What is Federal Verification?
Federal verification is a process used to confirm data provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Verification ensures that the information students and parents report is accurate. Verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid and helps make certain that eligible students receive the aid for which they are qualified.
In a typical year, the U.S. Department of Education may randomly select your FAFSA for verification..
Changes for the 2021-22 Academic Year
On July 13, 2021, the US Department of Education (ED) announced that for the 2021-22 award year only, verification of students’ FAFSA data will be waived. The goal is to provide relief to students financially challenged by the pandemic and to reduce barriers to enrollment for millions of low-income students to access financial aid.
What Does This Mean for You?
Although federal verification has been waived for the 2021-2022 award year, schools are still required to review the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for conflicting information. You may still be required to submit verification documentation to resolve any conflicts. Inceptia will reach out to the student to collect additional documentation in order to resolve any conflicting information. If no conflicts are identified, requirements will be waived.
If you were selected to verify your High School Completion Status, Identify, and Statement of Educational Purpose, by the Department of Education (ED), you are required to complete the required worksheet from INCEPTIA and submit documentation to SUNY Orange for review. This portion of verification has not been waived.
Please refer to your mySUNYOrange E-Banner for any outstanding requirements. All items must be completed prior to aid authorization and disbursement. Incomplete files can result in a late fee, holds, or even being dropped from your courses.
Expediting the Verification Process: Inceptia
Starting for the 2021-2022 aid year, we are pleased to announce we have established a partnership with Inceptia to expedite the federal verification process for SUNY Orange County Community College. Verification Gateway (VG) from Inceptia is an online portal to guide students and parents through verification.
We will begin sending 2021-2022 verification selection notification & Inceptia instructions towards the middle/end of March 2021 for the upcoming academic year.
If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application is selected for verification by the U.S Department of Education, you will receive an email from VGCS@inceptia.org, or postcard from Inceptia, containing SUNY Orange County Community College’s unique website link to start the verification process.
We encourage you to begin the verification process within 7 days of receiving notification from Verification Gateway to ensure you receive your financial aid in time for payments. Failure to complete the verification process could result in the delay or denial of your financial aid.
Follow these steps to complete your verification.
- Access our school’s unique website link in the email from VGCS@inceptia.org or listed below.
- Create your account and choose preferences for text messages and e-signatures.
- Complete your Task List.
- Confirm your signature and review your information.
- Sign your account.
*If you are a dependent student, your parent also needs to create their own account and complete each of these steps.
Verification Gateway Links and Deadlines
2021-2022 Federal Verification: https://www.verificationgateway.org/sunyorange2022
(Please note that the a link above will not active until the middle/end of March)
Questions about the 2021-2021 verification process? Contact Inceptia, Monday through Friday 8 am – 7 pm Central at 888.374.8427 or VGCS@inceptia.org.
Questions about the 2020-2021 Verification Process? Please contact the SUNY Orange Financial Aid Office at email@example.com. For the 2020-2021 aid year, Financial Aid Federal Verification is being handled internally with the Financial Aid Office. Do not contact Inceptia with questions regarding the 2020-2021 aid year.
Inceptia, a division of National Student Loan Program (NSLP), is a nonprofit organization committed to offering effective and uncomplicated solutions in financial aid management, default prevention, and financial education. Our mission is to support schools as they launch brilliant futures for students, armed with the knowledge to become financially responsible citizens. Learn more at Inceptia.org.
SUNY Orange highly recommends, and encourages, that student and parents utilize the ease of the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) when completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). DRT allows students and parents to access their IRS Tax Return Informaton needed to complete their FAFSA, and tranfer the data directly into their application from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
In general, all applicants who have already filed but elect to not use the Data Retrieval Tool will be subject to being selected for verification based upon the risk they pose to federal funds. If selected applicants will be required to support their reported FAFSA data with information obtained directly from the IRS. The process of using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will greatly simplify and expedite the verification process.
Families must actively choose to utilize the data retrieval tool:
- You will need to authenticate your identity before any personal information is displayed.
- Tax data will be presented and the applicant will have the option to “Transfer” the tax information to the FAFSA. You can also choose NOT to transfer the data to the FAFSA.
- Transferred data will have a notation - “Transferred from the IRS" on the Student Aid Report.
- Electronically filed tax return information will be available on-line from the IRS site in 1-2 weeks after the return has been filed,
- Data from paper tax returns that are filed will be available to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool in 6-8 weeks.
Examples of who may not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool:
- A married independent applicant and spouse who filed separate tax returns;
- When the parents of a dependent student filed separate tax returns.
- An applicant or applicant’s parent who have had a change in marital status after the end of the tax year on December 31.
- The applicant, or parent or spouse, where applicable, who have filed an amended tax return, will not be able to use the Data Retrieval Tool. These families will need to provide Tax Transcripts Directly from the IRS. To provide information obtained directly from the IRS.
- Applicant or parent's who filed a Puerto Rican or foreign tax return.
- Applicant or parents who filed an amended tax return.
- Applicant or parents who recently file their tax return for the requested tax year.
Target and Priority Deadlines
2021-2022 Academic Year: July 1st
Fall 2021 Only: July 1st
Spring 2021 Only: December 1st
Summer 2022: May 1st
Campus-Based Aid Consideration (Federal Work Study, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant)
Please note that funding is very limited and awarded on a first come, first serve, first eligible basis. We encourage you apply by: 2021-2022 Academic Year: April 15th
To assist in decreasing inaccurate reporting data, SUNY Orange County Community College encourages applicants to do the following:
- Apply Early (FAFSA is always available on October 1st for the next year)
- Do not leave any questions blank
- Be Proactive and Organzed
- Gather all requested documentation and submit everything together.
