Verification is the process used to check the accuracy of the information a student provides when applying for federal student aid. In this process, the school is required by federal law (Higher Education Act as amended and Subpart E or 34 CFR, Part 668) to compare the information from the FAFSA application with the information provided by verification worksheets, federal IRS tax transcripts, and other required documentation. If there are differences between the FAFSA application data and the documents the student/parent submit, the Financial Aid office will make any corrections or updates.
The U.S. Department of Education determines the verification requirements through the FAFSA processing. SUNY Broome reserves the right to “school-select” a student’s application for verification if conflicting or incorrect information exits.
If a student is selected for verification, the requested documentation is posted onto the Financial Aid area of MyCollege in a status coded “Established”. This means the document has been requested from the student and the student has not submitted or satisfied this request. An email and initially a letter are sent to the student to inform the student to view their MyCollege account for “unsatisfied requirements”. Thereafter, weekly auto-generated email reminders are sent to the student. When the student accesses the “unsatisfied requirements”, all verification documents required/requested will be visible via the MyCollege portal in the Financial Aid Section.
The student may be able to select a hyperlink via MyCollege to complete the form(s) electronically. The student may also choose to download and print a paper version of the forms requested from the Financial Aid Forms Gallery. Forms are also available in the Financial Aid Office. The student may submit requested forms electronically, or via mail, fax, email, or in person.
After all required documents are submitted, a Financial Aid Administrator will review all information. If there are differences between the application and the documents submitted, corrections will be made to the FAFSA by the Financial Aid Administrator. Corrections are electronically exported to the Department of Education. A student will have a new status posted in their MyCollege portal that advises them that their FAFSA has been sent for Corrections.
A student is not packaged or awarded aid prior to the completion of the verification process. In the event a student had been awarded aid and then was selected for verification on a subsequent FAFSA transaction, any notices of a change in award amounts are provided within a new award notification email and the revised award amounts are posted on MyCollege.
Verification for Pell eligible students must be completed no later than 90 days after a student’s last date of attendance at SUNY Broome or August 31 of the current award year, whichever is earlier. Verification for Direct loan and PLUS loan students must be completed 10 days prior to the student’s last day of attendance for a semester. Financial aid is not processed until verification has been completed.
Verification must be completed before a loan request is originated or a grant or FWS award is made. The college does not make interim disbursements before completing verification. If the Financial Aid Office becomes aware of conflicting information after aid has been awarded, the student’s file will be reevaluated or reconciled, and the student’s financial need and awards will be revised accordingly.
A menu of potential verification items for each award year is published in the Federal Register on the IFAP website. The items to verify for a given application will be selected from that menu and indicated on the student’s output document from the FAFSA (SAR).
The data elements selected for verification may depend on the applicant’s dependency status, whether the applicant or applicant’s parents file or do not file federal income tax returns, and whether the applicant is eligible for auto zero EFC or not, among other criteria.
If an applicant uses the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer federal income tax return data to the FAFSA without modification, the unmodified data elements will not be subject to verification. SUNY Broome strongly encourages students to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.