Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Information To Be Verified for the 2021-2022 Award Year, 55003-55007 [2020-19501]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 172 / Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Notices Dated: August 31, 2020. Kate Mullan, PRA Coordinator, Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. [FR Doc. 2020–19474 Filed 9–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Information To Be Verified for the 2021–2022 Award Year Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. For each award year, the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register a notice announcing the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant may be required to verify, as well as the acceptable documentation for verifying FAFSA information. This is the notice for the SUMMARY: 2021–2022 award year, CFDA numbers 84.007, 84.033, 84.063, and 84.268. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacquelyn C. Butler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 294–10, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6088. Email: Jacquelyn.Butler@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If the Secretary selects an applicant for verification, the applicant’s Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR) includes flags that indicate (1) that the applicant has been selected by the Secretary for verification and (2) the Verification Tracking Group in which the applicant has been placed. The Verification Tracking Group indicates which FAFSA information needs to be verified for the applicant and, if appropriate, for the applicant’s parent(s) or spouse. The Student Aid Report (SAR) provided to the applicant will indicate that the applicant’s FAFSA jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES FAFSA Information 55003 information has been selected for verification and direct the applicant to contact the institution for further instructions for completing the verification process. For the 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 award years, the Secretary has issued and continue to issue guidance that provide flexibilities to the verification regulations to help institutions and applicants deal with the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID–19) pandemic. The Secretary will extend the effective period of its guidance to include the 2021–2022 award year if circumstances warrant an extension and will inform the public of such an extension at the appropriate time. The following chart lists, for the 2021–2022 award year, the FAFSA information that an institution and an applicant and, if appropriate, the applicant’s parent(s) or spouse may be required to verify under 34 CFR 668.56. The chart also lists the acceptable documentation that must, under § 668.57, be provided to an institution for that information to be verified. Acceptable documentation Income information for tax filers: a. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) b. U.S. Income Tax Paid c. Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions and Pensions d. IRA Deductions and Payments e. Tax Exempt Interest Income f. Education Credits (1) 2019 tax account information of the tax filer that the Secretary has identified as having been obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and that has not been changed after the information was obtained from the IRS; (2) A transcript 1 obtained at no cost from the IRS or other relevant tax authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign government that lists 2019 tax account information of the tax filer; or (3) A copy of the income tax return 1 and the applicable schedules 1 that were filed with the IRS or other relevant tax authority of a U.S. territory, or a foreign government that lists 2019 tax account information of the tax filer. Income information for tax filers with special circumstances: a. Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) b. U.S. Income Tax Paid c. Untaxed Portions of IRA Distributions and Pensions d. IRA Deductions and Payments e. Tax Exempt Interest Income f. Education Credits (1) For a student, or the parent(s) of a dependent student, who filed a 2019 joint income tax return and whose income is used in the calculation of the applicant’s expected family contribution and who at the time the FAFSA was completed was separated, divorced, widowed, or married to someone other than the individual included on the 2019 joint income tax return— (a) A transcript obtained from the IRS orother relevant tax authority thatlists 2019 tax account information ofthe tax filer(s); or (b) A copy of the income tax return and the applicable schedules that were filed with the IRS or other relevant tax authority that lists 2019 tax account information of the tax filer(s); and (c) A copy of IRS Form W–2 2 for each source of 2019 employment income received or an equivalent document.2 (2) For an individual who is required to file a 2019 IRS income tax return and has been granted a filing extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2019— (a) A copy of the IRS’s approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension for tax year 2019 3; (b) Verification of nonfiling 4 from the IRS dated on or after October 1, 2020; (c) A copy of IRS Form W–2 2 for each source of 2019 employment income received or an equivalent document 2; and (d) If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and U.S. income tax paid for tax year 2019. Note: An institution may require that, after the income tax return is filed, an individual granted a filing extension beyond the automatic six-month extension submit tax information using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, by obtaining a transcript from the IRS, or by submitting a copy of the income tax return and the applicable schedules that were filed with the IRS that lists 2019 tax account information. When an institution receives such information, it must be used to reverify the income and tax information reported on the FAFSA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Sep 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 55004 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 172 / Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Notices FAFSA Information Acceptable documentation jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES (3) For an individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft— (a) A Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) transcript 1 obtained from the IRS; and (b) 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 has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. Note: Tax filers may inform the IRS of the tax-related identity theft and obtain a TRDBV transcript by calling