Verification Process

New this year!  Tax Transcripts from the IRS are required.  Be sure to use the dropdown and request a "return transcript".  A copy of your paper return is no longer accepted.

Some students are selected to go through a process know as verification.  Verification is a mini-audit of the information that was provided on the FAFSA form.

The school is required to check and make sure that the correct adjusted gross income, taxes paid, untaxed income and family size information is reported on the FAFSA.  This is done by comparing the FAFSA information to tax forms and information provided on the verification worksheet.

Who is selected?

Approximately 30% of all students are chosen to go through the verification process.  Some students are chosen randomly while others are chosen because there appears to be discrepant information provided on the FAFSA.  Some students are even selected after they have received an award letter.

Notification on the SAR that you have been selected for verification does not necessarily mean that Buffalo State will require verification documentation.  Check with the school to see if you will be verified if your SAR has such a comment.

It is not unusual for a student to have to go through the process two or even three years in a row, especially if the audit turns up incorrect information.  Regardless, the process must be completed before aid can be awarded or disbursed.

Required Documents

NEW: copies of federal tax forms are no longer accepted.  A federal "tax transcript" is required from the IRS.

Click here to order a TAX TRANSCRIPT online

Dependent students are asked to supply:

  • Student's federal tax transcript (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040x)
  • Parents' federal tax transcript (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040x)
  • Copies of all parent W-2 forms
  • A completed verification worksheet

Independent students are asked to supply:

  • Student's federal tax transcript (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040x)
  • Spouse's federal tax transcript (1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040x)
  • Copies of all student and spouse W-2 forms
  • A completed verification worksheet

Copies of state tax returns are not required.

Completing Verification

After the required documents are reviewed by a counselor there may be requests for additional documentation including copies of tax schedules, statements detailing the inclusion of a person in the number in family or clarification on additional items that still appear to be discrepant.

All items requested must be submitted before awarding of aid will take place or a previous award will be reinstated.

If the information on the FAFSA is not accurate the school will correct the information and award aid based on the revised data.  Once verification is complete families should not make any corrections to the FAFSA data without consulting staff in the Financial Aid Office first.

Verification Deadline

The verification process must be completed prior to the time a student ceases attending in an academic year to receive loans or a FSEOG grant.

For the Federal Pell Grant students have up to one hundred and twenty (120) days after they cease to be enrolled in the academic year to complete verification.

Understand that completing verification includes the time required for the school to submit corrections to the federal processor. Students need to also allow time for the financial aid office to determine award eligiblity.