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 copy of your (your spouse’s) IRS Tax Return Transcript. If you are a dependent student, we may also request a copy of your parent’s IRS 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. You can 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 the 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 to you.

Required Documents

When verifying your FAFSA, we are not 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 MUST submit an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Date Retrieval Tool (DRT) on your FAFSA. The DRT is the most efficient method for reporting tax information, however, not everyone is eligible to use the data retrieval tool.

You should refer to the FAFSA or your verification worksheet to determine what tax year you will need to submit to the financial aid office. (For example: to complete verification for the 2018-19 FAFSA, you will submit a 2016 IRS tax transcript.)

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 multiple ways you can request your transcript:

Request Method Where? What? How? When? Send to Third Party?
Online (Get Transcript) Get Transcript PDF Printable Immediate No
IRS2GO Mobile App IRS2GO Paper Mailed 5-10 Days No
Telephone 800-908-9946 Paper Mailed 5-10 Days No
IRS Form 4506T-EZ Form 4506T-EZ Paper Mailed 5-10 Days Yes, but not

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.

The IRS has a page on their website that offers help for students and families when filing their financial aid applications.

If you filed an Amended Return:

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used to update your FAFSA when the applicant and/or parents have filed an amended return. Tax documentation to be submitted when your/your parents’ taxes have been amended include:

  • a signed 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 an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, you must contact the IRS’s Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) 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 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 or longer, 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.

Deadline Dates

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 4
  • Summer  2: June 1
  • Fall: June 1

Contact Information

Verification documentation may be submitted to the Financial Aid Office by mail to:

The Sage Colleges
Attn: Financial Aid
65 First Street
Troy, NY 12180

Verification documents and questions can be sent via email to [email protected].

If you have questions regarding your verification, please contact Jean D’Ambrosia at 518-244-4525 or  [email protected].