the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1–800–908–4490. Unless the institution has reason to suspect the authenticity of the TRDBV transcript provided by the IRS, a signature or stamp or any other validation from the IRS is not needed. (4) For an individual who filed an amended income tax return with the IRS, a signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2019 or documentation from the IRS that include the change(s) made to the tax filer’s 2019 tax information, in addition to one of the following— (a) IRS Data Retrieval Tool information on an ISIR record with all tax information from the original 2019 income tax return; (b) A transcript obtained from the IRS that lists 2019 tax account information of the tax filer(s); or (c) A signed copy of the 2019 IRS Form 1040 and the applicable schedules that were filed with the IRS. Income information for nontax filers: Income earned from work For an individual who has not filed and, under IRS or other relevant tax authority rules (e.g., the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign government), is not required to file a 2019 income tax return— (1) A signed statement certifying— (a) That the individual has not filed and is not required to file a 2019 income tax return; and (b) The sources of 2019 income earned from work and the amount of income from each source; (2) A copy of IRS Form W–2 2 for each source of 2019 employment income received or an equivalent document 2; and (3) Except for dependent students, verification of nonfiling 4 from the IRS or other relevant tax authority dated on or after October 1, 2020. Number of Household Members ........................ A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant’s parents, that lists the name and age of each household member for the 2021– 2022 award year and the relationship of that household member to the applicant. Note: Verification of number of household members is not required if— • For a dependent student, the household size indicated on the ISIR is two and the parent is single, separated, divorced, or widowed, or the household size indicated on the ISIR is three if the parents are married or unmarried and living together; or • For an independent student, the household size indicated on the ISIR is one and the applicant is single, separated, divorced, or widowed, or the household size indicated on the ISIR is two if the applicant is married. Number in College .............................................. (1) A statement signed by the applicant and, if the applicant is a dependent student, by one of the applicant’s parents listing the name and age of each household member, excluding the parents, who is or will be attending an eligible postsecondary educational institution as at least a half-time student in the 2021–2022 award year in a program that leads to a degree or certificate and the name of that educational institution. (2) If an institution has reason to believe that the signed statement provided by the applicant regarding the number of household members enrolled in eligible postsecondary institutions is inaccurate, the institution must obtain documentation from each institution named by the applicant that the household member in question is, or will be, attending on at least a halftime basis unless— (a) The applicant’s institution determines that such documentation is not available because the household member in question has not yet registered at the institution the household member plans to attend; or (b) The institution has documentation indicating that the household member in question will be attending the same institution as the applicant. Note: Verification of the number of household members in college is not required if the number in college indicated on the ISIR is ‘‘1.’’ High School Completion Status .......................... The applicant’s high school completion status when the applicant attends the institution in 2021–2022. (1) High School Diploma (a) A copy of the applicant’s high school diploma; (b) A copy of the applicant’s final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded; or (c) A copy of the ‘‘secondary school leaving certificate’’ (or other similar document) for students who completed secondary education in a foreign country and are unable to obtain a copy of their high school diploma or transcript. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Sep 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 172 / Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Notices FAFSA Information 55005 Acceptable documentation Note: Institutions that have the expertise may evaluate foreign secondary school credentials to determine their equivalence to U.S. high school diplomas. Institutions may also use a foreign diploma evaluation service for this purpose. (2) Recognized Equivalent of a High School Diploma (a) General Educational Development (GED) Certificate or GED transcript; (b) A State certificate or transcript received by a student after the student has passed a State-authorized examination (HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination) that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma; (c) An academic transcript that indicates the student successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor’s degree at any participating institution; or (d) For a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and who excelled academically in high school but did not complete high school, documentation from the high school that the student excelled academically and documentation from the postsecondary institution that the student has met its written policies for admitting such students. (3) Homeschool (a) If the State where the student was homeschooled requires by law that such students obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschool (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a copy of that credential; or (b) If such State law does not require the credential noted in 3(a), a transcript or the equivalent signed by the student’s parent or guardian that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and documents the successful completion of a secondary school education in a homeschool setting. Note: In cases where documentation of an applicant’s completion of a secondary school education is unavailable, e.g., the secondary school is closed and information is not available from another source, such as the local school district or a State Department of Education, or in the case of homeschooling, the parent(s)/guardian(s) who provided the homeschooling is deceased, an institution may accept alternative documentation to verify the applicant’s high school completion status (e.g., DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty that indicates the individual is a high school graduate or equivalent). When documenting an applicant’s high school completion status, an institution may rely on documentation it has already collected for purposes other than the title IV verification requirements (e.g., high school transcripts maintained in the admissions office) if the documentation meets the criteria outlined above. Verification of high school completion status is not required if the institution successfully verified and documented the applicant’s high school completion status for a prior award year. