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. Russell Sage College may also select a student for verification if we find conflicting information reported on the FAFSA.

Most students that are selected for the standard verification by the Department of Education will now have their verification completed by our new partner, Inceptia.  If you received an email or postcard from Inceptia with information on how to use their online portal, Verification Gateway (VG), please visit our Verification by Inceptia page to learn more about this process.

If you received notification that you are selected for verification by the Financial Aid Office, the information below will help you navigate the process.

  • Step 1 – Log into to your My Sage Aid account to determine what verification form you will need to submit to our office
  • Step 2 – Locate the form that you are required to submit on the Financial Aid Forms page.
  • Step 3 – Review forms to determine what supporting documentation you will need to submit along with your verification worksheet.

Required Documents

Every student’s verification is unique, but commonly requested information includes:

Federal Tax Information
If your verification requires you to confirm the income you reported on your FAFSA, you, your spouse and your parents, if applicable will need to show that the income you reported on your FAFSA is the same information that was reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

How do you verify your income?

  • The fastest, most accurate method is to use the IRS data retrieval tool (DRT) on your FAFSA. You simply log back in to your FAFSA, proceed to the income section and select that you would like to use the IRS DRT option. This will take you away from the FAFSA website and take you to the IRS site where you will complete the process. Most students and families are able to use this process.
  • If you are not able to use the DRT process, you can submit a signed copy of your (and your parents’) 2021 federal 1040, along with all schedules that were filed.

Request an IRS tax transcript to verify your income.

Statement of Non-Filing from the IRS

Proof of Identity

  • Valid state-issued driver’s license
  • Valid state-issued identification card
  • Unexpired Passport

Other Documents as Requested

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:

  • signed IRS Tax Transcript or 1040, along with all filed schedules
  • 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.


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: May 4, 2023
  • Fall: June 1, 2023
  • Spring: January 1, 2024

Documents received after the due date could result in the loss of need based institutional aid.