FAFSA Verification

Verification is a process used to confirm the information you reported to the U.S. Department of Education on your FAFSA form. In most cases, the U.S. Department of Education requests verification - Cornell facilitates the process and will request documentation required by federal student aid program rules. If any discrepancies or inconsistencies are noted, Cornell will update your FAFSA to ensure your eligibility for federal student aid funds has been calculated accurately.

How do I know if I've been selected for verification?

  • If you've been selected for verification, you may see a note on your SAR (student aid report) after submitting your FAFSA. When Cornell receives your FAFSA, we receive the same note and will request additional documentation or forms by email.

If I am selected for verification, did I complete my FAFSA incorrectly?

  • Not necessarily. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education selects a certain percentage of FAFSA applicants for verification. This is not an indication that there is anything wrong with your FAFSA application.

What documents do I need to provide if I am selected?

  • Documentation requirements may be different for each student – we will only request documents necessary.
  • You may be asked for forms and documentation to confirm income and tax return related information, household size and number of students in your family that are in college, and/or to confirm your identity and statement of educational purpose.
  • Please complete any requirements as soon as possible to expedite your award notification.

How do I submit required documents?

  • Undergraduate Aid Applicants – documentation requests will be communicated by email as well as in your financial aid “To Do” list via Student Center
    • Follow the instructions in the requested item for details on how to submit
    • Avoid uploading documents that have not been requested - unnecessary submissions may slow application review

What if my financial circumstances have changed?

  • If your financial circumstances have changed, please complete the verification process and use the appropriate appeal process, after receiving your initial aid offer.

If you have any questions about verification or documentation requirements, we're here to help! Contact us via email at finaid@cornell.edu to expedite your inquiry (include your name and student ID number).