Free and Fast in This Day and Age?

by Kristina Delbridge, director of Financial Aid, SUNY Empire State College

January 5, 2017

It is free to apply for Federal financial aid so if you haven’t already taken the time to complete your 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA), consider doing it now online at www.fafsa.ed.gov as for consideration of most of our Institutional Grants and Scholarships, the priority deadline for completion of the FAFSA is April 1, 2017. The FAFSA will also begin the process required for the Financial Aid office to determine your eligibility for Federal grants and Federal Direct Loans.

Fast is a relative term, but the overall process is definitely faster than it has been in the past!  If you previously submitted an application for FAFSA in the 2016-2017 school year, you will be able to complete the renewal FAFSA which allows some of your information to be automatically filled out.  When you are completing the 2017-2018 FAFSA, you may be eligible to transfer your IRS information using the data retrieval tool, which will save you time as well.  Keeping that in mind, the average FAFSA application process does take about 45 minutes to complete.  If you begin the application but cannot complete it, tere is an option to save your work and go back to later.

Once the FAFSA application is complete, if you are a NY resident you will be linked to the NY State TAP application.  Please take note of a few things:

  • The SUNY Empire State College code for NY State TAP is 0913 (undergraduate)
  • Graduate students applying for Veteran Tuition Awards through HESC are also required to complete the TAP application using code 5680
  • If you plan to attend half-time as an undergraduate student and are a NY state resident, we encourage you to also complete the NY State Aid for Part Time Study Application online at website: www.esc.edu/financialaid

For those who are interested in loans, the FAFSA must be completed as well as the Entrance Loan Counseling form for SUNY Empire and have a valid Master Promissory Note on file.   Both of these forms can be accessed online at www.studentloans.gov.

Finally, you probably want to know how the scholarship process works.  After you complete the FAFSA, to find out more about Institutional Scholarships, go to: http://alumni.esc.edu/giving/scholarships/opportunities/

Scholarship application forms and links to for the 2017-18 academic year will be available in April 2017. For external scholarships, consider using one of the safe sites we have available for you online at https://www.esc.edu/financial-aid/programs-requirements/aid-women-minorities/internet-resources/.

For additional information please contact the office of Financial Aid.

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