Financial Aid Information

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2016-2017 became available January 1, 2016. Vanguard’s school code is 001293. Funding for need-based aid with limited allocations and/or budgets – including VU Need Grant, Perkins Loan, and SEOG – cannot be guaranteed if the FAFSA was submitted after the March 2 priority deadline. This is a firm deadline even for need-based aid previously awarded.

The following links may be used to apply for federal student aid for the 2016-2017 academic year:

Forms & Documents

Verification Information

What is Federal Verification?

Federal verification is a process in which schools are required to collect information to verify that the information provided on the FAFSA is correct.

Who is required to complete Federal Verification?

The Department of Education randomly selects students for verification who submit the FAFSA. Vanguard University may also require the student to submit additional documentation even if the FAFSA was not selected for verification. If you were selected for verification by the Department of Education, you will be notified on the Student Aid Report (SAR) via email or by mail after completing the FAFSA. Any revision made to the FAFSA can also be selected for verification, even if the initial FAFSA was not selected.

Verification must be completed in order to receive the following financial aid: Federal aid (Pell, FSEOG, Perkins Loan, Work-Study, Subsidized Loan), state aid (Cal Grant, Chaffee), institutional aid (Vanguard Need Grant and any other need-based grants or scholarships). If submitting a Special Circumstance Appeal, verification will need to be completed first before the Special Circumstance Appeal is considered.

For students who are not receiving any need-based aid (such as an academic scholarship, athletic scholarship, VA benefits, Parent PLUS loan, Graduate PLUS loan, and/or Unsubsidized Loan) verification is not required. Disbursement of non-need-based aid will be held until verification has been completed, unless the Financial Aid Office determines verification is not required.

What is required to complete Federal Verification?

Because the Department of Education requires the Financial Aid Office to collect specific documentation pertaining to the student selected for verification, it is important that students visit their MyVU Portal to see which specific form is being requested. The student can then find the corresponding verification group worksheet under “Forms and Documents” and submit to the Financial Aid Office.

Independent students or parents of dependent students who indicate on the FAFSA they have little to no income may be required to submit an Income and Expense Verification worksheet.

How do I obtain a Tax Return Transcript?

It is important to note that a Tax Return Transcript is not the 1040/1040EZ/1040A you submit to the IRS. The Financial Aid Office can only accept a Tax Return Transcript issued by the IRS, which can be requested by visiting Ordering a Tax Return Transcript from the IRS can take 5-10 business days, and will be delivered to the address listed on your taxes.

It is strongly recommended that you use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on the FAFSA instead of requesting the Tax Return Transcript to ensure the information on the FAFSA matches with the IRS.

How do I use the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

The Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) transfers the financial information from the IRS on to the FAFSA. In order to use the DRT, you must have filed your taxes electronically within the last 3 weeks (11 weeks if filed by mail), have not filed an amended tax return (form 1040X), and have not filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return). You also must have a tax filing status of either Single, Married Filing Jointly, or Head of Household (the DRT is not able to transfer information for Married Filing Separate tax filers). Tax filers who only have a TIN (Tax Identification Number) and not a Social Security Number will not be able to use the DRT. Individuals who file using TIN’s will have to obtain a tax return transcript and submit the form to the Financial Aid office.

To use the DRT, log into the FAFSA for the correct award year (if you have already submitted a FAFSA for the award year, click on “Make a Correction”). Under the “Financial Information” tab, make sure your tax return status shows “Already completed” and the correct filing status is selected. Then, answer the following three questions pertaining to your tax return. If you are eligible to use the DRT, you will see a link to take you to the IRS website (for parent tax information, the parent will need to put in their FSA ID and password). The address you used when filing your tax return must be inputted exactly as shown on the return for the DRT to be used. When the DRT is successful, it is important to not change any of the information that was transferred. Doing so will delay verification and you will be required to re-submit the FAFSA without changing the information. The newly submitted FAFSA will arrive in the Financial Aid Office electronically within 2-3 business days.

For more step by step instructions, please visit

What if I filed a tax extension or did not file taxes?

In order for a student to receive need-based financial aid, taxes may have to be filed for the student and/or parents according to the IRS filing requirements. An individual who is required to file an IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS must provide a copy of IRS Form 4868, “Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return,” for the appropriate tax year, along with the verification document.

Students and/or parents who did not file taxes and were not required to file taxes, according to the IRS filing requirements, may need to submit supporting documentation to the Financial Aid office, such as the Income and Expense Verification worksheet. Our office will update any required documents under the “Communication” tab once a review of the verification documents has been performed.

For information regarding the IRS filing requirements, please see IRS Publication 501

What if I filed an amended tax return?

If an individual has filed an amended tax return, the Financial Aid office will need a copy of the Tax Return Transcripts (which will show the original tax information) along with a signed copy of the amended tax return (1040X)

When must I complete Federal Verification requirements?

A student’s financial aid cannot be paid out to their Vanguard account until verification has been completed. It is important that all the necessary items being requested for verification be completed as soon as possible so that the Financial Aid Office can deliver the student’s financial aid award information in a timely manner. Once verification documents have all been turned into the Financial Aid Office, please allow up to 2 weeks for the verification process to be completed. The student will be contacted if any additional information is needed.

If verification has not been completed by August 1st for Fall students and January 1st for Spring students, payment arrangements with the Accounting Office will need to be in place, as the student could incur late fees or be dropped from their registered courses.

What happens after I submit my required documentation?

After the Financial Aid Office receives all verification documents (which can be confirmed by visiting the student’s MyVU Portal under the “Communications” tab), the information on the verification documents will be compared to the information provided on the FAFSA.

If any discrepancies are found, we will use the information provided on the verification documents to update your FAFSA. This may cause a change to the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and consequently a change in the student’s financial aid award. The Financial Aid Office will send an Award Revision Notification to the student’s Vanguard email address if there is a change in the financial aid award.

In the event a student has received more aid than what the student is eligible for after verification, this will result in an “overpayment” of funds and the student will be responsible for returning the funds back to the Financial Aid Office via the student’s MyBill.

Appeal Forms

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Email Disclaimer

Email is not a secure form of communication. Though your email and any files transmitted with it are treated as confidential and intended solely for the use of the Financial Aid Office, email can conceivably be intercepted at numerous points along its route of transmission, and it is stored briefly at several different servers along the way before it is delivered. For your security, the Vanguard University Financial Aid Office asks that you DO NOT send any document with a social security number via email. Either mask any social security numbers before sending the email or use an alternate method to submit the forms: mail, fax, in-person.