Financial Aid


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2017           
 @ 7:00p.m. in  ROOM 104

Video - Overview of the Financial Aid Process

Video - 7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA

2018-2019 Federal Student Aid at a Glance
What is financial aid and an overview of the different programs, types of aid and current award amounts.

   Use this worksheet to list Financial Aid offered from each college in order to compare and contrast. Download and print off a copy or pick up copies in the Guidance Office.
Link - College Financial Aid Organizer

8 Steps to Filling Out the FAFSA Form

Click on these following weblinks for the FAFSA and FAFSA information:

Official FAFSA Website !!! -      This is the direct, OFFICIAL link to complete your online FAFSA. 

Create Your FSA ID for Student and Parent
These are the I.D.'s  that must be created and used to "electronically sign" the FAFSA at the end of the form.

2018-2019 School Year - Free Application for Federal Student Aid - To print a 
hard copy of the FAFSA.  Not recommended to complete & mail. Use for a worksheet and to see what you will need to answer when you complete online.

2018-2019 Completing the FAFSA Guide -
Complete guide/directions to filling out the FAFSA.

New York State Information on Grants, Scholarships and Loan Programs

Applying to NYS Tuition Assistance Program (T.A.P.)
(ALERT - This is a step that is often forgotten)

Apply through the FAFSA

The easiest way to apply for TAP is through the FAFSA. Make sure you have completed your FAFSA!

New York State (NYS) residents attending NYS schools can link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page.

TAP on FAFSA conf pg

Didn't Apply for TAP through the FAFSA? You Can Still Apply

If you exited the FAFSA before completing the TAP application – and you filled in your New York State address and a New York State college on the FAFSA – HESC will automatically receive your information in about three days.  HESC will then send you an email or postcard with directions to complete the TAP application online.

Received this notice from HESC? Apply now.

The Application Process Begins with Creation of Your HescPIN

At the beginning of the online TAP application, you will be prompted to create a HESC-specific user name and personal identification number called a HescPIN. You will use your HescPIN when "signing" your TAP application and when accessing your HESC account information in the future.

**********MORE INFORMATION***********

2018-19 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) Opened Oct. 1

Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) is Available
OCTOBER 3, 2017

The financial aid filing season officially began at 1 a.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 1 with the launch of the 2018‒19 FAFSA® at Nearly 238,000 online applications were submitted the first day, representing an eight percent increase compared to one year ago.

Most students and parents are eligible to use the IRS DRT to electronically transfer their 2016 tax return information. The tool returned Oct. 1 for the 2018‒19 FAFSA with extra security and privacy protections to safeguard sensitive taxpayer data.

Each year, more than 20 million FAFSAs are submitted, resulting in more than $120 billion in federal grants, loans and work-study funds to help pay for college or career school.

“Our vision at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) is that every eligible student in the nation completes the FAFSA,” said Dr. A. Wayne Johnson, chief operating officer of ED’s office of Federal Student Aid. “Filling out the FAFSA is free, and Federal Student Aid provides a wealth of resources to assist students and parents every step of the way.”

Students who plan to submit the FAFSA online should create an FSA ID as soon as possible at If a student is considered dependent for FAFSA purposes, one of the student’s parents also needs to create an FSA ID in order to sign the FAFSA online. Each person must create his or her own FSA ID to avoid issues and delays with the financial aid process.

Once the FAFSA is processed, the school will use the FAFSA information to calculate the amounts and types of financial aid the student may qualify for, and the school will send the student a financial aid offer. Financial aid offers come from schools, not the U.S. Department of Education, and each school has its own schedule for awarding financial aid. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to take advantage of any early state and school financial aid deadlines.

###, Federal Student Aid’s primary online portal for students and parents has information about completing the FAFSA, as well as frequently asked questions about the IRS DRT returning for the 2018-19 FAFSA.

Visit the FSA Data Center for information about the federal student aid portfolio, school data, lenders and guaranty agencies, and other business information.

To make a student loan payment or apply for an income-driven repayment plan, visit

Resources and information for financial aid professionals is available on the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) online portal.

Resources and information for counselors, college access professionals, and mentors can be found on the Financial Aid Toolkit


FYI - The following information came from last year about the changes to the Financial Aid Process.