- Fill out FAFSA worksheet before completing application online
- Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (located within the FAFSA)
- Submit by the deadline!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What happens if I don't complete FAFSA Verification?
You will be unable to receive most forms of financial aid — including Pell Grants, federal work-study, federal loans and the Excelsior Scholarship — until the verification process is completed.
If you don’t submit or correct all required documentation, UAlbany’s Office of Financial Aid will revise your financial aid package and only disburse the aid you’re eligible to receive. Once you complete the verification process, the other forms of aid may be reinstated.
Please note that some aid — including federal work-study and the federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) — depends on the availability of funds.
Q. Am I eligible?
To be eligible for Federal Student Financial Aid at USA, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.
- Be accepted for admission and admitted to an eligible degree-seeking or certificate- seeking program at USA.
- Be enrolled for at least the minimum course load required for the requested aid program. All loan programs (including alternative loans) require an enrollment of at least Audit classes do not count.
- Meet and maintain all requirements under the SUNY Orange County Community College’s Satisfactory Academic Progression SAP policy and not be in default on a prior student loan or owe a repayment on any Title IV
- Be registered for Selective Service if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 years old.
Q. When should I apply for Financial Aid?
You must apply for Financial Aid every year. The best time to apply is as soon as possible on/after October 1 for the next aid year and before the end of December (Fall, Spring & Summer semesters). The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed by the aforementioned deadlines in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid. You can complete your FAFSA at https://studentaid.gov/
Q. Why was I selected for Verification? Did I do something wrong? Why was I selected
over another student?
No, you did not do anything wrong? Verification is a random by the U.S. Department of Education. If selected, before SUNY orange can disburse federal financial aid, verification must be complete. Some students get selected every year, some get selected once, and some never at all. The formula used by the U.S. Department of Education is not public knowledge.
Q. INCEPTIA is asking for a copy of my tax return transcript. How do I obtain a copy?
You can obtain a copy of your tax transcript at www.irs.gov. From that site, in the Tools section of the homepage click 'Get Transcript of your Tax Records'. Next, choose 'Get Transcript Online' or 'Get Transcript by Mail' and follow the instructions through the process. If you select 'Get Transcript Online' you can print a copy of your tax transcript immediately. If you select 'Get Transcript by Mail', you should receive your request within 5-10 days.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it may take longer to receive your tax transcript. If you are able to create an account at www.IRS.gov, you can easily download a PDF copy and upload that to INCEPTIA.
Q. The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration.
I don’t have anything. What should I do?
You must contact Selective Service System at www.sss.gov or 1-847-688-6888 to verify your registration. If it is determined you haven't yet registered and you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you must do so. If you are not registered and you are over 26 years of age, you need to request a status letter from the Selective Service System and provide a copy to our office.
Q. The school is asking for verification of my Selective Service System registration
and I was born female. What should I do?
You can provide a written statement, with a picture ID & Birth Certificate, to our office indicating that you are female and not required to register with the Selective Service System. Be sure to include your full name and SUNY Orange County Community College Student ID # (A00……) on the statement before you sign, date, and submit it. It must be signed with an original signature (do not use an E-pen or electronic signature).
Q. I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to make some changes. How should I
If you have your FSAID and Password from the Department of Education, you can make your changes online at https://studentaid.gov/ Do not make changes after verification has been completed. Please contact our office first! If you have a Student Aid Report (SAR), you can make the corrections on that and mail it to the Department of Education.
Q. I've already submitted my FAFSA, but I need to add a school. How do I do that?
If you are NOT planning to attend your (current) attending school, please remove the school ID# from the FAFSA. If you have your FSAID and Password from the Department of Education, you can make your changes online at https://studentaid.gov/
If you have your Student Aid Report (SAR), you may call the Department of Education at 1-800-433-3243. Give them your name, Social Security number, the DRN number and the transaction number from your SAR (in the upper right corner of the front page), and the name of the school you want to have added to your FAFSA. If you no longer have your SAR, you may also call to request a duplicate.
Q. How long will it take before I get my Award Notice?
It may take up to 15 business days, if selected for verification, after you complete your file before you'll find out your finalized eligibility. Ensure the fastest processing time by turning in all requested information in a timely manner.
Q. Is it too late to apply for Financial Aid?
You can apply for Financial Aid anytime during the current school year as long as the school receives a valid FAFSA from the Federal Processor before the last day of the current school year. However, some funding is limited and/or may not be available when your award is finalized.
Q. If it is asking for parent signature on the FAFSA, how do they sign?
Your parent should create a FSAID prior to electronically signing. Once you parent completes and receives notification, they will be allowed to electronically sign with their FSA ID. You can create an FSAID at FSAID.ED.GOV
Q. When I fill out the FAFSA, how will I know if I am a Dependent or Independent?
It will depend on how you answer the questions to the worksheet below- If you answer Yes to any of the questions, then for federal student aid purposes, you’re considered to be an independent student and do not have to provide information about your parents on the FAFSA. However, if you answer No to every question, then for federal student aid purposes, you’re considered to be a dependent student, and you must provide information about your parents on the FAFSA. Use the worksheet below to review if you will be considered independent or dependent status.
Q. What information am I required to Verify?
|Verification Tracking Flag||Verification Tracking Group Name||FAFSA information you are required to verify|
|V1||Standard Verification Group||
Non Tax Filers:
Tax Filers and Non Tax Filers:
|V4||Custom Verification Group||
|V5||Standard Verification Group||
Non Tax Filers:
Tax Filers and Non Tax Filers:
If you have any questions, please contact the SUNY Orange Financial Aid Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that due to Covid-19, we are currently working remote.