There are several ways tax filers can request a tax transcript, most of which do not involve payment of a fee to the IRS. Some Methods take longer for processing than others. In Dear Colleague Letter GEN-11-13, ED recommended three methods in particular.
Financial Aid requires the "Tax Return Transcript"
On the IRS website in the "Online Services" section, tax filers can "Order a Tax Return" transcript. The tax filer enters the Social Security number, date of birth and address as it appears on the most recent tax return filed with the IRS, and clicks the “Continue” button.
It might be helpful to recommend to students and parents to have a copy of the most recent federal income tax return on hand when completing a request for an IRS tax transcript.