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Identity/Statement of Educational Purpose ........ VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Sep 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 (1) An applicant must appear in person and present the following documentation to an institutionally authorized individual to verify the applicant’s identity: (a) An unexpired valid government-issued photo identification 5 such as, but not limited to, a driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card, other State-issued identification, or U.S. passport. The institution must maintain an annotated copy of the unexpired valid government-issued photo identification that includes— i. The date the identification was presented; and ii. The name of the institutionally authorized individual who reviewed the identification; and (b) A signed statement using the exact language as follows, except that the student’s identification number is optional if collected elsewhere on the same page as the statement: Statement of Educational Purpose I certify that I llllllllllam (Print Student’s Name) the individual signing this Statement of Educational Purpose and that the Federal student financial assistance I may receive will only be used for educational purposes and to pay the cost of attending llllllllllfor 2021–2022. (Name of Postsecondary Educational Institution) llllllllllllllllll llllll (Student’s Signature) (Date) llllllllll (Student’s ID Number) (2) If an institution determines that an applicant is unable to appear in person to present an unexpired valid government-issued photo identification and execute the Statement of Educational Purpose, the applicant must provide the institution with— (a) A copy of an unexpired valid government-issued photo identification 5 such as, but not limited to, a driver’s license, non-driver’s identification card, other State-issued identification, or U.S. passport that is acknowledged in a notary statement or that is presented to a notary; and (b) An original notarized statement signed by the applicant using the exact language as follows, except that the student’s identification number is optional if collected elsewhere on the same page as the statement: Statement of Educational Purpose PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 55006 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 172 / Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Notices FAFSA Information Acceptable documentation I certify that I llllllllllam (Print Student’s Name) the individual signing this Statement of Educational Purpose and that the Federal student financial assistance I may receive will only be used for educational purposes and to pay the cost of attending llllllllllfor 2021–2022. (Name of Postsecondary Educational Institution) llllllllllllllllll llllll (Student’s Signature) (Date) llllllllll (Student’s ID Number) 1 This footnote applies, where applicable, whenever an income tax return, the applicable schedules, or transcript is mentioned in the above chart. The copy of the 2019 income tax return must include the signature of the tax filer, or one of the filers of a joint income tax return, or the signed, stamped, typed, or printed name and address of the preparer of the income tax return and the preparer’s Social Security Number, Employer Identification Number, or Preparer Tax Identification Number. For a tax filer who filed an income tax return other than an IRS form, such as a foreign or Puerto Rican tax form, the institution must use the income information (converted to U.S. dollars) from the lines of that form that correspond most closely to the income information reported on a U.S. income tax return. An individual who did not retain a copy of his or her 2019 tax account information, and for whom that information cannot be located by the IRS or other relevant tax authority, must submit to the institution— (a) Copies of all IRS Form W–2s for each source of 2019 employment income or equivalent documents; or (b) If the individual is self-employed or filed an income tax return with a government of a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign government, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and income taxes paid for tax year 2019; and (c) Documentation from the IRS or other relevant tax authority that indicates the individual’s 2019 tax account information cannot be located; and (d) A signed statement that indicates that the individual did not retain a copy of his or her 2019 tax account information. If an individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft is unable to obtain a TRDBV, the institution may accept an equivalent document provided by the IRS or a copy of the signed 2019 income tax return the individual filed with the IRS. 2 An individual who is required to submit an IRS Form W–2 or an equivalent document but did not maintain a copy should request a duplicate from the employer who issued the original or from the government agency that issued the equivalent document. If the individual is unable to obtain a duplicate W–2 or an equivalent document in a timely manner, the institution may permit that individual to provide a signed statement, in accordance with 34 CFR 668.57(a)(6), that includes— (a) The amount of income earned from work; (b) The source of that income; and (c) The reason why the IRS Form W–2, or an equivalent document, is not available in a timely manner. 3 For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, an institution must accept a statement from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of that service.