• Office of Student Finance

  • Verification

    Verification is the process whereby the Office of Financial Aid verifies that the information on your FAFSA matches the data reported on your tax returns. The government requires that at least 30% of all FAFSA filers be selected for verification and most of the time the government selects people at random. However, we reserve the right to select students for verification as well. Click here for the 2011-2012 verification forms.

    Verification: Frequently Asked Questions

    Do I really need to respond to this request?

    How do I send you the information?

    Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA Form?

    Will my information be kept confidential?

    How long do I have to respond?

    Do you really need all of the pages of my (and my parent's) federal tax return?

    What if I (or my parents) don't have a copy of the federal tax return and/or W-2s?

    What if my parents don't want to give me a copy of their federal income tax return?

    Once I've sent the Office of Student Aid a copy of the verification forms, taxes, and W-2s, I'm done, right?

    What if I (or my parents) have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

    What if I didn't file a federal tax return?

    How will I know if you have received my paperwork?

    How long will the review take?

    Will I be notified when the verification is complete?

    Will my financial aid be affected?

    How do I know who to include on the Household Verification return?

    My parents are divorced. Whose information do I include?

    I am an independent student (as defined on the FAFSA) and someone other than a spouse provides support for me. Do I include that on the FAFSA?

    Am I required to submit my stepfather's (or stepmother's) information for the verification? What if they don't support me financially?

    What if a prenuptial agreement states that my stepfather (or stepmother) is not required to support me financially and/or contribute to my college education?

    What if my parents don't support me?

    What if I need help completing the verification forms?

    Do I really need to respond to this request?

    Yes.

    The U.S. Department of Education requires that you comply with our requests for financial information. If you do not complete and return all the requested information within 30 days, the YU Office of Financial Aid is required to cancel your financial aid. Completion of verification is necessary to remain eligible for both federal aid and also for most types of YU scholarships.

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    How do I send you the information?

    Be sure all forms are complete and that you have included all requested information and documents before you submit the paperwork to the OFA. Mail the completed forms, signed federal tax returns, and W-2s and any other supplemental information to:

    Office of Financial Aid
    Yeshiva University
    500 West 185th St. FH 121
    New York, NY 10033

    Or fax the documents to: 212-960-0037
    You may also drop the information off in person at:

    Office of Financial Aid
    Yeshiva University
    500 West 185th st.
    Furst Hall 121
    New York, NY 10033

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    Why do I need to give you this information? Isn't it on the FAFSA Form?

    The U.S. Department of Education requires that YU verify a certain percentage of our students. Students and families must provide the Office of Financial Aid with the financial information necessary to complete the verification.

    The purpose of the process is to allow the Office of Financial Aid to collect the documents necessary to verify that the information reported on the FAFSA is correct. If any information is incorrect, the Office of Financial Aid must make corrections and submit the corrections to the Department of Education for reprocessing.

    You and your family agreed to provide financial information when you completed the FAFSA. Everyone who signs the FAFSA agrees to "If asked, provide information that will verify the accuracy of your completed form."

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    Will my information be kept confidential?

    Yes; all of your financial information, including your federal tax returns, will be kept confidential. However, if corrections are necessary, the Office of Financial Aid will transmit them electronically to the U.S. Department of Education.

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    How long do I have to respond?

    You must complete all forms and return them to the Office of Financial Aid by the deadline stated on the verification forms. Be sure that all forms are appropriately signed. You must include with the completed verification forms signed copies of current federal income tax returns for you and your parents, if you are a dependent student (or for you and your spouse, if you are an independent student). All schedules (all pages) of the tax returns must be submitted. Additionally, you must submit copies of all W-2s for the requested tax year.

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    Do you really need all of the pages of my (and my parent's) federal tax return?

    Yes. You must submit a copy of all pages of the federal tax return, including all schedules (such as Schedules B, C, C-EZ, D, E, F, J, and SE) and all supplementary forms. The Office of Financial Aid needs a complete federal tax return to conduct our review. We do not, however, need copies of state income tax returns.

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    What if I (or my parents) don't have a copy of the federal tax return and/or W-2s?

    You must immediately notify the Office of Financial Aid. Also, you must immediately request copies of your W-2s from your employers (who are required by law to provide an additional copy) and/or contact the Internal Revenue Service (toll-free 1-800-829-1040) to obtain a transcript of your signed federal tax return.

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    What if my parents don't want to give me a copy of their federal income tax return?

    Your parents may submit a copy of their federal tax return directly to the Office of Financial Aid. Though we prefer that your parent's federal income tax return be enclosed with your other completed verification forms, it can be submitted separately. However, they must write your YU ID on each page of the return so that we can match it with the rest of your verification paperwork.

