General Questions

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

You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. The FAFSA is the application form required for all federal aid. The application for New York State aid can be found at www.hesc.ny.gov.

You can receive assistance with filing your financial aid by contacting your financial aid office,

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.

Yes. You must apply for financial aid every year. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. 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.

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 unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. The FAFSA form is free. There is no good excuse for not applying.

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.

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

  • Demonstrate financial need
  • 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)
  • Maintain academic progress once in college
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • Not be in default of federal student loans or state student loans

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

You should file a FAFSA  and indicate your interest in federal work-study by checking the appropriate box on the FAFSA. Checking the box does not commit you to accepting work-study. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline it later. Leaving the box unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive.

If you or your parents are employed ask your company or labor union if it has a tuition reimbursement program.

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 the Veterans Administration GI bill website.

The New York State Department of Education, in conjunction with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), makes a number of academic merit and service awards each year. For more information about more than a dozen NYS sponsored academic award programs, please visit HESC’s Grants, Scholarships and Special Awards page.

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

There are several available resources to help you. For information on available scholarships you can visit the following websites:

www.cuny.edu/scholarships

www.hesc.ny.gov

For general information about federal student financial assistance programs or help in completing the FAFSA, or to obtain federal student aid publications, call FAFSA 1-800-433-3243.

Yes. WU grades can affect your financial aid.  You should speak to the financial aid office if you receive a WU grade.

If you have a Bursar hold you should speak to a representative in the Bursar Office.

Please contact the Office of the Bursar at (718) 289-5617 / (718) 289-5617 or via email at: Bursar@bcc.cuny.edu.

FAFSA Questions

You can contact your financial aid office for assistance with filing FAFSA  applications.  You may also contact FAFSA at 1-800-433-3243 with questions about the FAFSA on the Web or paper application process at www.fafsa.gov. You can also get free live help online at this web site.

Students will be able to file a FAFSA as early as October 1, prior to the Fall semester they will be attending. Check the FAFSA website for an changes to when the FAFSA application opens.

Talk to your financial aid administrator in your schools’ financial aid office. If your family’s circumstances have changed from the base year due to loss of employment, loss of benefits, death or divorce, your school may decide to adjust your financial aid.  The adjustment might increase your eligibility for student aid.

Generally, grants and scholarships that do not exceed tuition, fees, books, and required supplies are not considered income. Student aid is considered income when it’s taxable student grant and scholarship aid such as fellowships and assistantships which are reported to the IRS in your parents or your adjusted gross income.

Students will receive a confirmation email when the FAFSA application has been submitted and processed.

Students should check with the financial aid office to find out the status of their FAFSA application.  FAFSA applications can process 3 to 5 days after application is successfully submitted.

  • Social Security numbers of student and parents’ if applicable
  • W-2 forms and other records of money earned by student and parents, if you are a dependent student
  • Students and parents’ federal income tax returns (parents tax return is needed for dependent students and spouses tax return is needed for independent students)
  • Untaxed income records – Social security, welfare, or veteran benefits for example
  • Current bank statements
  • Current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond and other investment records
  • Alien registration card, if you’re not a U.S. citizen

Schools will be able to access your FAFSA when the school name and school code is provided on the FAFSA. You can list up to twenty schools on the FAFSA.

After you submit your FAFSA form, you’ll get a Student Aid Report (SAR), an electronic or paper document that summarizes the information you reported on your FAFSA form. It includes your Student Aid Index (SAI) which has replaced the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA, your estimated eligibility for Federal Pell Grants and federal student loans, and whether you’ve been selected for verification.

Contact the financial aid office of the school(s) you’re interested in or plan to attend. If you’re eligible for aid, each school will send you an award letter, telling you the types of aid it will offer and how much you can receive.

The federal government uses a process called verification to help determine the correctness of the financial information on your FAFSA. You will be notified if your application is selected for verification.  Your electronic record will also indicate that verification must be completed before any federal student aid payments are made.

An FSA ID is a username and password that you must use to log in to certain U.S. Department of Education (ED) websites. Your FSA ID identifies you as someone who has the right to access your own personal information on ED websites such as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you are a parent of a dependent student, you will need your own FSA ID to sign the FAFSA electronically. If you have more than one child attending college, you can use the same FSA ID to sign all applications. Each FSA ID user must have a separate e-mail address.

You can create an FSA ID when logging into certain ED websites including the FAFSA.

The FSA ID process consists of three main steps:

1. Enter your log-in information.

  • Provide your e-mail address, a unique username, and password, and verify that you are at least 13 years old.

2. Enter your personal information.

  • Provide your Social Security number- if applicable, name, and date of birth.
  • Include your mailing address, e-mail address, telephone number, and language preference.
  • For security purposes, provide answers to five challenge questions.

3. Submit your FSA ID information.

  • Agree to the terms and conditions
  • Verify your e-mail address. (Note: By verifying your e-mail address, you can use your e-mail address as your username when logging into certain websites. This verification also allows you to retrieve your username or reset your password without answering challenge questions.)