≤ 4 If an individual is unable to obtain verification of nonfiling from the IRS or other relevant tax authority and, based upon the institution’s determination, it has no reason to question the student’s or family’s good-faith effort to obtain the required documentation, the institution may accept a signed statement certifying that the individual attempted to obtain the verification of nonfiling from the IRS or other relevant tax authority and was unable to obtain the required documentation. For IRS extension filers, the signed statement must also indicate that the individual has not filed a 2019 income tax return and list the sources of any 2019 income, and the amount of income from each source. Since individuals without a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number are unable to obtain a verification of nonfiling from the IRS, these individuals whose income is below the IRS filing threshold must submit to the institution a signed and dated statement— (a) Certifying that the individual(s) does not have a Social Security Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number; and (b) Listing the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and resources that supported the individual(s) for the 2019 tax year. 5 An unexpired valid government-issued photo identification is one issued by the U.S. government, any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribe, American Samoa, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Verification Requirements for Individuals Who Are Eligible for an Auto Zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Only the following FAFSA/ISIR information must be verified: For dependent students— • The parents’ AGI if the parents were tax filers; • The parents’ income earned from work if the parents were nontax filers; and • The student’s high school completion status and identity/ statement of educational purpose, if selected. For independent students— • The student’s and spouse’s AGI if they were tax filers; VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:51 Sep 02, 2020 Jkt 250001 • The student’s and spouse’s income earned from work if they were nontax filers; • The student’s high school completion status and identity/ statement of educational purpose, if selected; and • The number of household members to determine if the independent student has one or more dependents other than a spouse. Note: Verification of nonfiling 4 from the IRS (or other relevant tax authority, if applicable) dated on or after October 1, 2020, must be provided for (1) independent students (and spouses, if applicable) and parents of dependent students who did not file and are not required to file a 2019 income tax return, and (2) individuals who are required to file a 2019 IRS income tax return PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 but have not filed because they have been granted a tax filing extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for the 2019 tax year. Other Sources for Detailed Information We provide a more detailed discussion on the verification process in the following resources: • 2021–2022 Application and Verification Guide. • 2021–2022 ISIR Guide. • 2021–2022 SAR Comment Codes and Text. • 2021–2022 COD Technical Reference. • Program Integrity Information— Questions and Answers on Verification at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/ E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 172 / Thursday, September 3, 2020 / Notices reg/hearulemaking/2009/ verification.html. These publications are on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals website at www.ifap.ed.gov. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a, 1070b–1070b–4, 1087a–1087j, and 42 U.S.C. 2751–2756b. BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD20–25–000] jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Electronic Document Management System (eLibrary) Enhancements; Notice Announcing Release of Modernized Elibrary System The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission), hereby gives notice announcing upcoming enhancements to its Electronic Document Management System (eLibrary), that will be available the week of August 31. These enhancements have been undergoing further refinement since the Commission issued its notice announcing the release of its modernized eLibrary system on July 31, 2020. The Commission plans to upgrade Jkt 250001 [FR Doc. 2020–19485 Filed 9–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Riverstart Solar Park LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization [FR Doc. 2020–19501 Filed 9–2–20; 8:45 am] 16:51 Sep 02, 2020 Dated: August 28, 2020. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [Docket No. ER20–2746–000] Robert L. King, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education. VerDate Sep<11>2014 its existing system with newer, more robust and user-friendly technology. Ultimately, the new system will provide users with an improved user interface, more reliable search capabilities and greater system stability. This version includes, but is not limited to the following enhancements: • A modern look and feel to the eLibrary site • Improved navigation and consolidated search screens • Removal of redundant features • Improved search accuracy and relevance • On-Demand PDF generation for files in an accession • Multiple file zip and download from the search results • Improved reliability Please see https://www.ferc.gov/ for additional details on FERC’s modernized eLibrary system, including additional information on file formats, text searchable versus image formats, file names, security, et al. This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced Riverstart Solar Park LLC’s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant’s request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 55007 future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability, is September 17, 2020. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http:// www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests. Persons unable to file electronically may mail similar pleadings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20426. Hand delivered submissions in docketed proceedings should be delivered to Health and Human Services, 12225 Wilkins Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20852. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the internet through the Commission’s Home Page (http:// ferc.gov) using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. At this time, the Commission has suspended access to the Commission’s Public Reference Room, due to the proclamation declaring a National Emergency concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID–19), issued by the President on March 13, 2020. For assistance, contact the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or call toll-free, (886) 208–3676 or TYY, (202) 502–8659. Dated: August 28, 2020. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. 2020–19488 Filed 9–2–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings: Docket Numbers: RP20–1120–000. Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America. E:\FR\FM\03SEN1.SGM 03SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 172 (Thursday, September 3, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 55003-55007]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-19501]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA[supreg]) 
Information To Be Verified for the 2021-2022 Award Year

