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 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, a signed copy of federal tax returns including any schedules 1-6, W-2 wage statements and a statement of education purpose or verification of identity.
  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: 518-580-4863

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 Associate: 0916

Undergraduate Bachelor's: 0913

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


If you are attending the fall 2020 term, the deadline to have all financial aid applications, additional financial aid requirements/documents and appeals submitted and any student loans accepted is July 31, 2020 in order ensure the processing of your aid eligibility by the fall payment deadline.

For students planning to enroll beginning in summer 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021, the 2020-2021 FAFSA application is now available to complete.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF files on this site. If Acrobat Reader is not installed on your computer, you can download it for free from Adobe's site. If you are still unable to view the file, please contact us at financialaid@esc.edu or call 800-847-3000.