Federal Verification 2017-18


Federal verification requirements for 2018-19.

Federal Verification 2017-18

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 2017-18 academic year will need to verify
2015 income tax information.

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

What are the requirements to be met for federal verification?

1. The Federal Verification Worksheet and supplemental documentation (submit to IDOC). Be sure that you are submitting the worksheet that corresponds to the academic year for which you are applying.

2. A complete, signed copy of the 2015 federal tax return that was submitted to the IRS (submit to IDOC).

Nontax Filers' Requirements

Nontax filers must provide a non-filing statement with supporting W-2s and/or 1099s if there is earned income. This is part of our standard aid application requirements.

Verification of Income Information for Individuals with Unusual Circumstances

Click the heading of each item below to see more information.


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 complete, signed copy of the 2015 federal tax return that was submitted to the IRS.

  • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

Submit both of these materials to IDOC.

Individuals Who Were Victims of IRS Identity Theft

A victim of IRS identity theft must submit both of the following to IDOC:

  • A complete, signed copy of the 2015 federal tax return that was submitted to the IRS.
  • 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

The tax authorities for Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands charge a fee to obtain tax account information. Therefore, a tax filer who filed an income tax return with these tax authorities may provide Cornell with a signed copy of his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority.

A tax filer who filed an income tax return with the tax authority for American Samoa must provide Cornell with a copy of his or her tax account information if selected for verification since these tax authorities do not charge a fee to obtain this information.

A tax filer who filed an income tax return with tax authorities not mentioned above, i.e. a foreign tax authority, and who indicates that he or she is unable to obtain the tax account information free of charge, must provide Cornell with documentation that the tax authority charges a fee to obtain that information, along with a signed copy of his or her income tax return that was filed with the relevant tax authority.

Individuals Granted a Filing Extension by the IRS

A tax filer who has been granted a filing extension by the IRS must provide Cornell with the following:

  • a copy of IRS Form 4868, "Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," that was filed with the IRS for tax year 2015 (For an individual who was called up for active duty or for qualifying National Guard duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency, in lieu of IRS Form 4868, Cornell will accept a signed statement from the individual certifying that he or she has not filed an income tax return or a request for a filing extension because of that service);

  • A copy of the IRS's approval of an extension beyond the automatic six-month extension if the individual requested an additional extension of the filing time for tax year 2015;

  • Verification of Non-Filing Letter (confirmation that the tax return has not yet been filed) from the IRS or other relevant tax authority dated on or after October 1, 2016;

  • a copy of IRS Form W-2 for each source of employment income received for tax year 2015, and;

  • If self-employed, a signed statement certifying the amount of the individual's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and the U.S. income tax paid for the tax year 2015.

Please be advised that the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment will NOT move forward with a review of a student's institutional 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.

High School Completion Status

Provide one of the following documents to indicate the student's high school completion status when the student begins college in 2017-18:

  • A copy of the student's high school diploma;

  • For students who completed secondary education in a foreign country, a copy of the "secondary school leaving certificate" or other similar document;

  • A copy of the student's final official high school transcript that shows the date when the diploma was awarded;

  • A state certificate or transcript received by a student after the student passed a State-authorized examination that the State recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma (GED test, HiSET, TASC, or other State-authorized examination).

  • An academic transcript that indicates the student successfully completed at least a two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree.

  • For a student who was homeschooled in a state where state law does not require the student to obtain a secondary school completion credential for homeschooling (other than a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent), a transcript, or the equivalent, signed by the student's parent or guardian, that lists the secondary school courses the student completed and includes a statement that the student successfully completed a secondary school education in a homeschool setting.

A student who is unable to obtain the documentation listed above must contact the financial aid office.

Statement of Educational Purpose

You may be required to complete a Statement of Educational Purpose as part of the Federal Verification process. If you are unable to come to our office in person with unexpired valid government-issued photo identification, you may complete this Statement of Educational Purpose in the presence of a Notary Public.
This statement will need to be submitted to our office by mail or in person, as we are required to collect the original.