Every single year that I have been a student - every single year - I have been selected for verification. It didn't matter how much I made, how many people were in my household, how much aid I received or how early/late I filed my FAFSA. It's essentially a huge pain in the ass, and disbursement of federal aid requires these tax documents before aid can be disbursed if you've been selected for verification. Once you've been selected for verification, there is no way to opt out of it. You're giving the school your tax transcripts, and there is just no two ways about it. What's also fun is that the process doesn't provide any accommodations or leeway for people who have filed a legal extension with the IRS - so if you've filed an extension, you don't have your tax documents to submit for verification, but until you have submitted tax documents, there is no guarantee that you'll have anything left to have disbursed to you by the time they finish the process (which they tell you takes at least three weeks, if not a couple months, when they're actually looking for something like five line items on the transcript - what?).
I find the process to be obnoxious and gratuitous, especially as a grad student - I'm not eligible for a Pell grant as a grad student, and verification is supposed to help protect Pell funds against fraud. I've read articles that claim that a much higher percentage of low-income students are selected for verification, and that there is about a seven percent discrepancy between those who were not selected for verification and received aid, and those who received aid who were selected. That is, the statistic I'm familiar with says that about seven percent fewer students receive aid who are selected for verification.
I think it's ridiculous and expensive and bloated to far past the point at which it's needed, and I was curious as to whether others had opinions on the subject.