Student Financial Aid

How To Apply for Financial Aid

Verification of Application Information

The Ohio State University participates in a federal verification program called Quality Assurance. This program is designed by the US Department of Education to ensure accuracy in the administration of federal financial aid. Verification is the process of confirming information reported by you, your parents and/or spouse on the Free Application of Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. If you are selected for verification, you will be asked to document that the information you reported on your FAFSA is accurate.

If tax forms and other verification materials are requested, be sure you respond by the due date (typically 45 days after the verification notification is sent to parent and student) listed on your verification notification so that you receive full consideration for all programs.

Students who submit verification materials after their due date may not be awarded funds from most need-based institutional scholarships, grant funds and Perkins loans.

Please note that if you are awarded prior to verification being completed, your awards may change.

OSU recommends that if tax returns are required students and parents utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool available on the FAFSA.

To use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:

  • Log in at
  • On your FAFSA application go to the Financial Information Section. You will complete a series of questions and then click "Link to IRS"
  • You will be transferred to the IRS website; there you will enter the requested information.
  • Once the IRS has validated your identification your tax information will display and you can transfer your information to your FAFSA.

There are circumstances that will not allow you to use the IRS Retrieval Tool such as if you or your parents are married and file separately or if there has been a change in marital status after the end of the tax year.

If you do not utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool then signed copies of student and parent (if dependent) federal tax returns or tax transcripts are required. It is important to make sure that all tax forms are SIGNED and that each page of the documentation includes THE STUDENT'S NAME AND OSU ID#.

Please note that if the IRS granted you an extension to file your 2014 tax return, we will need you to provide a copy of the IRS Form 4868 and your W-2 forms, or if you are self-employed, please provide a signed statement with the amount of your AGI and U.S. income taxes paid as well as a copy of the IRS Form 4868.

Once your verification materials are received the self-service page on Buckeye link will reflect a received status. Once they have been reviewed the received status will update to complete. We will record the actual date we receive your information. All of your federal and need-based aid will be on hold until verification is resolved.

Incoming Freshmen

First-year freshmen who are selected for verification will be awarded prior to the completion of their verification review. Please note that if you are awarded prior to verification being completed, your awards may change.

Also be aware if you do not complete the verification process you will not receive funds from any federal, state, or institutional program except recruiting scholarships and academic-based scholarships.


As part of this process you will be asked to provide copies of certain documents. These usually include:

  • your federal tax information,
  • your parents' federal tax information (if you are a dependent student),
  • your spouse's federal tax information (if you are married and did not file a joint return), and
  • the completed OSU verification forms


First File the FAFSA