Financial Aid Verification Frequently Asked Questions

The federal government requires colleges and universities to verify or confirm the data reported by students and their parent(s) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Verification is confirmed when the information provided on a student’s FAFSA is determined correct through documentation. The verification process ensures that eligible students receive all the financial aid to which they are entitled and prevents ineligible students from receiving financial aid to which they are not entitled.

How will I know if I am selected for verification?

Students will receive notification from U.S. Department of Education indicating that they have been selected for verification. The Financial Aid Office at Excelsior will also send an email to you if you have been selected with information on next steps.

Why was I selected for verification?

If you have been selected for verification it means that you were chosen randomly, the FAFSA you submitted was incomplete, your FAFSA contains estimated information, or the data you provided on the FAFSA is inconsistent. Verification is a federal regulation. Students who are selected for verification are not being punished; rather, verification prevents ineligible students from receiving aid by reporting false information and ensures that eligible students receive all the aid for which they are qualified.

What do I have to submit and where do I send it?

You can also see if you have been selected for verification by logging into your MyExcelsior portal, selecting the My Details tab, clicking “Go to Online Financial Aid System,” selecting “Menu,” and then selecting “Documents.” This section will list any documents that are required for the verification process.

Some forms can be completed directly through this screen. Other documents, such as tax transcripts, can be sent as attachments via your MyExcelsior message center, emailed to, or faxed to 518-464-8660. These documents can include tax transcripts, W-2s, signed statements, proof of citizenship, selective service registration, or high school diploma. Do not wait to submit your documents. Failure to submit documents early could result in longer wait times.

What happens once I submit my documents and how long does it take?

The typical turnaround time is 7–10 business days. During peak times, it can take longer. After the initial review, sometimes the Financial Aid Office will require additional documentation for verification. This process could take an additional 7–10 business days. Once verification is complete, the Financial Aid Office will begin reviewing your eligibility for financial aid. It is important to note that once verification has been completed, any changes to your FAFSA could require additional documentation.

What if I don’t want to complete the verification process?

The verification process is a federal regulation and must be completed for a student to receive federal aid.

How will I be notified if I have incomplete verification materials?

You will be notified via your MyExcelsior message center. If there are additional documents that are required, they will be added to your Documents tab in your Online Financial Aid System and will be listed as ”Not Received.” If you need to update something already submitted, the document will be listed as “Incomplete.”

How do I request a Tax Return Transcript?

Whenever possible, it is recommended that students use the Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA if it is listed as an option. Alternatively, students can order tax transcripts by visiting the IRS web site at Under the “Tools” section, select “Get a Tax Transcript.”