Types of Financial Aid
Every student who is applying to college, must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and easier than ever, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid.
Please note, this form requires parent information. Students and parents apply for individual Federal Student Aid ID's (FSA ID) at https://fsaid.ed.gov. This should be done prior to beginning the FAFSA.
Starting on October 1st of Senior year, families can complete the FAFSA using their completed tax return from 2 years prior. Families will hear this referred to as the "prior-prior tax year". For example, a student planning to enter college in September 2022 will use tax information from 2020 to complete the FAFSA.
Keep in mind that although the FAFSA opens on October 1st, each school has different financial aid deadlines. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the deadlines of the colleges you are applying to.
New York State also has its own financial aid application called NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). This can be used for education in NYS-based colleges only. Families can complete the TAP application immediately after filing their FAFSA. Much of the information from the FAFSA will be pre-populated into the TAP application if families choose to complete the TAP application from this link: https://www.tapweb.org
The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile Application is a fully online service that helps colleges and organizations award their private student aid funds. The CSS will be available on October 1st. Highly selective schools often require both the FAFSA and the CSS.
In addition to the NYS TAP, New York State offers a variety of grants and scholarships for residents who plan to attend in-state colleges.
Excelsior Scholarship covers the entire tuition for eligible CUNY and SUNY students.
Enhanced Tuition Awards offer up to $3,000 to eligible students attending private colleges.
STEM Incentive Program awards annual SUNY tuition to the top 10% of high school students who pursue a degree in science, technology, engineering or math.
See the complete list of free money options available.