November is Financial Aid Awareness Month!
November marks the kick off for completing Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Schools will offer extra resources and attention to graduating seniors completing FAFSA. During Financial Aid Awareness month, students and families can take advantage of citywide resources to complete financial aid forms.
Don’t know where to start?
College can be expensive, fortunately financial aid is available to help pay for college.
- Review frequently asked questions below and visit the websites mentioned.
- Talk to your child’s school counselor about financial aid options.
- Refer to the FAFSA Guide, this guide is designed to help students and families navigate the U.S. Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)."
العربية | বাংলা | 中文| English | Français | Kreyòl Ayisyen |한국어 | Русский |Español |اردو
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Financial Aid?
Financial aid is money to help pay for college. Financial Aid can come from:
Why should my child apply for financial aid?
Financial aid can help you pay your child's tuition and other college costs. Colleges use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
to determine if your family is eligible for federal student aid, including grants
, student loans
, and work-study
. In some cases, students can attend college for free. To learn more about types of financial aid visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types
How do I apply for financial aid? What forms should I complete?
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
is the first step to the financial aid process. The information you provide determines whether you are eligible for federal financial aid, and the amount you are qualified to receive.
Where can my family go if we need help completing financial aid forms?
Find out if your school is hosting a FAFSA completion event or visit College Goal NY
to find completion event in your neighborhood. Review the list of documents
to bring to these events.
When should my child apply for financial aid?
Students should apply as early as the October 1, of their senior year of high school. Some aid is distributed on first-come, first-served basis, so apply early to get the maximum financial aid available.
What if I make too much money can my child still receive financial aid?
There is no income cut-off to apply for federal student aid. Many factors affect the amount you might receive, such as household size, the number of children in college, and parent’s age. To estimate how much federal student aid your family may receive, visit FAFSA4caster
. To estimate financial aid for specific colleges across the nation, visit Net Price Calculator
My child is undocumented, should my child complete the FAFSA?
No, undocumented students cannot apply for federal and state financial aid, but students can apply for private scholarships and awards. To learn more about financial aid for non-U.S. citizens visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov
and for information on Immigrant resources in New York City visit: City Services
Where can my child go to find scholarships?
What if my family needs to take out loans to pay for college?
Before taking out a loan, students should apply for grants and scholarships. Money from grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid, as long as certain conditions are met. Loans need to be repaid with interest. When considering taking out loans, it is important to make informed decisions. Review the different loans available
and how to be a responsible borrower.
We completed financial aid forms, what comes next?
Congratulations on completing the FAFSA!
- Your child should follow up each of the colleges applied to make sure they received all required financial aid forms.
- Some colleges require additional forms such as CSS Profile.
- Once your child is accepted into a college, be sure to use this checklist to review your child’s financial aid award letters with your child’s school counselor to decide on a college with the best academic, social and financial fit for your family.
5 Things Parents Can Do When Completing the FAFSA
- Complete the FAFSA as soon as possible. Beginning October 1, families can complete the 2017-2018 FAFSA at the FAFSA website on their children’s behalf using 2015 tax returns.
- Create a Federal Student Aid ID a couple of days before completing your child’s FAFSA (and encourage your child to create one, too). FSA IDs are personal usernames and passwords that can be used as a legal signature on FAFSA.
- Unsure about what parental information and documentation will be needed to complete your child’s FAFSA? Please visit USDOE’s website for more information.
- Once you complete the FAFSA, completing the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) form is the next step. TAP helps New York students pay tuition in New York State colleges. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back. An annual TAP award can be up to $5,165.
- Carefully read all questions, and pay attention to details when entering your information on your child’s financial aid forms. In particular, double-check the accuracy of Social Security Numbers, Dates of Birth, and Names. Mistakes can delay FAFSA processing times
For College Counselors and School Staff
School staff will be working with seniors to help them to complete FAFSA Applications, and work with younger students to help them explore college options. School staff can review planning resources on WeTeach