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Financial Aid Checklist

Financial aid is money that can help students pay for college. Some aid needs to be paid back and some aid is a gift. Here are the most important things you should know about financial aid.

How to apply for financial aid

1. Gather the following information to apply for financial aid:

    • FSAID for both the student and the dependent student’s parent/stepparent
    • Social Security number
    • Alien registration number (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
    • Federal income tax returns, W-2s & other records of money earned.
    • Bank statements & records of investments (if applicable)
    • Records of untaxed income (if applicable)
    • If a dependent student, the student will also need most of the above information for their parent(s).

2. Apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA).

Students and their families are able to submit their FAFSA as earlier as October 1 every year. Federal School Code: 002820

3. Optional | New York State residents can apply for state financial aid by completing the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application.

The easiest way to apply for TAP is through the FAFSA. New York State (NYS) residents attending NYS schools can link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page. State School Code: 0715

4. Watch for your Student Aid Report (SAR)

If you provided an email address on your FAFSA, your SAR will be sent electronically within five days. Without an email address, a paper SAR will be mailed to you. Review the results for accuracy and make any corrections at If you provided the above codes on your FAFSA, your application will be electronically sent to the Office of Financial Aid for review.

5. Optional | Complete financial aid verification forms.

SFC is required to verify information that you or parents provided on your FAFSA. When a student is selected for verification, additional paperwork is needed before we may certify a student's eligibility for financial aid. Learn more.

6. Review your financial aid award letter.

Shortly after applying for financial aid, Student Financial Services will mail applicants a financial aid award letter.

7. Sign and return your financial aid award letter.

Make sure to check "yes" next to each portion of financial aid you wish to accept & sign the financial aid award letter.

8. Optional | If you are taking loans, complete the Direct Loan process.

Students who plan to take out loans and have indicated so on their financial aid award letters must complete entrance counseling & an e-MPN for Direct subsidized/unsubsidized loans. Parents must complete a credit check and an e-MPN in order to borrow a PLUS. Learn more.