AGENCY: Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: For each award year, the Secretary publishes in the Federal 
Register a notice announcing the FAFSA information that an institution 
and an applicant may be required to verify, as well as the acceptable 
documentation for verifying FAFSA information. This is the notice for 
the 2021-2022 award year, CFDA numbers 84.007, 84.033, 84.063, and 
84.268.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jacquelyn C. Butler, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 294-10, Washington, DC 
20202. Telephone: (202) 453-6088. Email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If the Secretary selects an applicant for 
verification, the applicant's Institutional Student Information Record 
(ISIR) includes flags that indicate (1) that the applicant has been 
selected by the Secretary for verification and (2) the Verification 
Tracking Group in which the applicant has been placed. The Verification 
Tracking Group indicates which FAFSA information needs to be verified 
for the applicant and, if appropriate, for the applicant's parent(s) or 
spouse. The Student Aid Report (SAR) provided to the applicant will 
indicate that the applicant's FAFSA information has been selected for 
verification and direct the applicant to contact the institution for 
further instructions for completing the verification process.
    For the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 award years, the Secretary has 
issued and continue to issue guidance that provide flexibilities to the 
verification regulations to help institutions and applicants deal with 
the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) 
pandemic. The Secretary will extend the effective period of its 
guidance to include the 2021-2022 award year if circumstances warrant 
an extension and will inform the public of such an extension at the 
appropriate time.
    The following chart lists, for the 2021-2022 award year, the FAFSA 
information that an institution and an applicant and, if appropriate, 
the applicant's parent(s) or spouse may be required to verify under 34 
CFR 668.56. The chart also lists the acceptable documentation that 
must, under Sec.  668.57, be provided to an institution for that 
information to be verified.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      FAFSA Information                 Acceptable documentation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for tax     (1) 2019 tax account information of the
 filers:                        tax filer that the Secretary has
a. Adjusted Gross Income        identified as having been obtained from
 (AGI)                          the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
b. U.S. Income Tax Paid         through the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and
c. Untaxed Portions of IRA      that has not been changed after the
 Distributions and Pensions     information was obtained from the IRS;
d. IRA Deductions and          (2) A transcript \1\ obtained at no cost
 Payments                       from the IRS or other relevant tax
e. Tax Exempt Interest Income   authority of a U.S. territory (Guam,
f. Education Credits            American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands)
                                or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the
                                Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign
                                government that lists 2019 tax account
                                information of the tax filer; or
                               (3) A copy of the income tax return \1\
                                and the applicable schedules \1\ that
                                were filed with the IRS or other
                                relevant tax authority of a U.S.
                                territory, or a foreign government that
                                lists 2019 tax account information of
                                the tax filer.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for tax     (1) For a student, or the parent(s) of a
 filers with special            dependent student, who filed a 2019
 circumstances:                 joint income tax return and whose income
a. Adjusted Gross Income        is used in the calculation of the
 (AGI)                          applicant's expected family contribution
b. U.S. Income Tax Paid         and who at the time the FAFSA was
c. Untaxed Portions of IRA      completed was separated, divorced,
 Distributions and Pensions     widowed, or married to someone other
d. IRA Deductions and           than the individual included on the 2019
 Payments                       joint income tax return--
e. Tax Exempt Interest Income  (a) A transcript obtained from the IRS
f. Education Credits            orother relevant tax authority thatlists
                                2019 tax account information ofthe tax
                                filer(s); or
                               (b) A copy of the income tax return and
                                the applicable schedules that were filed
                                with the IRS or other relevant tax
                                authority that lists 2019 tax account
                                information of the tax filer(s); and
                               (c) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \2\ for each
                                source of 2019 employment income
                                received or an equivalent document.\2\
                               (2) For an individual who is required to
                                file a 2019 IRS income tax return and
                                has been granted a filing extension by
                                the IRS beyond the automatic six-month
                                extension for tax year 2019--
                               (a) A copy of the IRS's approval of an
                                extension beyond the automatic six-month
                                extension for tax year 2019 \3\;
                               (b) Verification of nonfiling \4\ from
                                the IRS dated on or after October 1,
                                2020;
                               (c) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \2\ for each
                                source of 2019 employment income
                                received or an equivalent document \2\;
                                and
                               (d) If self-employed, a signed statement
                                certifying the amount of AGI and U.S.
                                income tax paid for tax year 2019.
                               Note: An institution may require that,
                                after the income tax return is filed, an
                                individual granted a filing extension
                                beyond the automatic six-month extension
                                submit tax information using the IRS
                                Data Retrieval Tool, by obtaining a
                                transcript from the IRS, or by
                                submitting a copy of the income tax
                                return and the applicable schedules that
                                were filed with the IRS that lists 2019
                                tax account information. When an
                                institution receives such information,
                                it must be used to reverify the income
                                and tax information reported on the
                                FAFSA.