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    Once I've sent the OFA a copy of the verification forms, taxes, and W-2s, I'm done, right?

    Not necessarily. After reviewing the documents you submitted we may need to request additional information and/or documentation to resolve any discrepancies. You must respond to these requests for additional information within two weeks.

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    What if I (or my parents) have applied for an extension to file our tax return?

    As instructed by the verification forms, submit to the Office of Financial Aid a copy of your Form 4868 (the request for an extension to file a federal return). You (and/or your parents) must immediately submit a signed copy of the tax return as soon as the extension expires.

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    What if I didn't file a federal tax return?

    If federal regulations did not require that you (or your parents) file a return, simply indicate that you did not file on our "Tax Verification" form. Submit all completed verification forms along with a copy of your W-2s to the Office of Financial Aid.

    If you (or your parents) were required to file a federal tax return but did not, you must file immediately and submit a copy to the Office of Financial Aid to remain eligible for financial aid. Failure to comply with federal tax law will force the Office of Financial Aid to cancel your financial aid.

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    How will I know if you have received my paperwork?

    You can check MYYU for the message "verification documents received.

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    How long will the review take?

    Typically, documents are reviewed within two weeks of receipt. However, the Office of Financial Aid may request additional documents and/or information. You must respond to these additional requests within two weeks.

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    Will I be notified when the verification is complete?

    You will not be sent an e-mail, but you can check MYYU for the message "verification complete."

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    Will my financial aid be affected?

    It is possible that your aid will be affected. The awards most likely to be affected are any Federal Pell Grants, Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants, and the Federal SMART Grants. These awards may increase or decrease. If you under-reported your income or assets on the FAFSA, the above awards are likely to be reduced or cancelled. Other federal aid, FSEOG Grants, Stafford and Perkins Loans, and YU scholarships could also be affected.

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    How do I know who to include on the Household Verification return?

    Most of the time — though not always — the people listed as exemptions on your federal income tax return (or your parent's, if you are a dependent student) qualify as members of the household.

    For dependent students:

    The student and the parents with whom they reside always count as members of the household. Brothers and sisters of the student also count, if the parents provide more than 50% of their support (though they may not necessarily live with your parents). Other people count as part of the household if they lived with the student's parents last year, will continue to do so from July 1 this year to June 30 next year, and will receive more than 50% of their support from the student's parents.

    For independent students:

    The student and their spouse (as long as they are not separated or divorced) always count as members of the household. Other people count as part of the student's household if they lived with the student last year, will continue to do so from July 1 this year to June 30 next year, and will receive more than 50% of their support from the student and/or the student's spouse.

     

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    My parents are divorced. Whose information do I include?

    You should include the information for the parent with whom you lived for most of the year. This is typically the custodial parent. If your custodial parent has remarried you must also include the financial information for the new spouse. If your non-custodial parent contributed money to you (for your education or otherwise) it must be included as your (you, the student) other untaxed income. If the non-custodial parent does not provide any financial support to you at all, then they are excluded from the FAFSA data.

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    I am an independent student (as defined on the FAFSA) and someone other than a spouse provides support for me. Do I include that on the FAFSA?

    Include the information only if they provide money to you as support. If they are providing "support in kind" (i.e. housing or food) then it does not need to be included.

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    Am I required to submit my stepfather's (or stepmother's) information for the verification? What if they don't support me financially?

    Yes, you must include your stepparent's information on the verification forms and submit copies of their federal income tax returns and W-2s. The U.S. Department of Education requires that you submit all requested information for the parent(s) with whom you live and also anyone married to the parent with whom you live. You must comply with the Office of Financial Aid’s requests whether or not the stepparent provides any financial support.

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    What if a prenuptial agreement states that my stepfather (or stepmother) is not required to support me financially and/or contribute to my college education?

    You must still submit that stepparent's financial information. Neither pre-nuptial agreements nor any other sort of legal agreement release a stepparent from the obligation to provide financial information necessary to complete verification. Of course, simply submitting information for verification in no way obliges your stepparent to support you or to pay for your education. They are simply providing information that will be used to determine your financial need.

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    What if my parents don't support me?

    If, according to federal guidelines, you are a dependent student, your parents must submit any and all financial information requested by the Office of Financial Aid, regardless of whether or not they support you or intend to continue supporting you.

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    What if I need help completing the verification forms?

    You can contact the Office of Financial Aid by e-mail at studentaid@yu.edu or by phone at 212-960-5399. You may visit us in person between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Furst Hall, room 121.

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Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
212.960.5400

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