Federal Student Aid: Verification

Definition and Purpose

  1. Verification is a process used to check the accuracy of the information that a student has given when applying for federal financial aid.
  2. Verification is used to ensure that the student is providing accurate information about his or her need for financial aid, since inaccurate information may result in the student receiving less (or more) money than he or she should.

Programs Covered

  1. Federal Pell grant and TEACH grant
  2. Federal Stafford loans;
  3. Campus-based programs:
  • federal Perkins
  • federal work study
  • federal supplemental education opportunity grant (FSEOG)

Applicant Selections

The Department of Education has developed a series of manual and electronic edits used in need analysis to determine who is triggered for verification:

  • pre-established criteria based on the particular system's edits
  • error-phone modeling uses applicant characteristics to predict which applicants are likely to make errors
  • gross year comparison utilizes a comparison of past- and current-year information
  • independent student overrides
  • random selection
  • conflicting information in student's file
  • student with questionable income or asset information
  • students who choose not to accept downloaded IRS tax information on their FAFSA
  • students who edit the downloaded IRS information on their FAFSA.

Verification Process

Federal regulations have customized the verification process. Not all students selected for verification will be required to verify the same data. Our office will notify students which data must be verified.

  1. Students selected for verification are notified by the federal processor immediately upon submission of the FAFSA on the student aid report and by the financial aid office once FAFSA information has been received.
  2. Students will be instructed to send in specific materials to verify their information based on federal requirements. Some of these materials may include, but are not limited to, a verification form, an official IRS federal tax return transcript, W-2 wage statements, a statement of education purpose or verification of identity, and declaration of untaxed income.
  3. Until all verification requirements are completed, no funds will be awarded nor disbursed to the student.

Students should note the deadline date for submitting verification materials on verification forms.

Contact us


Fax: 518-581-2782

Mailing Address: 
Empire State College
Financial Aid
111 West Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Questions? Contact the Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.


Code: 010286
Name: SUC Empire State College

TAP Codes

Undergraduate: 0913
Graduate: 5680 (for graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards)


Students planning to attend the spring 2 term starting in March 2017 should complete the 2016-2017 Free Application for Federal Student Aid.   Students who plan to attend starting in May 2017 or thereafter should apply for financial aid for 2017-2018 by submitting the 2017-2018 FAFSA.

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.