Verification Process

NYFA Verification and Professional Judgment Process

A completed FAFSA may be selected for a process called Federal Verification for a variety of reasons. In most cases, the FAFSA is selected by the US Department of Education (US ED). Federal regulations require that the student provide documentation to substantiate the information reported on the FAFSA before determining eligibility for Need Based programs like Federal Grant and Subsidized Stafford Loans.

Application Review

The verification process requires that information from the student ‘s application be compared with copies of the student ‘s, spouse’s (if married) and parent’s (if dependent) federal tax transcripts, or financial documents. Other documentation may be required as it applies to the information on the application. Notification to students is sent via e-mail (NYFA e-mail account) stating that there are outstanding requirements.

All students selected for verification must also submit a Verification Worksheet. Please do not complete these forms unless you have been instructed to do so. Electronic documents will be sent for completion and e-signature and returned to the Financial Aid Office. Emailing verification documents presents a significant security risk and email should not be used to provide personally identifiable documents. Please respond to all requests for information timely to avoid processing delays.

Data Corrections

The financial aid administrator will make corrections to the FAFSA based on the information supplied. Once the corrections are completed a new FAFSA will be processed and returned to NYFA. Allow 10 business days for the verification review process and an additional 5 business days for corrections to be made and transmitted. Once the verification process is completed the student  will be contacted within 5 business days (depending on the number of applications being reviewed).


All required documents should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office no later than 10 business days from the initial date of request. Email reminders will be sent requesting the completion of verification documents and supporting documentation. Delay in submitting all required documents may cause a delay in the delivery of the Tuition Finance Plan. Enrolled students are expected to apply for financial resources and complete the verification process before the term has ended. Otherwise, the student is in jeopardy of not receiving any Federal funding for their period of enrollment. A Pell Grant recipient must complete the entire process before the Pell Grant Program deadline in September or 120 days after the last day of the student ‘s enrollment whichever is earlier. If the process is not complete the student is not eligible for Pell for that award year. Students who have not completed the verification process within the required period will receive a letter of explanation. Please contact the financial aid office for guidance through the verification process.

Applicants and students that complete and return all required documentation within 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester will be included in priority disbursement processing, all others may experience delayed disbursements due to the delayed response to requested documentation.

New York Film Academy Professional Judgement Policy

Special Circumstances

Applicants and parents with living situations that are not reflected on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may request a secondary review process called “Professional Judgment”. We have outlined below the most common situations facing students and their families resulting in the use of professional judgment for special circumstances.

  • Involuntary loss of income from unemployment
  • Involuntary loss of income from business or farm
  • Loss of assets or savings reported on the FAFSA.
  • Loss of benefits reported on the FAFSA.
  • Private K-12 school tuition.
  • Medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Applicants and families requesting professional judgment will begin the process by contacting their financial aid administrator requesting a review of their special circumstances. A professional judgment form will be sent to the applicant collecting the information needed to evaluate the special circumstances described by the applicant and or family. A list of documents or explanations may be requested by the financial aid administrator.

The financial aid administrator will provide a response to the request as soon as practicable, but no later than 30 days after the documents and explanations have been finalized. If the changes to the FAFSA result in a change in financial assistance, the applicant will receive a revised tuition finance plan.

Unusual Circumstances – Dependency Status

Applicants that have indicated on their FAFSA that they have an unusual circumstance will be contacted by the financial aid office for additional information and possible professional judgment. The financial aid office staff will respond within a reasonable timeframe to avoid delays in the student’s enrollment at NYFA.

Applicants will be contacted by the financial aid office staff with a final determination of the student’s dependency status and Tuition Finance Plan as soon as practicable after all requested documentation is provided.

The financial aid office staff will presume that any student who has obtained a dependency override for any preceding award year at an institution of higher education to be independent for each subsequent award year at the same institution unless the student informs the institution that circumstances have changed, or the institution has specific conflicting information about the student’s independence status.

After all documentation has been submitted, a final determination of the request for unusual circumstances will be sent to the applicant no later than 60 days after the student enrolls.