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Financial Aid & Billing

How do I apply for financial aid?

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at The FAFSA is the application required for all federal aid. You can call 1-800-433-3243 for help with filling out your FAFSA.

The application for New York State aid (TAP) can be found at You can call 1-888-697-4372 for help with filling out your TAP application.

What other sources of financial aid should I check out?

Check to see if the church or community organization you or your parents belong to has an educational grant or scholarship program.

If you are a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or the child of a veteran, you may be eligible for veterans’ educational benefits. Learn about your eligibility for these benefits at

For those who wish to conduct your own scholarship searches, you may want to try the following free scholarship searches:

Note: The use of any scholarship search that charges a fee is not recommended.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

Yes. You must apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. Note, that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Your financial aid package also depends on making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA.

What is a Federal Pell Grant?

Pell Grants are for undergraduate students and are the foundation of federal student aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added. 

How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?

You should file a FAFSA at

When should I apply?

You can apply for financial aid even before you’ve been accepted to a college. Students will be able to file a FAFSA as early as October 1, prior to the Fall semester they will be attending.

Who gets financial aid?

The financial aid administrator at your college can help determine what you’re eligible for. There are, however some basic guidelines for all applicants. They must:

  • Demonstrate financial need; this means that your cost of education is greater than your family contribution.
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, be a New York state resident for NY state aid (TAP).
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Be registered with the Selective Service (if required).
  • Maintain academic progress once in college.
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate.
  • Not be convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs while receiving aid.
  • Not be in default of federal student loans or state student loans for NY state financial aid (TAP).
What is student financial aid?

Financial aid is money that covers school expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation. The various categories of student financial aid are scholarships, grants, work-study and loans.

I probably don't qualify for aid. Should I apply for aid anyway?

Yes. Many families mistakenly think they don’t qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are a few sources of aid such as Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. You should apply to see what you can get.

Do I need to be admitted before I can apply for financial aid?

No. You can apply for financial aid any time after October 1, prior to the academic year you plan to attend. To actually receive funds, however, you must be admitted and enrolled at the university.