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Financial Aid Verification Process

Verification is a federally mandated review process in which the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) verifies the accuracy of information provided by students on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.)

If there is an asterisk next to the expected family contribution (EFC) on your Student Aid Report (SAR), your application has been selected for verification. NSU may also select a record for verification.

If you are selected for verification, you will receive a Missing Information Notice from the OFSA. It will list the documentation you are required to submit.

What do I need to submit?

If you are selected for verification, you may be required to submit documents such as:

  • Income Verification Form
  • For tax filers, a signed copy of your Federal Income Tax Return or an IRS Return Transcript of your Federal Income Tax Return (and/or your parent(s), if dependent)*
  • For non-tax filers with earned income, all W-2 forms for two years prior
  • Other documentation may be needed on a case-by-case basis for certain data elements, such as child support, proof of separation or divorce, or any other items deemed necessary.

Tax Year Documents Required

Academic Year Federal Income Tax Return Year
2017-2018 2015
2018-2019 2016

*To obtain your IRS Return Transcript, you can order it online at irs.gov, contact the IRS at 800-908-9946, visit your local IRS office, or mail a completed Form 4506T-EZ available on the IRS website to the IRS. In lieu of an IRS transcript, institutions may accept a signed copy of tax returns for verification documentation for the 2017-2018 award year.

The Department of Education uses verification tracking flags to place students selected for verification into different verification tracking groups. Students and/or their parents must verify information based on the tracking group to which they have been assigned.

Log in to WebSTAR or SharkLink to determine what documents you must submit for verification.

WebSTAR

(for financial aid applicants new to NSU who have not yet been granted SharkLink access)

  • Go to WebSTAR and select "Enter Secure Area" to login using your SharkLink ID and Password. If you do not know your SharkLink ID and Password, please go to My NSU Identity page
  • Select "Financial Aid" at the bottom of the page and click on "Eligibility."
  • Click on "Student Requirements" to view both satisfied and unsatisfied requirements. You may click on the links provided to satisfy outstanding requirements.

SharkLink

(for students with NSU email account)

  • Log in to SharkLink using your NSU User Name and Password.
  • Click on "My Financial Aid" on the left navigation. 
  • Select "View My Financial Aid Information (WebSTAR)" and click on "Eligibility."
  • Click on "Student Requirements" and select the appropriate award year to view both satisfied and unsatisfied requirements. You may click on the links provided to satisfy outstanding requirements.

Victims of identity theft

If you are a victim of identity theft, you must submit the following:

  • A signed copy of your Federal Income Tax Return or a Transcript Database View (TRDBV), which can be obtained by contacting the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit (IPSU) at 1-800-908-4490
  • A signed and dated statement by the tax filer indicating that he or she was a victim of IRS tax-related identity theft and that the IRS has been made aware of this tax-related identity theft. Submitting a completed IRS Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, fulfills this requirement.

If you filed an amended return

You must submit the following:

  • A signed copy of your Federal Income Tax Return, an IRS Tax Return Transcript that includes information from the original tax return, or any IRS tax transcript that includes all income and tax information from the original tax return.
  • A signed copy of IRS Form 1040X that was filed with the IRS.

Tips for a successful verification process

  • Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when completing the FAFSA (when available).
  • If you completed your FAFSA prior to the IRS Data Retrieval Tool being available, go back online to www.fafsa.gov and make corrections using the tool.
  • Submit all requested documents/information requested by the Office of Student Financial Assistance promptly.
  • If the Office of Student Financial Assistance requests an IRS Transcript, be sure to request an IRS "Return" Transcript. The IRS will present two options: Account Transcript and Return Transcript. The "Account" Transcript does not have the line-by-line information required for verification. You may need the "Account" transcript as a supplement to the “Return” transcript if your taxes have been amended since initially filing.
  • Ensure all documents are signed and display your name and NSU ID.
  • Make a photocopy of all information submitted for your records.
  • Keep photocopies of tax returns and W-2s.

Please Note: Verification must be completed before your need-based financial aid funds can be disbursed. If you have been awarded certain need-based funds, such as SEOG or FSAG, and your verification has not been completed by the end of the registration period, these funds may be subject to forfeit. Your documents must be reviewed and verification completed no later than four weeks prior to the end of your enrollment period for the academic year in which you are applying for aid. Failure to do so may result in ineligibility or cancellation of aid previously offered.

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