[[Page 55004]]

 
                               (3) For an individual who was the victim
                                of IRS tax-related identity theft--
                               (a) A Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV)
                                transcript \1\ obtained from the IRS;
                                and
                               (b) 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 has been made
                                aware of the tax-related identity theft.
                               Note: Tax filers may inform the IRS of
                                the tax-related identity theft and
                                obtain a TRDBV transcript by calling the
                                IRS's Identity Protection Specialized
                                Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490. Unless
                                the institution has reason to suspect
                                the authenticity of the TRDBV transcript
                                provided by the IRS, a signature or
                                stamp or any other validation from the
                                IRS is not needed.
                               (4) For an individual who filed an
                                amended income tax return with the IRS,
                                a signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that
                                was filed with the IRS for tax year 2019
                                or documentation from the IRS that
                                include the change(s) made to the tax
                                filer's 2019 tax information, in
                                addition to one of the following--
                               (a) IRS Data Retrieval Tool information
                                on an ISIR record with all tax
                                information from the original 2019
                                income tax return;
                               (b) A transcript obtained from the IRS
                                that lists 2019 tax account information
                                of the tax filer(s); or
                               (c) A signed copy of the 2019 IRS Form
                                1040 and the applicable schedules that
                                were filed with the IRS.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Income information for nontax  For an individual who has not filed and,
 filers:                        under IRS or other relevant tax
Income earned from work         authority rules (e.g., the Republic of
                                the Marshall Islands, the Republic of
                                Palau, the Federated States of
                                Micronesia, a U.S. territory or
                                commonwealth or a foreign government),
                                is not required to file a 2019 income
                                tax return--
                               (1) A signed statement certifying--
                               (a) That the individual has not filed and
                                is not required to file a 2019 income
                                tax return; and
                               (b) The sources of 2019 income earned
                                from work and the amount of income from
                                each source;
                               (2) A copy of IRS Form W-2 \2\ for each
                                source of 2019 employment income
                                received or an equivalent document \2\;
                                and
                               (3) Except for dependent students,
                                verification of nonfiling \4\ from the
                                IRS or other relevant tax authority
                                dated on or after October 1, 2020.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number of Household Members..  A statement signed by the applicant and,
                                if the applicant is a dependent student,
                                by one of the applicant's parents, that
                                lists the name and age of each household
                                member for the 2021-2022 award year and
                                the relationship of that household
                                member to the applicant.
                               Note: Verification of number of household
                                members is not required if--
                                For a dependent student, the
                                household size indicated on the ISIR is
                                two and the parent is single, separated,
                                divorced, or widowed, or the household
                                size indicated on the ISIR is three if
                                the parents are married or unmarried and
                                living together; or
                                For an independent student, the
                                household size indicated on the ISIR is
                                one and the applicant is single,
                                separated, divorced, or widowed, or the
                                household size indicated on the ISIR is
                                two if the applicant is married.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Number in College............  (1) A statement signed by the applicant
                                and, if the applicant is a dependent
                                student, by one of the applicant's
                                parents listing the name and age of each
                                household member, excluding the parents,
                                who is or will be attending an eligible
                                postsecondary educational institution as
                                at least a half-time student in the 2021-
                                2022 award year in a program that leads
                                to a degree or certificate and the name
                                of that educational institution.
                               (2) If an institution has reason to
                                believe that the signed statement
                                provided by the applicant regarding the
                                number of household members enrolled in
                                eligible postsecondary institutions is
                                inaccurate, the institution must obtain
                                documentation from each institution
                                named by the applicant that the
                                household member in question is, or will
                                be, attending on at least a half-time
                                basis unless--
                               (a) The applicant's institution
                                determines that such documentation is
                                not available because the household
                                member in question has not yet
                                registered at the institution the
                                household member plans to attend; or
                               (b) The institution has documentation
                                indicating that the household member in
                                question will be attending the same
                                institution as the applicant.
                               Note: Verification of the number of
                                household members in college is not
                                required if the number in college
                                indicated on the ISIR is ``1.''
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High School Completion Status  The applicant's high school completion
                                status when the applicant attends the
                                institution in 2021-2022.
                               (1) High School Diploma
                               (a) A copy of the applicant's high school
                                diploma;
                               (b) A copy of the applicant's final
                                official high school transcript that
                                shows the date when the diploma was
                                awarded; or
                               (c) A copy of the ``secondary school
                                leaving certificate'' (or other similar
                                document) for students who completed
                                secondary education in a foreign country
                                and are unable to obtain a copy of their
                                high school diploma or transcript.

