Verification is a process to confirm the information you provided on the FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Verification selection can be random or because your FAFSA data was incomplete, estimated or inconsistent. The U.S Department of Education selects some students for the verification process. The Sage Colleges may select a student for verification if we find conflicting information reported on the FAFSA.
We are required to ask you to provide documentation to confirm the information on your FAFSA. This will include a verification worksheet and may include a signed copy of your (your spouse’s) 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you are a dependent student, we may also request a signed copy of your parent’s Tax Return Transcript. Not all students will be required to verify the same information, please only submit the documentation that is requested by the financial aid office. Please refer to the “Required Documents tab” on “My Sage Aid” to see which verification worksheet will need to be submitted along with supporting documents.
If you would like a printed copy of your verification worksheet mailed to your home address, please contact the financial aid office at (518)244-4525 (Troy) or (518)-292-1783 (Albany) and will be happy to mail one home.
When verifying your FAFSA, we are no longer allowed to accept a signed copy of a 1040 tax return form to complete the verification process. This is a federal regulation that we must follow.
To document your tax return, you may:
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer tax data to your FAFSA,
- Request an IRS Tax Transcript
Note: Tax Information electronically filed within the last 2 weeks or submitted by mail within the last 8 weeks may not be available
Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool
If you did not use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when you filed your FAFSA, you may still do so.
- Login at fafsa.gov to “Make FAFSA Corrections”
- On the FAFSA, in the Financial Information section, click “Link to IRS’”
- On the IRS website, fill out the form and click on “Transfer my tax information into the FAFSA”
You will be unable to use IRS Data Retrieval Tool if:
- Your marital status changed after December 31
- You filed an amended return (See Instructions below)
- You filed married filing separately
- You filed a foreign tax return – Submit a signed copy of your return to the financial aid office
- The home address on the FAFSA does not match the address on the tax return
Requesting an IRS Tax Transcript
If you are selected for verification of your FAFSA, and are unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must submit an official IRS Tax Return Transcript, (not an Account Transcript.)
There are ways to do this:
|Request Method||Where?||What?||How?||When?||Send to Third Party?|
|Online (Get Transcript)||Get Transcript||Mailed||5-10 Days||No|
|IRS2GO Mobile App||IRS2GO||Paper||Mailed||5-10 Days||No|
|IRS Form 4506T-EZ||Form 4506T-EZ||Paper||Mailed||5-10 Days||Yes|
According to the IRS, the preferred method of obtaining a Tax Return Transcript is by using the “Get Transcript” online option. This is the quickest way of obtaining your transcript.
Using the “Get Transcript” Option
You will have to sign up for an account by establishing a username and password. Once an account has been set up, you will be able to print your transcript through a PDF file.
REMEMBER: Include your student ID number on your tax transcript before you submit it to our office.
If you filed an Amended Return:
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used to update the 2016-17 FAFSA when the applicant and/or parents have filed an amended return. Tax documentation to be submitted when 2015 taxes have been amended include:
- a signed 2015 IRS Tax Transcript
- a signed copy of the 1040X IRS Tax Return that was filed with the IRS
Victims of Identity Theft
If you are a victim of IRS identity theft and are unable to obtain a 2015 IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must contact the IRS at (800)-908-4490. Upon the authentication of your identity, the IRS will provide, by U.S. Postal Service, a printout of the Tax filer’s 2015 IRS income tax return which can be used to complete verification.
In order for your financial aid to be processed and a financial aid package to be generated within a timely manner, you are strongly encouraged to submit all verification documentation within 30 days of receiving the initial verification request.
The verification review process can range from 2-3 weeks, once all required documentation has been received by the financial aid office.
Verification documents must be received and processed before the end of the semester in order to receive financial aid. To ensure the deadline is met, all information should be submitted no later than 30 days before the last day of the semester this will allow sufficient time for processing.
All aid must be processed and credited to a student’s account before the last day of the semester.
All document requests must be completed before any financial aid can be disbursed to your account.
If you are registered during the following semesters, you will need to submit your verification documents by the deadline date to ensure a financial aid package will be available for you.
Summer 1 & 3: May 6
Summer 2: June 24
Fall: June 29
Last day to submit verification documents to receive financial aid for the Fall Semester is October 3, 2016
Verification documentation may be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by mail, fax, or email. Verification documents and questions can be sent via email to [email protected].
If you have questions regarding your verification, please contact Megan Henry at 518-244-2088 or [email protected].