Federal Verification FAQ
What is Verification?
Federal Verification is a review process in which Long Island University, as required by the U.S. Department of Education, must verify the accuracy of the information provided on your FAFSA. FAFSA applications are randomly selected by the Federal processor for verification.
Federal programs such as the Federal Pell Grant, Federal SEOG Grant, Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Work Study and the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan Program have strict eligibility requirements. University and state funding awarded based on need may also be affected.
Initial financial aid awards are based on the most current information we have on file for you at that time. If the tax and household information differs from the information reported on the student's FAFSA, financial aid could be increased, decreased or canceled altogether.
All verification documents should be forwarded to the Office of Student Financial Services at your Campus as soon as possible after they are requested. Failure to do so may result in a reduction and/or cancellation of any need-based Federal, State, or University financial aid. Students will be notified via their my.liu email if any other documents are needed.
What needs to be verified?
Schools are required to verify:
- The number of people in your household
- The number of household members attending a post-secondary educational institution at least half time
- Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or income earned from work if income is below the minimum required for income tax filing
- U.S. Income Tax Paid
- Child Support Paid
- Receipt of Food Stamps/SNAP benefits
Certain Untaxed Income and Benefits such as:
- Child support received
- Interest on tax free bonds
- Other untaxed income from the U.S. income tax return (excluding schedules)
- High School Status
- Identity and Educational Purpose
How do I know if I am selected for verification?
Your Student Aid Report (SAR), sent by the Department of Education after your FAFSA has been processed, will let you know if you have been selected for Verification. Any student selected for Verification is sent a Missing Information Letter by their campus's Student Financial Services Office listing the additional documents needed. This information will also appear on the your MY.LIU account under the "To Do List" section.
What do I do if I receive a Missing Information Letter?
Read the checklist items carefully to determine what documents are needed and submit only those documents that are requested. Please note the University can no longer accept Federal Tax Returns.
What's the fastest way to submit my income information?
If you are required to submit proof of income and W2s, we recommend that you make a correction on your FAFSA and elect to retrieve this information directly from the IRS via an IRS Data Retrieval. Your information should reach the University within 5 days and as long as you don't change any of the data, you will not need to submit an IRS Tax Transcript or W2s. (IRS Data Retrieval is available two weeks after filing your taxes electronically and eight weeks after filing by mail.) Simply check the appropriate box in Section C of the Verification Worksheet that says you used the IRS Data Retrieval. Please note that you will still need to submit any other checklist items that are listed on your Missing Information Letter.
Why am I blocked from using the IRS Data Retrieval?
Students/parents who file the following are ineligible for IRS Data Retrieval:
- Foreign Tax Return
- Married filing separately
- Change in marital status after December 31, 2012
Currently, the IRS data on a tax return may only be imported into one FAFSA per award year. This causes issues when the parent of a dependent student is also a student or when a student has siblings who are also filing a FAFSA.
What if I'm ineligible or don't want to do an IRS Data Retrieval?
You/your parents will need to submit a Federal Income Tax Transcript Form 4506T as well as copies of all W2s. You can request a Federal Tax Transcript online at www.irs.gov or by calling 1-800-908-9946. You will need your social security number, date of birth, EXACT Street Address as used on the tax return and your Postal Zip Code. In some cases, your address may differ slightly from what the IRS has recorded. If you have problems ordering a transcript online due to your address being incorrect, consult your post office as to the correct listing of your address. Please note that depending on the time of year, tax transcripts can take up to eight to process.
What if I filed an amended return?
If you filed an amended return, we will need a signed copy of IRS Form 1040X in addition to the Tax Return Transcript.
What if I or my parents don't file taxes?
If you/your spouse/your parents did not file federal income tax returns, you must provide IRS Tax Form 4506T and fill out the Verification Worksheet listing any sources of income. You will also need to submit copies of any W2s received.
What kind of documentation do you accept as proof of High School completion?
- High School Diploma or
- Final high school transcript that shows the date the high school diploma was awarded.
Alternative Documentation when the above are unavailable:
- General Educational Development (GED) Certificate
- State Certificate received by a student after the student has passed a State-Authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma;
- Academic transcript of a student who has successfully completed at least a two year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree or
- Documentation of high school completion status: recognized equivalent of a high school diploma (for a person who is seeking enrollment in an educational program that leads to at least an associate degree or its equivalent and has not completed high school but has excelled academically in high school, documentation from the high school that the student excelled academically in high school and documentation from the postsecondary institution that the student has met the formalized, written policies of the postsecondary institution admitting such students.)
I've been selected to show proof of Identity and sign a Statement of Educational Purpose but I can't come to the campus in person. How can I submit these documents?
If you can't appear in person, you will need to make a clear copy of a government issued ID (driver's license, passport, etc.). We must be able to see the picture as well as the information. Download and complete the notarized Statement of Educational Purpose form and have it notarized. You can then mail the copy of your ID and the notarized Statement of Education Purpose form to your campus's Student Financial Services office. Please include your LIU ID number on all documents. Due to government regulations, we cannot accept faxes or scanned copies of these documents. Please refer to your Missing Information Letter for the address of your campus.
How do I submit my documents?
Once you have all the documents requested, you can mail them to your respective campus's Student Financial Services office or fax them (with the exception of the Statement of Educational Purpose and Proof of Identity). Please write your name and LIU ID number on each form and be sure not to send originals (except for Tax Transcripts). You can also drop them off in person or schedule an appointment to hand them in.
Due to the large volume of documents we receive, we ask that you submit all requested documentation at the same time. Awarding may take longer for students who do not.
Where do I get the forms I need to fill out?
Please visit the Federal Verification Forms page.