How to Apply for Student Financial Aid
What Is Student Financial Aid and Who Provides It?
Financial aid from the federal government consists of Federal Pell Grants, Work-Study, Perkins Loans, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, and the federal loan programs, which include Stafford and PLUS Loans.
New York State financial aid consists of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS), scholarships and other awards.
College financial aid consists of institutional grants, scholarships, work programs, and loans.
How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?
Get the Right Applications! Contact your high school counselor or the Financial Aid Office at the college to which you have applied. Some colleges also have their own financial aid applications. Make sure you complete all required applications. The 2006-2007 applications are now available.
Your Checklist For Success
Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1, 2006. You can get a FAFSA from a high school guidance office or local library. You can also file your FAFSA online at . If you completed a FAFSA in the 2005-2006 year, you will receive a 2006-2007 renewal FAFSA.
After you have taken the above steps, you will receive an Express TAP Application (ETA) in the mail. Information gathered from your FAFSA and your family's calculated New York State net taxable income will be preprinted on the form. Review this information, change any incorrect items, complete any missing items, then sign and mail the form to FAFSA.
When listing schools on the FAFSA form, remember to include a New York State school to ensure consideration for a New York State TAP award.
What Happens Next?
1. Once the FAFSA is processed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) or a Correction FAFSA. If corrections are needed, follow the instructions carefully and provide any missing or inaccurate information. If requested, take or send the SAR to your college Financial Aid Office. Keep a copy for your records.
2. After you send back the Express TAP Application (ETA), you will get a TAP/State Scholarship Award Notice. If additional information is needed to process your TAP award, you will receive a Request for Information from the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Be sure to provide the information by the date indicated.
3. The college Financial Aid Office will send you an award letter, detailing the aid you are eligible to receive based on your applications. Accept or decline the offer of aid by replying by the deadline date. Supply any additional documents requested.
4. To apply for a Federal Stafford Loan (student loan), you must submit the FAFSA and complete a loan application. Contact the Financial Aid Office to find out about the loan application procedure your school uses.
Information You Will Need!
* 2005 W-2 forms, or end-of-year pay stubs;
* Records of 2005 untaxed income, such as child support and untaxed income from such agencies as: Social Services, Social Security and the Veteran's Administration;
* 2005 federal and state income tax forms for you, your parents and your spouse; and Bank account balances, lists of stocks, bonds and other assets; and both the estimated value and mortgage balance of your other real estate (not including your home).
Apply for Financial Aid Every Year. Financial aid programs change. Changes in your situation affect your eligibility.
Meet the Deadlines.
Check with each school to get its deadline. To meet deadlines, you can file your financial aid applications using estimated income (if your tax forms have not been completed). Accurate, estimated income figures may be taken from end-of-year pay stubs or W-2 forms.
Don't Pay For Financial Aid Information That You Can Get For Free.
See your counselor or college financial aid advisor, or visit online at
Attend Financial Aid Workshops.
Usually sponsored by the high school guidance office, financial aid workshops can provide valuable information and assistance in filling out the forms and in learning about aid programs. Talk to your high school counselor or local college financial aid administrator to learn about dates and locations.
For More Financial Aid Information contact:
Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC)
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255
HESC's Web site at:
call 1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372).