What is Financial Aid?
Financial Aid is money that is issued to an applicant to help pay for Higher Education Expenses. Financial Aid consists of: grants, scholarships, loans and part-time employment from federal, state, institutional and private sources. The amount and types of aid awarded are determined by financial need.
How do I apply for financial aid?
To apply for financial aid, you need to complete the FAFSA application, Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the universal application for financial aid, including loans, grants, college work-study and other federal and state programs. In addition, some private colleges may require students to complete the CSS/Profile form. Students will need to apply online.
Does it cost anything to apply for financial aid?
The FAFSA and the CSS/Profile form are both free.
What information will I need to apply for financial aid?
Financial aid forms request the financial information from you and your parents for the prior prior year. For example, if you are planning to enter college in the fall of 2018, you will need the financial information from 2016.
When should I apply for financial aid?
Financial aid forms should be completed as soon as possible after October 1 in the year before you are applying for admission. Award packages are issued on a "first-come, first-serve" basis. Therefore, it is to your advantage to submit the forms as soon as possible.
What is the next step after applying?
After completing the FAFSA, you will receive a report confirming the information on your original application. If there are any corrections, they can be submitted online.
How is financial aid granted?
Financial Aid eligibility is determined upon review of the required financial aid forms by each of the colleges in which the applicant applies. Financial aid is granted based upon the applicant's financial need. Upon review, each college will offer an "award package." This award package will apply aid in one or more of the following categories: grants, scholarships, work-study or low-interest student loans.
Does each college offer the same award package?
The award package granted by each college may be different. Award packages differ for a variety of reasons:
The amounts of aid money available to colleges vary.
The amount of students applying for aid among colleges varies.
The total populations of colleges vary, therefore affecting the amount of aid needed by the student population.
College costs vary, therefore affecting amount of aid offered.
Is the award package negotiable?
Many applicants don't realize that the award package is negotiable. If you are dissatisfied with the award package, contact the college's financial aid office to discuss the desired changes. It is helpful to have the name of a specific person that you met during your campus visit to contact. If not, try to discuss your award package with the same person. The more specific you are about what area of the aid package you would like to see increased and by how much, the more successful your negotiation will be.
What resources are available to help with the financial aid process?
The financial aid process can be frustrating at times so knowing your resources can be extremely helpful.
Guidance Office - The Guidance Office provides forms and general assistance with form completion.
C.C.C. Financial Aid Office - Whether you are attending C.C.C. or not, their Financial Aid Office has always offered support and assistance from the very basic to the very specific questions on the FAFSA.
Prospective College Financial Aid Office - The Financial Aid Office at each of your prospective colleges can also assist with questions regarding form completion and award package.
Where can I find information about New York State Scholarships?