Salisbury University students on campus

I was selected for Verification by the U.S. Department of Education, what do I do?

All Undergraduate, Graduate, & Doctoral Students must meet all eligibility requirements described here to be considered for any Title IV federal financial aid programs and need-based aid assistance from the University.

First off, what is verification?

The US Department of Education selects students and requires institutions to verify the accuracy of the information provided on by a student on their FAFSA in an effort to ensure federal aid is distributed to those who are eligible. If you’re selected for verification, don’t assume you’re being accused of doing anything wrong. Some people are selected at random and other are selected due to discrepancies noted by the federal government or the school.

Do I have to comply and fill out the forms?

Yes, participation is not optional. Please note that SU is unable to confirm eligibility/disburse aid (Subsidized Loans, Unsubsidized Loans, PLUS, Grad PLUS, PELL, SEOG, Federal Work Study, SU grants, SU funds, certain State aid programs or TEACH) until verification is complete. Therefore applicable funds will not be credited against your bill until verification is completed.

Please ensure all documents are:

  • Be signed by the student and parent (if the student is a dependent)
  • Include the student's SU I.D. number
  • Not have blanks— if the answer to a question is zero, enter the number “0” (zero)

How will I be notified about my selection for verification?

The U.S. Department of Education will notify you via your "Student Aid Report" that you have been selected for verification. In addition, Salisbury University will reach out to you by email and place items on your GullNet "To-Do" list.

What documentation will I need to submit?

Your "To-Do" list will illustrate the documents required for review by the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships. Generally, you will need to complete a verification form and provide supporting tax documentation among other items related to your income. Click on the To Do List tab to see details on the status of your verification documents. If you sent in documentation and we have received it, the item may still appear as "initiated" until reviewed by the Office.

How long will it take to process my verification documents?

We appreciate your patience during this manual process as it may take up to 2 weeks for the information to processed by our team dependent upon the time of the year and the volume of processing. We recommend not waiting until you return for the semester to submit your forms, as this will cause a large spike in volume and processing times and may result in greater delays to the disbursement of your federal aid. Please do not send us multiple copies of your verification documents if we have already received them.

How does my family request an IRS tax return transcript from the IRS?

There are 3 methods obtaining a tax return transcript from the IRS, if you have not amended your tax return. Keep in mind that the FAFSA uses information from your tax return from two years ago. For example, the 2019-20 FAFSA needs 2017 tax information and the 2020-21 FAFSA needs 2018 tax information. For those families that have amended their tax return, see guidance below.

Please note: You will be asked to provide authentication information to ensure the security of your tax information.  The authentication questions may ask for the primary tax filer’s Social Security Number, date of birth, street address (currently on file with the IRS via your most recent tax return) and zip or postal code.  Once authentication is completed, please select the appropriate reason for the request.

Once you receive the tax return transcript by email or U.S. mail, please send the tax return transcript to our office via email (, U.S. mail (Holloway Hall Room 213, 1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury MD 21801-5780) or fax (410-543-6138).  Please write the student’s name and student ID number on each document.