Top of Page
Skip main navigation

Financial Aid Verification Process

Verification is a federally mandated review process in which the Office of Financial Aid 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 by email from It will list the documentation you are required 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. For the 2020 tax year, you must also submit Schedules 1, 2, and 3, if applicable.
  • 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
2023-2024 2021
2024-2025 2022

*To obtain your IRS Return Transcript, you can order it online at, 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. 

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 Self Service Banner (SSB) or SharkLink to determine what documents you must submit for verification.

Self-Service Banner (SSB)

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

  • Go to SSB 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" and then "Financial Aid Self-service." 
  • The Home tab will display satisfied and unsatisfied requirements. You may click on the links provided to satisfy outstanding requirements.


(for students with NSU email account)

  • Log in to SharkLink using your NSU User Name and Password.
  • In the My Finances section, click on the Financial Aid tab.  
  • You may view requirements, and click View More for details. 

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.

Amended returns

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.

If you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to update your submitted FAFSA, the IRS may make changes to your Federal Income Tax Return and report an amendment, even if you did not file an amended Federal Income Tax Return. If this applies to you, you should have received a letter from the IRS indicating what changes were made. You may submit a copy of this letter in lieu of a signed form 1040X to the OSFA. You can also submit a Record of Account transcript to be obtained from which should include any updates made to your Federal Income Tax Return by the IRS. 

  • Submit all requested documents/information requested by the Office of Financial Aid promptly.
  • If the Office of Financial Aid 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.
  • Save copies 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.

Verification Forms

There are two sets of verification forms. Be sure to select the correct one(s) based on your dependency status as defined by your answers to questions on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The questions change a little from one year’s application to the next year’s; for instance, the 2022–23 FAFSA form asks whether you were born before Jan. 1, 1999, while the 2023–24 FAFSA form will ask whether you were born before Jan. 1, 2000.

Review the information below to confirm your status (independent or dependent student) and select only the form(s) you are required to complete from the appropriate section.   


dependent student


A dependent student is a student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. 

Get additional information to determine your dependency status.



Verification Forms for


Parent signature required





An independent student is one of the following:

  • at least 24 years old, married
  • a graduate or professional student
  • a veteran, a member of the armed forces
  • an orphan, a ward of the court, or someone with legal dependents other than a spouse
  • an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Get additional information to determine your dependency status.



Verification Forms for


(no parent signature required)



Return to top of page