Financial Aid / Scholarship
FAFSA Form The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be filled out annually by current and anticipating college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid (including Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans, and work-study programs).
The Department of Education begins accepting the application beginning Jan. 1 of each year.
Applicants who have filled out a FAFSA in previous years are able to fill out a renewal FAFSA, but information on taxes and savings, for example, must be updated annually. Also, most states and schools use information from the FAFSA to award non-federal aid.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) - The FAFSA consists of numerous questions regarding the student's finances, as well as those of his or her family (in the case that a student is determined to be "dependent"); these are entered into a formula that determines the EFC.
A number of factors are used in determining the EFC including the household size, income, number of students from the household who are in college, and assets (not including retirement and 401(k) funds). All of this information is required because of the expectation that parents will contribute to their child's education, whether that is true or not.
For more information, visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.
CURRENT SENIORS: DO NOT FILL IN THE FAFSA APPLICATION THAT IS ON THE WEBSITE UNTIL JANUARY 1ST.
QUICK REFERENCE FOR FILLING OUT A FAFSA
The following steps are necessary to complete and online FAFSA:
- A student must have an email address (gmail, yahoo and hotmail, among others, offer free email accounts). Please make sure your username and password is one you can remember.
- Students and one parent must get a FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov (2 separate FSA ID, both you and your parents will each need an ID). Your FSA ID allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. You can also make corrections to your application once it’s filed, and access your student records online.
- **Before starting an online application, you will need your parents’ income tax return(s) and other records of income and assets, social security numbers for both the student and parents, parents’ date of birth and marital status.
- The online application is available at fafsa.ed.gov. This is the ONLY official website that students should go to. Anything that requires a fee is a scam.
- Information requested on the FAFSA comes from the parent’ and students’ latest income tax returns(this year’s income tax return). If current year’s tax return has not been filed, you may use previous year’s tax return as a close estimate but will need to go back and correct the information once the current year’s tax has been filed.
- Many of our students have living arrangements that do not seem to fit in with what the questions on the FAFSA are asking, for example. “I live with my aunt or brother, whose income should I use?” For these types of questions and any other trickier ones, refer to the cuny.edu website. This is one of the most valuable websites dealing with Financial Aid and is sensibly written.
- Students also have to submit a TAP application in order to be eligible for additional New York State financial aid awards. After they complete an online FAFSA, they will be linked to the TAP application to complete additional information. You are only eligible for TAP if you plan to attend a college within New York State.
- The FAFSA application allows the student to put 10 schools where they want their information sent using the Federal/FAFSA Codes. The TAP application also requires the student to use the New York State/TAP Codes. Be sure that the school indicated on your TAP application is the one that you will be attending.
- After your FAFSA is processed, you will be emailed a Student Aid Report (SAR) for the U.S. Department of Education within 2-3 weeks. This will be the information that will be sent to the colleges. Check for mistakes!!!
- The U.S. Department of Education selects a certain number of applicants for verification process. If you have been selected, you will need to submit tax returns and other documents to your college.
****Students completing CUNY applications should put at least 2 CUNY colleges on their FAFSA. After deciding which CUNY school they will attend they can always make changes to their FAFSA if necessary.
SCHOLARSHIPS & FINANCIAL AID WEBSITES
SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION Stop by the College Office to get information on the many scholarships being offered to prospective college students. There are scholarship-specific websites Get started today!