How to apply for Financial Aid
1) OBTAIN A FSA ID
If you do not already have a U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID apply for one. You will need a FSA ID to electronically sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you are a parent providing information on the FAFSA, one parent should also apply now for a FSA ID so he/she can electronically sign your FAFSA. A FSA ID will allow you to agree to the FAFSA certification statement, sign and check the status of your FAFSA application, import your IRS tax information, make online corrections to an existing FAFSA, sign federal student loan documents, and complete loan entrance or exit counseling.
Your FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign Federal Student Aid documents. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one online. Your FSA ID is confidential and should not be shared with anyone. Since the FSA username does not expire, you should keep a permanent record of it. Your FSA ID password will expire every 18 months unless you change it. View FSA ID Frequently Asked Questions.
2) COMPLETE A FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA)
There is no fee to complete the FAFSA online. To complete the FAFSA, go to studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa and select “Start Here” (for a first-time user) or “Login” (for a returning user) in the middle of the page. This enables you to start or continue your FAFSA, correct your FAFSA, and check on the status of your FAFSA. Follow the on-screen instructions. If you filled out a FAFSA Application Worksheet, use it to complete the application. If you only partially complete the FAFSA, it is possible to save your information to be completed at a later time. Once you have completed the FAFSA, review your answers carefully, and correct them if necessary before you submit your application. Remember to add the SUNY New Paltz Federal Code of 002846.
Use one of two options to sign your FAFSA. You can sign electronically with your FSA ID, and your parent (if dependent) can also sign electronically with his/her FSA ID. If you do not have one or both FSA ID’s 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 “Sign and Submit” button on 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.
3) NEW YORK STATE TAP GRANT
A full-time undergraduate student who is a New York State resident may be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). 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 his/her FAFSA data. If the student does not complete TAP on the Web at this time, he/she will be sent an e-mail or postcard from Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) with instructions on how to establish a HESC PIN and how to use the online TAP application.
Students who do not respond will be mailed a paper TAP application. The SUNY New Paltz TAP Code is 0925. The web site to apply for TAP is www.hesc.ny.gov.
4) NEW YORK STATE EXCELSIOR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
New York State residents can visit www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior for program application/deadline information. In addition to income requirements, students must meet academic (complete 30 degree applicable credits per year) and residency requirements to qualify for and maintain this scholarship.
To apply, complete the FAFSA first each year. In the initial application year, also complete the TAP and Excelsior Applications at www.hesc.ny.gov. In subsequent years, complete the FAFSA and then the Payment of State Grants, Scholarships and Awards Application on the HESC web site. Please note that students need to send all of their final official college transcripts to the Admissions Office to be considered. The Excelsior Scholarship Program is administered by Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). For questions, please contact HESC by phone at 1-888-697-4372 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5) FINANCIAL AID AWARD LETTER
The College electronically receives the processed financial aid information from the U.S. Department of Education, after the student completes FAFSA on the Web. If the FAFSA application is complete and no other further information is required, the Office of Financial Aid will then send each applicant a financial aid award letter by e-mail indicating their estimated eligibility for state and federal grants, scholarships, federal loans, and/or federal work study. Students can accept or decline their financial aid award letter electronically on my.newpaltz.edu.
AFTER THE FAFSA IS SUBMITTED
You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) Information Acknowledgement. If you provided a valid e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail with a link to your SAR on the web in three to five days. If no valid e-mail address was provided, a SAR will be received in the mail within seven to ten days after submitting your FAFSA online.
IRS DATA RETRIEVAL TOOL
A simple and time saving process is to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval tool in FAFSA on the Web. This feature allows financial aid applicants and their parents to retrieve, directly from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), certain income and information from income tax returns (2018 for the 2020-21 academic year and 2017 for the 2019-20 academic year) and to automatically transfer that information to the FAFSA application.
Steps to update the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool:
- Login to update your FAFSA.
- Navigate to the FINANCIAL INFORMATION tab.
- If a tax return has been filed by the tax filer, select ALREADY COMPLETED under the parent and/or student TAX INFORMATION section.
- A series of questions will help determine if you are eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. If eligible, you will be able to link to the IRS website which displays in a new window. Then, follow the steps as prompted.
- If you need help you can view the HELP AND HINTS sidebar, utilize LIVE HELP CHAT on the site or call 1-800-433-3243.
- The 2020–2021 FAFSA will be be based on 2018 tax year. The 2019-2020 FAFSA will be based on the 2017 tax year.
- Remember that applying has two parts. You apply to go to college at SUNY New Paltz and you apply for student financial aid by completing FAFSA on the Web.
- A high school student should complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st of the student’s senior year. Continuing undergraduate students, transfer students, and graduate students should complete the FAFSA by the college’s priority deadline of March 1st.
- Before beginning the FAFSA, get together the documents you need. Start with your Social Security Number, driver’s license, income tax return, bank statements and investment records. Plan how to sign your FAFSA with a FSA ID. Speed up the process with your FSA ID by signing electronically.
- Never tell anyone your FSA ID. Create your own FSA ID. Letting someone else create or use your FSA ID can cause problems or delays with your student aid.
- Keep your FSA ID in a safe place; it serves as your electronic signature for the FAFSA on the Web and will be useful for other purposes later.
- You and your parents (if dependent) should read the FAFSA instructions carefully.
- Round to the nearest dollar and do not use commas or decimal points. Do not include or send notes, tax forms, or letters when submitting the FAFSA.
- Check with a Financial Aid Administrator if you will have unusual circumstances.
- Try to be as accurate as possible with tax information to avoid EFC changes that could impact your financial aid package.
- Using the IRS Data Retrieval tool prior to completing the FAFSA is highly recommended because it is the easiest way to provide your tax data and it is the best way to ensure that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- Carefully review the information provided on your Student Aid Report (SAR) that is sent to you upon completion of the FAFSA. The information from the SAR can provide a student with important information about possible amounts of financial aid.
- For help completing the FAFSA, you can use online chat at FAFSA on the Web or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at 1-800-433-3243.
Verification is the process of comparing the information reported on the FAFSA with information on your tax returns and other financial documents and making corrections as necessary. The Federal Central Processing Center (CPS) selects applicants for verification. The College may also select an applicant if there appears to be conflicting or inconsistent information on the application.
Financial Aid regulations require that all students must be matriculated and accepted for admission into a degree or certificate program. Any questions about the SUNY New Paltz Admissions criteria can be addressed to the Undergraduate Admissions Office by phone at 845-257-3200 or the Graduate Admissions Office at 845-257-3285.
EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE 2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR
The Office of Financial Aid 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 Administrator before submitting his/her FAFSA.
- 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 2018 family income to determine financial aid eligibility for 2020–2021 financial aid. Some students and/or parents may experience unusual circumstances (e.g., significant decrease in family income, involuntary unemployment, death in family, legal separation/divorce before the FAFSA was filed, etc.) that would mean that 2018 income would not be a good indicator of the family’s financial status. It may be possible for the Office of Financial Aid to make adjustments to the family income.
AUGUST 30, 2020, is the deadline for submitting documentation and appeals due to extenuating circumstances. Information about special circumstances will be on our website.