Financial Assistance

January 2013 Late Registration Fees Waived for Students in Centers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

January 2013 late registration fees will be waived for all students enrolled at a location affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the Hudson Valley, Metro, Van Arsdale and Long Island centers. All other centers (and after this term) will follow existing procedures for waiving the fee.

The conventional process for waiving the fee has been in place for several years. Deans, or his or her documented designee, send an email to with the name and ID number of the student, or students, for whom they are waiving the late registration fee.

Each center has its own process for identifying these students and under which circumstances a waiver will be allowed.

For more information, contact the dean at individual centers.

Cuomo: Students Forced to Withdraw from SUNY Colleges Because of Hurricane Sandy to be Reimbursed for Tuition

Power of SUNY logoStudents forced to withdraw from any SUNY school because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy will receive a refund on their tuition, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced. The State University of New York Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the move.

SUNY is authorizing each campus president to waive tuition liability and to refund tuition for students who withdraw from the Fall 2012 and/or Spring 2013 terms because of the hardships caused by the hurricane. University regulations provide for "hardship" withdrawals and the refund of tuition, at the discretion of each campus president, if a student withdraws before the mid-point of an academic term. Since Hurricane Sandy occurred after the Fall 2012 term midpoint, and because of the magnitude of the storm, SUNY leadership modified the regulation.

It's important to realize that backdating a withdrawal may have unintended consequences. For example, there are no exceptions to federal regulations requiring the recalculation of federal aid, although most September students passed the point where they have ‘earned’ all federal aid,” pointed out Empire State College Director of Student Accounts Pamela Malone. “If a source other than the student paid the tuition, that sources will most likely be reimbursed instead of the student. The student may still benefit by not using a term's worth of aid which can then, hopefully, be used in another term. As with any request for an exception to the withdrawal refund policy, we explain possible negative effects of an earlier withdrawal date to the student prior to processing and strive for the most positive outcome.

"SUNY students whose studies were disrupted by Hurricane Sandy need not worry about getting their money back and can instead focus their energy on their families and rebuilding," Cuomo said. "SUNY campuses have served as staging areas for emergency relief workers and opened their doors as shelters for their neighbors in need. Students from across the state have organized donations and fundraisers. I commend Chancellor Zimpher and Chairman McCall for their continued partnership in the state’s response and recovery efforts."

SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman H. Carl McCall said, "We are proud to offer our students affected by this devastating storm a way to recover any costs associated with a SUNY education that they are unable to complete. Governor Cuomo has shown great leadership as New York continues to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and the State University of New York is pleased to follow his lead and do our part to ease the burden on our students."

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "As our campuses join with local communities and continue to contribute to relief efforts in several areas of New York, it is only fitting that we offer SUNY students what we can to provide some financial relief as well. I commend Governor Cuomo for his persevering leadership in the wake of this terrible storm and thank the board of trustees for allowing our campuses to refund tuition to students who have been affected."

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Announces Qualified Disaster Treatment of Payments to Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Because Hurricane Sandy is designated as a qualified disaster for federal tax purposes, qualified disaster relief payments made to individuals can be excluded from those individuals' taxable income.

Qualified disaster relief payments include amounts to cover necessary personal, family, living or funeral expenses that were not covered by insurance. They also include expenses to repair or rehabilitate personal residences or repair or replace the contents to the extent that they were not covered by insurance. Again, these payments would not be included in the individual recipient’s gross income.

Student Loan Relief for New Yorkers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is granting temporary student loan relief to New Yorkers in affected counties who request the 90-day grace period (Oct. 27, 2012 to Jan. 25, 2013). All members of the military who have been called to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will also be eligible.

Borrowers should contact HESC to request a temporary suspension by calling 866-991-HESC (4372) or by emailing

Empire State College Emergency Educational Grant

Students currently enrolled in the September or November study terms and from an identified center or program (Hudson Valley, Long Island, Metropolitan New York, Harry Van Arsdale Labor Studies, Center for Distance Learning, Nursing Program or the School for Graduate Studies) can apply for a grant of up to $500 to replace books, study materials, tablets/computers or to address other losses or needs that relate directly to being able to continue studies at the college. Applications are due by 5 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012.

Additional assistance may be available if you live or work in Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk or Westchester counties.

New York State Department of Labor - Hurricane Sandy Department Services

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Due to Effects of Hurricane Sandy

 If you lost your job or income due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, you may qualify for DUA even if you are self-employed. Answers to frequently asked questions are available at the Dept. of Labor website or call the Telephone Claims Center at 888-209-8124, or 877-358-5306 (if you live out of state). The application deadline is Dec. 3, 2012.

Claimant Certification Date Extended to Nov. 17

If you were unable to certify for your weekly benefits, call 888-209-8124 and speak to an agent to receive benefits for the prior week or visit one of the agency's One-Stop Career Centers.