Using IDOC in the Financial Aid Process
If you're in the thick of the college financial aid process, you may be requested to submit your tax documents via IDOC, a service used by colleges and universities across the country. IDOC is an acronym for the Institutional Documentation Service and in its role collects financial forms, including tax returns, W-2s, and 1099s, from families applying for financial aid.
Managed by College Board®, IDOC serves as a middleman, gathering tax documents (at no charge to families) and then sending the images electronically to colleges and universities. Schools then use the data, along with the information reported on the financial aid applications, to determine each student's eligibility for financial aid.
Students who need to submit documents to IDOC will receive an email notification with a link to the IDOC site from the College Board. Many will also be notified of the requirement on their Profile Acknowledgment. Students will need to sign in to the IDOC website and then fill in the requested information and upload the required tax forms in JPEG, TIFF, or PDF format. They may also opt to print a cover sheet and submit documents via U.S. Mail, FedEx, or UPS. Students may be asked questions about their household members and may be required to complete school-specific financial aid forms. The IDOC website notifies students of the specific documents required, the status of documents already submitted, and all deadlines.
Many colleges and universities, specifically those that require the CSS Profile®, use IDOC within their financial aid process, though only those schools that have made IDOC requests will receive a family's submitted documents.
Keep in mind that after you upload your documents to IDOC, you may receive an automated email from College Board multiple times letting you know that they have not yet received your requested documents. Though College Board could very well have received your documents, you may continue to receive this email until the colleges (not the College Board) have actually processed the documents on their end. To be certain you've submitted everything necessary, call IDOC Customer Service at 866-897-9881.
For a full tutorial on IDOC, visit the College Board site here. You can also find additional information on the IDOC Frequently Asked Questions page. If you'd like to ask a question about IDOC, you can reach IDOC Customer Service by calling 866-897-9881 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.