[[Page 55005]]

 
                               Note: Institutions that have the
                                expertise may evaluate foreign secondary
                                school credentials to determine their
                                equivalence to U.S. high school
                                diplomas. Institutions may also use a
                                foreign diploma evaluation service for
                                this purpose.
                               (2) Recognized Equivalent of a High
                                School Diploma
                               (a) General Educational Development (GED)
                                Certificate or GED transcript;
                               (b) A State certificate or transcript
                                received by a student after the student
                                has passed a State-authorized
                                examination (HiSET, TASC, or other State-
                                authorized examination) that the State
                                recognizes as the equivalent of a high
                                school diploma;
                               (c) An academic transcript that indicates
                                the student successfully completed at
                                least a two-year program that is
                                acceptable for full credit toward a
                                bachelor's degree at any participating
                                institution; or
                               (d) For a person who is seeking
                                enrollment in an educational program
                                that leads to at least an associate
                                degree or its equivalent and who
                                excelled academically in high school but
                                did not complete high school,
                                documentation from the high school that
                                the student excelled academically and
                                documentation from the postsecondary
                                institution that the student has met its
                                written policies for admitting such
                                students.
                               (3) Homeschool
                               (a) If the State where the student was
                                homeschooled requires by law that such
                                students obtain a secondary school
                                completion credential for homeschool
                                (other than a high school diploma or its
                                recognized equivalent), a copy of that
                                credential; or
                               (b) If such State law does not require
                                the credential noted in 3(a), a
                                transcript or the equivalent signed by
                                the student's parent or guardian that
                                lists the secondary school courses the
                                student completed and documents the
                                successful completion of a secondary
                                school education in a homeschool
                                setting.
                               Note: In cases where documentation of an
                                applicant's completion of a secondary
                                school education is unavailable, e.g.,
                                the secondary school is closed and
                                information is not available from
                                another source, such as the local school
                                district or a State Department of
                                Education, or in the case of
                                homeschooling, the parent(s)/guardian(s)
                                who provided the homeschooling is
                                deceased, an institution may accept
                                alternative documentation to verify the
                                applicant's high school completion
                                status (e.g., DD Form 214 Certificate of
                                Release or Discharge From Active Duty
                                that indicates the individual is a high
                                school graduate or equivalent).
                               When documenting an applicant's high
                                school completion status, an institution
                                may rely on documentation it has already
                                collected for purposes other than the
                                title IV verification requirements
                                (e.g., high school transcripts
                                maintained in the admissions office) if
                                the documentation meets the criteria
                                outlined above.
                               Verification of high school completion
                                status is not required if the
                                institution successfully verified and
                                documented the applicant's high school
                                completion status for a prior award
                                year.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Identity/Statement of          (1) An applicant must appear in person
 Educational Purpose.           and present the following documentation
                                to an institutionally authorized
                                individual to verify the applicant's
                                identity:
                               (a) An unexpired valid government-issued
                                photo identification \5\ such as, but
                                not limited to, a driver's license, non-
                                driver's identification card, other
                                State-issued identification, or U.S.
                                passport. The institution must maintain
                                an annotated copy of the unexpired valid
                                government-issued photo identification
                                that includes--
                               i. The date the identification was
                                presented; and
                               ii. The name of the institutionally
                                authorized individual who reviewed the
                                identification; and
                               (b) A signed statement using the exact
                                language as follows, except that the
                                student's identification number is
                                optional if collected elsewhere on the
                                same page as the statement:
                               Statement of Educational Purpose
                               I certify that I __________am
                                (Print Student's Name)
                                the individual signing this Statement of
                                Educational Purpose and that the Federal
                                student financial assistance I may
                                receive will only be used for
                                educational purposes and to pay the cost
                                of attending __________for 2021-2022.
                                (Name of Postsecondary Educational
                                Institution)
                               __________________ ______
                               (Student's Signature) (Date)
                               __________
                               (Student's ID Number)
                               (2) If an institution determines that an
                                applicant is unable to appear in person
                                to present an unexpired valid government-
                                issued photo identification and execute
                                the Statement of Educational Purpose,
                                the applicant must provide the
                                institution with--
                               (a) A copy of an unexpired valid
                                government-issued photo identification
                                \5\ such as, but not limited to, a
                                driver's license, non-driver's
                                identification card, other State-issued
                                identification, or U.S. passport that is
                                acknowledged in a notary statement or
                                that is presented to a notary; and
                               (b) An original notarized statement
                                signed by the applicant using the exact
                                language as follows, except that the
                                student's identification number is
                                optional if collected elsewhere on the
                                same page as the statement:
                               Statement of Educational Purpose

