How to Apply for Financial Aid on the Web
Step 1: Obtain an FSA ID before Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The FSA ID–a username and password–has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN and must be used to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education websites. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one when logging in to www.fafsa.ed.gov or at https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm. Students (and parents of dependent students) will need an FSA ID to complete and sign all Federal Student Aid applications.
You can use your FSA ID immediately to sign your FAFSA. Unless you link your PIN during the FSA ID application process it will take 1-3 business days before you can use your newly created FSA ID to access other federal sites such as https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action, and https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/. Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account and you should never share your FSA ID. For answers to frequently asked questions visit the FSAID’s Website.
Step 2: Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
There is no fee to complete the FAFSA online. To complete the FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov and select Start a New FAFSA. It is possible to save your partially completed application and finish at a later time.
Remember to add SUNY Schenectady County Community College code: 006785.
The student (and parent of a dependent student) can sign electronically with their FSA ID. If you do not have one or both FSA IDs, you can print the signature page, sign it and mail it. If you choose to mail it, this will delay the processing of your application for a couple of weeks until the signature page is received and processed. Submit your application by selecting the "Submit my FAFSA Now" button on the very last page of the form. Once you submit your application, you will be taken to a Confirmation Page that shows your confirmation number and estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You should print a copy of the Confirmation Page for your records. The financial aid office at SUNY SCCC will receive your application results in 3-5 days.
Step 3: New York State TAP Grant
A full time student who is a New York State resident may be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Students can now apply for both federal and state aid using a single online session. After submitting the FAFSA on the Web, a New York State resident is able to immediately link to the TAP on the Web form (from the FAFSA confirmation page) which is pre-filled with their FAFSA data. If the student does not complete the TAP on the Web at this time, he/she will be sent an email or postcard from HESC with instructions how to establish a HESC PIN and how to use the on-line TAP application.
- The SUNY Schenectady school code for TAP is 2243.
- The HESC website is www.hesc.ny.gov and the phone number for student questions regarding their TAP grant eligibility is 1-888-697-4372.
Step 4: Excelsior Scholarship
As member institution of SUNY, Schenectady County Community College students are eligible to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship. The Excelsior Scholarship is the state aid program approved under Governor Cuomo’s Free-Tuition plan. The Excelsior Scholarship is a “last-dollar” award meaning students must complete the FAFSA and TAP application prior to applying for the Excelsior Scholarship. After completing your FAFSA and TAP applications you will go to www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior to apply for this scholarship. For more information on eligibility, please visit www.sunysccc.edu/excelsior.
Step 5: New York State Part-Time Scholarship
A part time student, enrolled in 6 to 11 academic credits, may be eligible for the New York State Part-Time Scholarship (PTS). To apply for PTS students must first apply for FAFSA. Eligible students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and be enrolled at a SUNY or CUNY Community College. Awards are determined by New York State and funds may be limited. Learn more about PTS eligibility criteria. Apply for PTS.
Step 6: Notification to Student of Financial Aid Eligibility
When the Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA data for a student (usually 3-4 business days after the FAFSA is filed), the student will be sent an email confirming receipt of the data. The student will also be instructed to log in to SUNY Schenectady’s Records and Registration web site in order to view an estimate of his/her financial aid eligibility. The student would log in using his/her SUNY Schenectady ID number and a student selected PIN. Once logged in, the student will have full access to all financial aid information including estimates of their eligibility for state and federal grants, student loans, and other forms of financial aid.
Step 7: Verification Requirements
The U.S. Department of Education may select a financial aid application for verification. This would require the college to obtain additional documentation in order to verify the information that the student and/or the parent gave on the FAFSA prior to the disbursement of any financial aid funds. An applicant that is selected for verification will be notified via their student portal. If you are selected, all required forms can be downloaded from the Financial Aid Forms page. Click here for more information on the verification process.
Step 8: Extenuating Circumstances
The Financial Aid Office recognizes that some students and/or parents may have unusual or extenuating circumstances that may complicate the completion of their financial aid application. In the following cases, the student may need to talk to a financial aid advisor after submitting his/her FAFSA. For example:
- The student is Dependent using financial aid criteria, but the student believes that he/she should be Independent due to special circumstances.
- The FAFSA uses the prior year family income to determine financial aid eligibility (i.e. for the 2016-2017 FAFSA a family’s 2015 income will be used). Some students and/or parents may experience unusual circumstances (e.g. significant decrease in family income, unemployment, death in family, separation/divorce, etc.) that would mean that income would not be a good indicator of the family’s current financial status. It may be possible for the Financial Aid Office to make adjustments to the family income. Students who have extenuating circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office after submitting the FAFSA.
Step 9: Admissions Office
Financial Aid regulations require that first time students must be accepted for admission into a degree or certificate program. Any questions about the SUNY Schenectady County Community College admissions criteria can be addressed to the Admissions Office at 518-381-1366.