® Changes for 2017–18

The Big Changes for 2017–18
Frequently Asked Questions About the 2017–18 FAFSA®

The Big Changes for 2017–18

Starting with the 2017­–18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), the following changes have been put in place: 

  • Students are now able to submit a FAFSA® earlier.  Students have been able to file a 2017–18 FAFSA since Oct. 1, 2016, rather than beginning on Jan. 1, 2017. The earlier submission date is a permanent change, enabling students to complete and submit a FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 every year. (There is NO CHANGE to the 2016–17 schedule. The FAFSA became available Jan. 1 as in previous years.)
  • Students now report earlier income information. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students are required to report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017–18 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) must report their 2015 income information, rather than their 2016 income information.  

The following table provides a summary of key dates for the early FAFSA submission timeframe and reporting of earlier tax information. 

View Accessible Version

If you’d like more details about the changes, you may read the fact sheet called College Students and Parents: What You Need to Know About the 2017­–18 FAFSA®.


Frequently Asked Questions About the 2017–18 FAFSA®

Browse these questions, and visit the FAFSA: Applying for Aid section of our site to learn more about the FAFSA process.

Are deadlines now earlier?
The federal deadline isn't earlier, but some state and school deadlines are. Most state and school deadlines haven’t changed, but be aware of this: Several states’ deadlines have changed from “as soon as possible after Jan. 1” to “as soon as possible after Oct. 1.” Find state deadlines on the FAFSA and school deadlines on schools’ websites.

Do I have to apply for admission to a school before I list it on my FAFSA?
No. On your FAFSA, list all the schools to which you have applied or might apply.

Will my 2016–17 FAFSA information be carried over onto the 2017–18 FAFSA?
If you choose the Renewal FAFSA option when you start your application at, some basic information from your 2016–17 FAFSA will be prepopulated in your 2017–18 FAFSA. However, your tax and income information will not. (Too much could have changed in your life since you filled out the 2016–17 FAFSA.)

Can I choose to report 2016 information if my family’s income has dropped significantly since we filed 2015 taxes?
No. You must report 2015 tax and income information, as the FAFSA requires. If your family’s financial situation has changed dramatically since then, you should complete the FAFSA questions as required, submit the FAFSA, then contact the school you plan to attend and discuss your situation with thefinancial aid office.

Do I report my 2015 tax and income information on the 2017–18 FAFSA now, and then update it once I’ve filed my 2016 taxes?
No. Do not update after filing your taxes. The 2017–18 FAFSA asks for 2015 tax information.

What if my parents’ (or my) marital status has changed since we filed 2015 taxes? How do we supply tax and income information on the FAFSA?
Here are some tips for this type of situation:

  • The FAFSA asks for marital status “as of today” (the day it’s filled out). So if the student or parent is married now but wasn’t in 2015 (and therefore didn’t file taxes as married), the spouse’s income will need to be added to the FAFSA.
  • Similarly, if the student or parent filed 2015 taxes as married but is no longer married when filling out the FAFSA, the spouse’s income will need to be subtracted.
  • And if the student or parent was married when filing 2015 taxes, then got divorced and is now married to someone else, there’s a bit more math to do: Subtract the ex’s income, then add the new spouse’s income.
  • The help text in will discuss all these situations.

Will I receive aid offers from schools earlier if I apply earlier?
Not necessarily; some schools will make offers earlier, and others won’t. And keep in mind that an early offer might be an estimated offer, so read communications from schools carefully.

 Related Weblinks

        SUNY Smart Track

         Higher Education Services Corporation (H.E.S.C)
Financial Aid Programs for New York State - Tuition Assistance Program (T.A.P.). Applying can (should) be completed when you finish the FAFSA. On the Confirmation Page there is a link to completing your state's application.

           FAFSA 4CASTER
Tool to put in your financial information to get an ESTIMATE on what financial aid you    may be eligible to receive.

 College Scorecard

The "EXTRA" financial aid form required by certain colleges (Cornell University,
            Hobart/William Smith Colleges, Ithaca College, University of Rochester, Syracuse
            University, etc.). This form is NOT Free.

Financial Aid Glossa

Student Loans Without a Cosigner Guide

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