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College Board

About IDOC

Subscribing to IDOC
Institutions interested in subscribing to IDOC should email finaidservices@collegeboard.org.

IDOC Options
Once an institution has signed up, it can access its online Service Options (SOF) to specify its planned service usage. Options include using IDOC for:

All domestic CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® filers who have submitted an application
All domestic first-time PROFILE filers who have submitted an application
All domestic renewal PROFILE filers who have submitted an application
All international first-time PROFILE filers who have submitted an application
All international renewal PROFILE filers who have submitted an application
Selected students identified on electronic files transmitted by the institution to the College Board

Other Options Available to the Institution
Specification of deadline dates for receipt of documents. Institutions may specify separate dates for first-time and renewal applicants.
Specification of document requirements in addition to federal tax documents. Choices include:
  • Federal tax returns
  • Verification Worksheets
  • Parents’ W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Dependent students’ W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Independent students’ (and spouses’) W-2 and 1099 forms
  • Noncustodial parents’ tax forms
  • Noncustodial Parent's Statement
  • Parents' Business/Farm Supplement
  • Institution Specific Documents
The IDOC Processing Calendar
IDOC communications with students begin in early February and continue through mid-January. Documents are processed from early February through the end of January. IDOC images are available for viewing online through June two years later. For example, images for the 2015-16 processing year will be available from February 2015 through June 2017. Archival images are also made available to the institution for download through Data Delivery.

IDOC Communications
The College Board initiates IDOC communications with each selected applicant upon receipt of the student's submitted PROFILE Application or the institution’s electronic file (see IDOC Options above). The notification will tell the student: 

  • Which documents to submit to the College Board
  • For which colleges and programs the documents are being submitted, explaining that these colleges and programs may request that additional information be sent directly to the financial aid office. The notification will also explain that other colleges may require that the same documents be submitted directly to the financial aid office.
  • When the documents must be received to meet the earliest deadline specified in the SOF by the colleges and programs to which the student is applying
Students at institutions using the PROFILE to initiate the IDOC request are informed of the IDOC requirement when they submit their PROFILE Applications. Students at institutions submitting students via electronic file are notified via email within 24 hours of the College Board's receipt of the student's information via a valid submission file. The PROFILE online Acknowledgment and both types of notification email include IDOC instructions, the student's IDOC ID, and a link to the IDOC website where he or she may print his or her Cover Sheet and Requirements. When a parent email address is available the parent is sent a copy of all email communications sent to the student.

To ensure the highest possible applicant response rate, follow-up email messages are sent to families if the IDOC packet is not received by the College Board within 21 days of the initial notification.

IDOC Cover Sheet
A link (https://idoc.collegeboard.com) to the required IDOC Cover Sheet is included in the IDOC notification to the student. Students are instructed to download and print a copy to send with their packets. The Cover Sheet is pre-filled with the student’s identifying information and serves as a control document in the IDOC system, ensuring that documents processed are associated with the student who submitted them. A separate Cover Sheet is required for each set of documents sent to the College Board. 

Students and parents are instructed to send only one complete documentation packet, if possible. However, in most cases the noncustodial parent’s tax documents, if required, will be sent separately and will require a separate Cover Sheet. 

The IDOC Cover Sheet includes:

  • Student’s identifying information pre-filled using information from the PROFILE application or the institutional submission file.
  • Identification of the person(s) submitting the documents (custodial parent(s) and student or noncustodial parent) and their Social Security Numbers, providing the institution with the ability to match each tax form received to the document owner.
  • A list of documents, with instructions to indicate the documents enclosed.
IDOC Operations
The College Board opens the mail and determines whether the materials submitted by the family are ready for processing (required documents are included, legible, and able to be scanned). If ready for processing, the materials in each packet, including the Cover Sheet, are scanned and images of the documents are made available for viewing by participating institutions on the College Board’s website. 

If the documents cannot be processed a letter is sent to the student explaining how to submit a valid packet.

After the documents are scanned, data from the tax forms are key-entered and an electronic record is created. This record contains information captured from the IDOC Cover Sheet and from tax documents in the packet, including:

  • Student’s identifying information (name, address, etc.)
  • Student’s Social Security Number and CSS ID, if present
  • Identity of person(s) submitting documents (parent, student, noncustodial parent)
  • Parents’ Social Security Numbers
  • Student’s email address
  • IDOC packet receipt date
  • Type and number of documents received in the packet. Each tax schedule is identified as a separate document type.
  • Information from pages 1 and 2 of the federal tax return(s), including a signature present indicator and the tax filer’s Social Security Number. (Generally, the data elements keyed will correspond to taxable income captured on the PROFILE Application and used in the need analysis.)
  • Information from W-2 forms
  • Selected information from tax schedules
IDOC Reporting
If requested on the SOF, the College Board will transmit Registration Only Records, files containing minimal demographic data and the date on which the initial IDOC notification was sent to the student. This will permit institutions to follow up for missing IDOC packets after a reasonable period of time, referencing the notification the student received from the College Board.

Once the IDOC packet is processed, electronic data records are created in a uniquely defined layout and made available to institutions via Data Delivery. Institutions can load IDOC data to their financial aid software, assuming that their software provider supports the IDOC Data Reporting Layout. PowerFAIDS® fully supports the IDOC record and access to the IDOC images. Interface "freeware" for institutions who use SCT BANNER financial aid modules is available. For more information contact finaidservices@collegeboard.org.  

Schools receive electronic records and access to IDOC images within 3 to 4 business days of the documents’ receipt. IDOC processing time is tracked from the hour the mail is delivered by the post office, regardless of when the mail is opened. Families can check the receipt date and processing status of their documentation packet by going to https://idoc.collegeboard.com. They may also request a ?packet received? email message.

Image Access
To view IDOC document images, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader or higher loaded on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software available at http://get.adobe.com/reader. Adobe Acrobat Standard and Adobe Acrobat Pro are fee based products that also allow you to view PDF documents. These versions offer additional features and functions such as highlighting and commenting. For a full comparison of features contained in Reader, Acrobat Standard, and Acrobat Pro, please go to http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/matrix.html.

Please note, some browsers have default viewers that do not have the same functionality as Adobe. In most cases you will be able to see the image, but will lose functionality such as setting a default viewing size. You must use an Adobe product to utilize all functionality.

PowerFAIDS Support for Image Access
PowerFAIDS contains functionality that automates access to IDOC images. Click on "Imaging with PowerFAIDS" for details on how to set up image access in PowerFAIDS.

Imaging with PowerFAIDS

Institutional Fees
Institutions are charged $6.60 for each documentation packet processed for a renewal applicant and $5.10 for each first-time applicant packet.

Most students will submit only one packet containing all required documents. Students are directed to submit their documentation packet only after all required documents are available. For institutions requiring noncustodial parent tax information, it is likely that there will be a separate noncustodial documentation packet submitted, resulting in an additional per-packet charge.

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Please contact us at finaidservices@collegeboard.org.

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