• It is important that you read the FAFSA pages in the "How to Apply to College" booklet.  Ask Mr. Olah for a hard copy if you never received one or look it up online.  Mr. Olah posted it on his Senior Seminar site.
    Most families will apply for financial aid.  You must file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and list your colleges on it. The FAFSA application opens on October 1, 2022.  You use your tax return from the year that is 2 years prior to the fall when you will attend college.  So, if you are starting college in the fall of 2023, your FAFSA will be based on your family's 2021 tax return. Go to www.fafsa.ed.gov to apply.  You will need information from yourself and your parents/guardians:
    • your social security number
    • student permanent resident card (if you are not a citizen)
    • your tax information (Federal 1040) and W2 forms
    • records of untaxed income (child support, interest, etc.)
    • savings and checking account information
    • stock, bonds, real estate (not retirement accounts and not the value of your home) 
    • 529 account information which must be declared.
    The government will email you your EFC (Expected Family Contribution).  Then the college you decide to attend, takes that information and puts together a package for you that most likely will contain:  grants (free money), work-study, and loans.
    Some colleges (particularly private ones) may require the CSS Profile that can be found at www.css.collegeboard.org Colleges impose their own deadlines for receiving the FAFSA and the CSS so check their websites for those dates! 
    1. How to fill out the FAFSA youtube video. - https://youtu.be/ScIxTk4Nr4g
    2. FAFSA Tips and Common mistakes to avoid - https://www.nasfaa.org/fafsa_tips
    The second way to apply for Financial Aid is through TAP ( Tuition Assistance Program). Your FAFSA Application must be completed before you can apply for TAP through NYS. To be eligible for TAP you must meet the following requirements; https://www.tap.hesc.ny.gov/totw/


    An applicant must:

    • be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months;
    • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen;
    • have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
    • study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State;
    • be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing with at least a "C" average as of the 4th semester payment
    • be enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits applicable toward the degree program, per semester;
    • be charged at least $200 tuition per year;
    • meet income eligibility limitations;
    • not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default on any repayment of State awards;
    • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.
    To apply for the Excelsior Scholarship you must first complete both the FAFSA and TAP applications.
    The State of New York has instituted the new Excelsior Scholarship. Go to www.HESC.ny.gov.  That scholarship picks up where FAFSA lets off. So, it is possible that you might not receive aid from the federal government, but if you attend a college in New York, you might receive aid from the state.  The Excelsior scholarship will give you free tuition for CUNY and SUNY schools if your family income is less than $125,000 a year. This scholarship is only for tuition, so if you attend an out-of-town school, you will still have to pay SUNY for room and board. This scholarship will also provide $7,000 toward tuition for some New York State private colleges. 
    You can also conduct a Scholarship Search in several ways: 
    • On your Naviance account, click on National Scholarship Search.  It will bring up a list.  Click on the ones in which you are interested, and if you are eligible, click on their websites to fill out their applications. 
    • Check the Financial Aid pages of each of your college's websites to see what in-house scholarships they offer.
    • Register with FastWeb.
    • Try Cappex and CollegeXpress.
    • Log onto HESC.ny.gov (Higher Educational Services Corporation). You will find the Excelsior Scholarship here as well as info on the STEM scholarships (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
    • Barnes & Noble also has national scholarship search books that you can peruse.
    • Google your religion, race, and country of origin to see what might be available.
    • Try large corporations like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, etc.
    • Ask your employer and union to see if there are scholarships set up for the children of employees.
    • Try fraternal organizations like The Elks Club.