Federal Verification 2016-17

For federal verification requirements for 2017-18, click here.


Federal Verification 2016-17

Federal verification is an important part of the financial aid application process. If you are selected for federal verification, the requirements must be met in order for us to disburse financial aid to your Bursar account.

Cornell’s federal verification deadline is the end of the term or academic year for which the student is enrolled, whichever is sooner. Federal verification materials must be submitted and reviewed before we can process and disburse any federal aid. Students who are applying for institutional aid will not be considered to have a complete financial aid application until all materials have been submitted, including any items related to federal verification.    

NOTE: students should only complete federal verification documents if they have been selected for verification and have been notified by the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment of their selection.

Students completing verification requirements for the 2016-17 academic year will need to
verify 2015 income tax information.

All verification documents should be submitted to IDOC with your application documents.

Newly admitted students do NOT need to submit the verification materials unless they plan to attend Cornell University.


What are the requirements to be met for federal verification?

Submit the following materials to IDOC.

1. The Federal Verification Worksheet and supplemental documentation

2 . Data Retrieval on your FAFSA OR IRS Tax Return Transcripts

IRS Tax Return Transcript Request

“Get Transcript” is an IRS online service that will allow you to request and receive an official IRS Transcript by mail, providing your tax return has been processed by the IRS.

  • Go to www.IRS.gov and choose "Get a Tax Transcript"
  • Do NOT order the “IRS Tax Account Transcript”
  • Use the Social Security Number and date of birth of the first person listed on your personal income tax return, and the address on file with the IRS
  • Indicate the student’s name and date of birth (or Cornell ID number, if known) on the transcript before sending to our office
Verification of Income Information for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances

Individuals Who Filed an Amended IRS Income Tax Return

When the school is aware that an individual has filed an amended tax return, the school needs to collect the following documents to complete verification for that individual:

  • A signed copy of the original tax return filed with the IRS;
  • An IRS Tax Return Transcript that includes information from the original tax return OR any other IRS tax transcript that includes all income and tax information from the original tax return required for verification (neither of which has to be signed); and
  • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft

A victim of IRS identity theft who is not able to obtain an IRS Tax Return Transcript or use the IRS DRT must complete the following steps:

  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.
  • Upon authentication of the tax filer’s identity, the IRS will provide, by U.S. Postal Service, an alternate transcript Tax Return DataBase View (TRDBV) of the tax filer’s IRS income tax return information. Provide this transcript to our office.
  • Provide a statement, signed and dated by the tax filer, indicating that he/she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of the tax-related identity theft.

Individuals Who Filed Non-IRS Income Tax Returns

Persons filing non-IRS income tax returns must provide a transcript that was obtained at no cost from the relevant taxing authority of a U.S. territory (Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands) or commonwealth (Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands), or a foreign central government that lists tax account information of the tax filer for the tax year 2015.

If your taxing authority does not offer transcripts at no cost, please provide a signed copy of the U.S. territory, U.S. commonwealth or foreign returns.

Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

Please be advised that the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment will not move forward with a review of a student’s financial aid eligibility until we have received a valid tax return that has been received and processed by the IRS. We will not accept draft returns or extension approvals.