Federal Verification Process

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), is the federal financial aid form students complete to apply for all federal student financial aid.

Federal verification is a process which requires institutions to verify the accuracy of the information provided on a student’s FAFSA in an effort to ensure federal aid is distributed to those who are eligible. If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the U.S. Department of Education, you are required to provide documentation to the school verifying the information you entered on your FAFSA.

How will I know that I have been selected for verification?

After submitting your FAFSA, you will receive an electronic Student Aid Report (SAR). If you have been selected for federal verification, this will be indicated on your SAR.  Additionally, we will send you a letter notifying you that you were selected along with a list of the required documents.

What are the required documents?

Required documentation varies depending on the reason(s) your application was selected. Typically, if your FAFSA is selected for verification, you and for dependent students, your parent(s) must complete the following:

  • Verification Worksheet
  • From the tax year used when completing your FAFSA: 
    • If your parent(s) have filed federal taxes, they need to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
    • If you have filed federal taxes, you need to submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript
    • If you and/or your parent(s) earned income from any source, submit a copy of each Form W-2 received or if no W-2, a list of the source(s) and total earnings


If your FAFSA is selected for verification, be sure to complete the verification requirements as soon as possible so that your eligibility for federal financial aid can be finalized. Students should submit the documents directly to the Office of Student Financial Services via Secure Electronic Submission at my.fordham.edu/fasubmitdocs or fax: (718) 817-3921. In all circumstances, the verification process must be completed by the last day of your enrollment during the school year for which your application has been selected, unless you meet certain federal criteria to be considered for later disbursements. Please see below for additional information on the deadline for completing verification.
 

What if I am a victim of identity theft?

If you have been a victim of identity theft, you cannot obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript until the issue has been resolved by the IRS. Since resolution can take a significant amount of time, please provide a copy of the Transcript Database View (TRDBV) tax transcript to our office along with a signed and dated statement by the tax filer indicating you were a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft. You may obtain a copy of the TRDBV from the IRS by calling 1-800-908-4490.

What is the deadline for completing verification?

Verification is complete when we have reviewed all required documentation, and the data in your financial aid application is accurate according to the documentation submitted. In general, to qualify for federal aid, verification must be completed by the last day of your enrollment during the school year for which your application has been selected, unless you meet certain federal criteria to be considered for late disbursements. However, our office recommends that you submit verification documents as soon as possible as institutional aid is limited.

What happens if I do not complete verification?

If you choose not to, or fail to submit verification documents, we will be unable to complete the review of your eligibility for financial aid.

In rare cases, a student who has already been awarded federal financial aid may be selected for verification after financial aid has disbursed. In the event that this happens, we will send notification by mail. Failure to comply with the verification requirements will result in your aid being cancelled and any future aid not disbursing to your student account. If financial aid had already disbursed to your student account, your financial aid will also be cancelled which may result in a balance on your University student account.
 

If required, how will the information be corrected?

Our office is required to submit all changes resulting from verification to the Federal Student Aid Processor. The Processor sends a revised electronic Student Aid Report (SAR) to the student. The revised SAR highlights the data that was changed and states that the changes were made by your school.