It’s a federal regulation. There are basic requirements a student must meet to be considered an independent student. If you do not meet these requirements but you still believe you are truly independent of your parents, you may appeal for a “dependency override” in the financial aid office at your school.

TAP Questions

When you have completed the FAFSA online, you may then apply for TAP or if you are not applying for FAFSA you may apply for TAP at  www.hesc.ny.gov.

Yes, you must reapply for TAP every year in addition to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The amount of TAP you receive depends on your family income, the number of family members attending college full-time, the number of semesters you have received TAP, and the size of the annual appropriation for the program. Maximum TAP awards can be equal to but not greater than the full tuition charge at the college. State budgetary restrictions can further limit TAP awards to a portion of your tuition.

For an associate degree you may receive TAP for up to 6 semesters. You will be limited to 6 semesters of TAP even if you change majors or transfer to another community college. When you enroll in a 4 year college program at a senior college, you will become eligible for an additional 2 full-time semesters of TAP bringing your undergraduate total to 8 semesters. If you are enrolled in a special program you may receive up to 8 semesters in an Associate Degree program (College Discovery) and 10 semesters in a bachelor degree program (SEEK).

If you repeat a course that you previously passed, you may not count the repeated course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes. This means that in order to receive TAP in a semester where you may be repeating a course you passed previously that you have, in addition to the repeated course, at least 12 credits or equated credits of non-repeated courses. If you repeat a course that you previously failed, you may include that course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes.

Remedial courses may be counted towards either full-time or part time enrollment for TAP purposes. However, to qualify for TAP, you must always be registered for a certain number of degree credit courses.

Yes. You never know if your plans will change and having the TAP application on file will speed up the process if you decide to attend college in New York State.

It never hurts to apply and let New York State decide whether you are eligible for a TAP grant. The application is easy and you just might qualify. Many students who are not eligible for Pell Grants still qualify for TAP.

Work Study Questions

To be considered for this award, you must file FAFSA application by an established filing deadline and request consideration for FWS by checking the appropriate box on the FAFSA. FWS money is awarded on a first-come, first served basis. The College receives a fixed amount of money each academic year to make FWS awards. Once this money is awarded, there is no more for that academic year. You are encouraged to file your financial aid applications early when you receive your award letter from the College, it will indicate whether or not you have been awarded FWS.

Yes. If you receive FWS, you will contact the Financial Aid Office and you will directed on how to apply for jobs which consists of on campus and off campus jobs. After selecting a job, you will arrange for an interview with the work-study employer. If you are hired, you will proceed to complete the necessary documentation to begin to work. You may apply for multiple jobs but you cannot work more than one job at a time.

No. Your FWS award represents the maximum amount you may earn for the academic year. How much of the total award you actually receive depends upon your rate of pay, the total number of hours you work each week and the number of weeks you work in the year. Once you have earned your maximum FWS award, you will have to stop working.

At the end of each pay period you will submit a timesheet to your supervisor to be approved and you will receive pay check, which is every two weeks.

No. You can be paid only for the hours you have worked. If you cannot earn your entire FWS award before the end of the academic year, the unearned portion of your award is returned to the program.

You must register for and maintain an enrollment status of half-time (6 credits or equated credits) or greater to be eligible for FWS. If, for any reason, your course load falls below half-time, you can no longer participate in the program and must stop working.

Yes. If you withdraw from school for any reason, you lose your eligibility for FWS and must stop working.

According to federal law, the identity and work eligibility of all FWS students must be verified before beginning a FWS assignment. You will have to complete an I-9 form and present certain documents to an appropriate FWS representative. You may not participate in any FWS program until you have filed an I-9 form with the Financial Aid Office.

If you have never had a job, the FWS program can give you your first exposure to the world of work. FWS employers are often willing to give you on-the-job training. You can find positions relating directly to your program of study or career choice, thereby gaining valuable job experience. You may learn about giving something back to the community through a community service related FWS position. When seeking regular employment after graduation, you may use your FWS job as an employment reference. If you are enrolled in the Cooperative Education department, you can sometimes use your FWS job to fulfill your internship requirement. Finally, you could be taken on as a regular employee by the employer you worked for as an FWS student.

Loan Questions

If you’re attending school at least half-time, you have a period of time after you graduate, leave school, or drop below half-time status before you must begin repayment. This period of time is called a “grace-period”.

Federal Perkins Loans- the grace period is nine months. If you’re attending less than half-time, check with your financial aid office to determine your grace period.

Direct Stafford Loans– the grace period is six months.

Subsidized loan– during the grace period, you don’t have to pay any principal and you won’t be charged interest.

Unsubsidized loan– you don’t have to pay any principal, but you will be charged interest. You can either pay interest as you go along or it will be capitalized later.

Parents of dependent students are eligible to apply for their own federal loan to help pay college expenses. We do not assume parents want to borrow to pay educational expenses. If you and your parents are interested in this program you should contact the campus financial aid office at your school. A parent may borrow the difference between the Cost of Attendance and all other student aid received by the student. For additional information visit https://studentaid.gov..

The same way you do the other federal student aid, by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You do not need a separate loan application. But, you will need to sign a promissory note, a binding legal document that states you agree to repay your loan according to the terms of the note.

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