Financial Aid Review for the Fall Term
By Kristina Delbridge, director of financial aid, SUNY Empire State College
August 27, 2015
Fall registration is underway, and with that there are a few check-ups for your financial health that you can do to now to be ready to start the fall on the right track.
Financial aid application review:
For federal grants: You should have completed the 2015-2016 FAFSA online for federal grant eligibility.
For federal loans: Along with completing the FAFSA, you also must complete the Entrance Loan Counseling form and the Master Promissory Note online.
For NY state grants (undergraduate): You should have completed the TAP application (if planning to attend full time) or the Aid for Part Time Studies application (if planning to attend part time). You should review www.hesc.ny.gov to see if there are other state grants that you may qualify for.
Once aid has been determined:
Once aid has been determined, and you have registered for the fall term, you should recheck your Account Summary on your MyESC account to make sure that the aid is properly pending. If it is not, call the Student Information Center at 1-800-847-3000, or email the Financial Aid office at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t have enough aid to cover the balance due, consider whether you will want to take advantage of the time payment plan.
Reducing loans and the Federal Work Study program:
If you don’t need the full amount of the loans you were planning to borrow and would like to reduce them, notify the Financial Aid office. Also consider whether you would like to work under the Federal Work Study program. Full details on this program can be found online at www.esc.edu/fws.
Get an overall picture of your financial aid progress:
There are limits to the federal Pell grant, student loans and state aid. The Pell grant is only available to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a Bachelor’s degree and is limited to the equivalent of 12 full time terms during a lifetime. Student loans are limited to $31,000 for a dependent undergraduate student, $57,500 for an independent undergraduate student and $138,500 for a graduate student. For undergraduate state aid, there is a limit for up to eight full time terms or equivalent for TAP, Aid for Part Time Studies and part time TAP combined. You can view your federal grant and loan history online at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Consider how close you are to graduation and where you are in using your aid limits. If you are close to meeting those limits, consider developing a financial plan to get to graduation.
Remember that we are here to help you:
While the above and other information such as external scholarships or financial literacy can be found at www.esc.edu/financialaid, we encourage you to communicate with us about your account. If you have questions about financial aid, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Financial Aid office or the Student Information Center so that those questions can be answered. The Student Information Center can answer general financial aid inquiries and can be reached at 1-800-847-3000 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. If you have a question after hours, you can email the Financial Aid office at email@example.com and we will respond to your inquiry within the next business day.