax return

Those who lived in another country but did not file taxes in 2017 must submit:

  • Non-filing documentation from their relevant tax authority 

Victims of Identity Theft

An individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft must provide:

  • A Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript obtained from the IRS, or any other IRS tax transcript(s) that includes all of the income and tax information required to be verified; and
  • A statement signed and dated by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS is aware of the tax-related identity theft.

To request a Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV), you may contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 

How do I view my Verification requirements on Gateway?

  1. Go to gateway.sfsu.edu
  2. Enter your "SF State ID and password."
  3. View requested verification items on your To-Do List
  4. Click on each item to get more detailed information
  5. Submit your documents via the DocuSign portal
  6. Continue to monitor your student email and/or Gateway. If we need additional documents, you will be notified.

Petition forms

Petition Type Petition Detail

Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal

Only use this form if the Financial Aid Office has notified you that you are out of compliance with the Satisfactory Academic Progress guidelines. If you are unsure that this applies to you, contact the Financial Aid Office.

Special Circumstances Petition (2022-23)

At San Francisco State University, we take the time to personally consider each individual family's financial circumstances. We make every effort to be as accommodating as possible when determining your financial circumstances due to extenuating circumstances beyond your control.  A financial aid petition for special circumstances is a way for a student and his/her family to communicate with the Office of Student Financial Aid about financial or household changes that could not be reflected or explained on the FAFSA. Click here to download the 2022-23 form. Please note that only undergraduate students with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) greater than 0 can be considered.

​​What we will generally consider:

Loss or reduction of income, including but not limited to loss of employment, reduction of pay, death of a parent or spouse, and reduction/loss of child support; Divorce or separation; One time only income distributions; High out of pocket medical and/or dental expenses; K-12 private school tuition, or tax liens; Costs associated with a natural disaster.

What we do not consider:

Changes to assets or inability to liquidate assets; Loss of overtime or bonus; Bankruptcy, foreclosures or collection costs associated with outstanding debt; Consumer debt (credit cards, car payments, loans, etc.); Lottery or gambling winnings or losses; One-time income used for non-life essential items (e.g., family vacation); Parents (step-parents or biological parents) who do not wish to provide support; Marital separation where the parents are still living together.