[[Page 55006]]

 
                               I certify that I __________am
                                (Print Student's Name)
                                the individual signing this Statement of
                                Educational Purpose and that the Federal
                                student financial assistance I may
                                receive will only be used for
                                educational purposes and to pay the cost
                                of attending __________for 2021-2022.
                                (Name of Postsecondary Educational
                                Institution)
                               __________________ ______
                               (Student's Signature) (Date)
                               __________
                               (Student's ID Number)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ This footnote applies, where applicable, whenever an income tax
  return, the applicable schedules, or transcript is mentioned in the
  above chart.
The copy of the 2019 income tax return must include the signature of the
  tax filer, or one of the filers of a joint income tax return, or the
  signed, stamped, typed, or printed name and address of the preparer of
  the income tax return and the preparer's Social Security Number,
  Employer Identification Number, or Preparer Tax Identification Number.
For a tax filer who filed an income tax return other than an IRS form,
  such as a foreign or Puerto Rican tax form, the institution must use
  the income information (converted to U.S. dollars) from the lines of
  that form that correspond most closely to the income information
  reported on a U.S. income tax return.
An individual who did not retain a copy of his or her 2019 tax account
  information, and for whom that information cannot be located by the
  IRS or other relevant tax authority, must submit to the institution--
(a) Copies of all IRS Form W-2s for each source of 2019 employment
  income or equivalent documents; or
(b) If the individual is self-employed or filed an income tax return
  with a government of a U.S. territory or commonwealth or a foreign
  government, a signed statement certifying the amount of AGI and income
  taxes paid for tax year 2019; and
(c) Documentation from the IRS or other relevant tax authority that
  indicates the individual's 2019 tax account information cannot be
  located; and
(d) A signed statement that indicates that the individual did not retain
  a copy of his or her 2019 tax account information.
If an individual who was the victim of IRS tax-related identity theft is
  unable to obtain a TRDBV, the institution may accept an equivalent
  document provided by the IRS or a copy of the signed 2019 income tax
  return the individual filed with the IRS.
\2\ An individual who is required to submit an IRS Form W-2 or an
  equivalent document but did not maintain a copy should request a
  duplicate from the employer who issued the original or from the
  government agency that issued the equivalent document. If the
  individual is unable to obtain a duplicate W-2 or an equivalent
  document in a timely manner, the institution may permit that
  individual to provide a signed statement, in accordance with 34 CFR
  668.57(a)(6), that includes--
(a) The amount of income earned from work;
(b) The source of that income; and
(c) The reason why the IRS Form W-2, or an equivalent document, is not
  available in a timely manner.
\3\ For an individual who was called up for active duty or for
  qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military
  operation or national emergency, an institution must accept a
  statement from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed
  an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of
  that service.>
\4\ If an individual is unable to obtain verification of nonfiling from
  the IRS or other relevant tax authority and, based upon the
  institution's determination, it has no reason to question the
  student's or family's good-faith effort to obtain the required
  documentation, the institution may accept a signed statement
  certifying that the individual attempted to obtain the verification of
  nonfiling from the IRS or other relevant tax authority and was unable
  to obtain the required documentation.
For IRS extension filers, the signed statement must also indicate that
  the individual has not filed a 2019 income tax return and list the
  sources of any 2019 income, and the amount of income from each source.
Since individuals without a Social Security Number, an Individual
  Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer Identification Number
  are unable to obtain a verification of nonfiling from the IRS, these
  individuals whose income is below the IRS filing threshold must submit
  to the institution a signed and dated statement--
(a) Certifying that the individual(s) does not have a Social Security
  Number, an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or an Employer
  Identification Number; and
(b) Listing the sources and amounts of earnings, other income, and
  resources that supported the individual(s) for the 2019 tax year.
\5\ An unexpired valid government-issued photo identification is one
  issued by the U.S. government, any of the 50 States, the District of
  Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a federally recognized
  American Indian and Alaska Native Tribe, American Samoa, Guam, the
  Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the
  Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia,
  or the Republic of Palau.

Verification Requirements for Individuals Who Are Eligible for an Auto 
Zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

    Only the following FAFSA/ISIR information must be verified:
    For dependent students--
     The parents' AGI if the parents were tax filers;
     The parents' income earned from work if the parents were 
nontax filers; and
     The student's high school completion status and identity/
statement of educational purpose, if selected.
    For independent students--
     The student's and spouse's AGI if they were tax filers;
     The student's and spouse's income earned from work if they 
were nontax filers;
     The student's high school completion status and identity/
statement of educational purpose, if selected; and
     The number of household members to determine if the 
independent student has one or more dependents other than a spouse.

    Note: Verification of nonfiling \4\ from the IRS (or other 
relevant tax authority, if applicable) dated on or after October 1, 
2020, must be provided for (1) independent students (and spouses, if 
applicable) and parents of dependent students who did not file and 
are not required to file a 2019 income tax return, and (2) 
individuals who are required to file a 2019 IRS income tax return 
but have not filed because they have been granted a tax filing 
extension by the IRS beyond the automatic six-month extension for 
the 2019 tax year.

Other Sources for Detailed Information

    We provide a more detailed discussion on the verification process 
in the following resources:
     2021-2022 Application and Verification Guide.
     2021-2022 ISIR Guide.
     2021-2022 SAR Comment Codes and Text.
     2021-2022 COD Technical Reference.
     Program Integrity Information--Questions and Answers on 
Verification at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/

[[Page 55007]]

reg/hearulemaking/2009/verification.html.
    These publications are on the Information for Financial Aid 
Professionals website at www.ifap.ed.gov.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this 
document, as well as all other documents of this Department published 
in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070a, 1070b-1070b-4, 1087a-1087j, 
and 42 U.S.C. 2751-2756b.

Robert L. King,
Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2020-19501 Filed 9-2-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P