Financial Aid and Scholarships
- In March, a list of all local scholarships will be given to seniors. Students must review this list to determine which scholarships they are eligible for and to let the Counseling Office know which applications they need.
- The Counseling Office also has various books listing available scholarships.
- Fast Web offers a free internet scholarship search at www.fastweb.com. Students enter information about themselves, and the program will tell them what scholarship they are eligible for based on their individual portfolios. Students are given a password and can check periodically for updates in their scholarship list. (Students should use the school’s address to avoid having their physical addresses and other personal information connected on the internet).
- It is very important to follow directions and pay attention to deadlines on all scholarship applications!
Financial Aid Information
- FAFSA: All students are required to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to be eligible for financial aid (scholarships, grants and/or loans) from any college in the United States. The FAFSA form is available online at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa and should be submitted as soon as possible after October 1. Many need-based grants are given on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important to submit this form as soon as possible after October 1. A few days after your FAFSA form is submitted, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email. This needs to be checked for accuracy and returned as soon as possible.
- TAP: If you are applying to any New York State schools, you must also submit a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application to be eligible for NYS aid. This can be accessed immediately after submitting your FAFSA online or by visiting https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/apply-for-financial-aid/nys-tap.html online. Some of the TAP application will be filled in based on information you submitted on your FAFSA form. Check all answers for accuracy, fill in any blanks, and then submit your TAP application.
- PROFILE: The PROFILE is a financial-aid application used by some private colleges. A list of the colleges requiring this application is available online by clicking here. It is important to read all of the information regarding your college application(s) and to meet all deadlines. PROFILE applications are usually due with your college application or soon after. There is a fee for the PROFILE application.
- OTHER: Finally, many colleges have their own financial-aid applications that need to be completed in addition to the state and federal forms. Again, it is important to carefully read all of the information regarding your college application(s) and to pay attention to all deadlines.
If you need more help, just ask your counselor!
20 Questions To Ask
Part of making smart decisions about college, especially about how to pay for college, is asking questions. Below you'll find our list of 20 recommended questions to ask and consider as you go about searching for, applying to and deciding on colleges. These questions were downloaded from https://www.collegeboard.org
and adapted. Find out more about financial-aid options at https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college
Searching and applying
1. What's the average total cost (including tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, transportation, and other personal expenses) for the first year?
2. What are the ranges of room costs (single or double), board costs (21 meals/week), and special tuition rates (e.g., flat rate for 15-18 credits)?
3. By how much will total costs increase each year? (A three-to-five-year printed history of tuition and fee increases as well as room and board increases should be available.)
4. Does financial need have an impact on admission decisions? Does a decision to apply for early admission affect financial aid?
5. Does the school offer both financial aid based on need and merit or other scholarships that aren't based on financial need? Is it necessary to apply for merit aid, and if so, how do you apply?
6. What application forms are required to complete the financial aid process?
7. What is the priority deadline for applying for financial aid?
8. When will I be notified about financial aid award decisions?
Deciding which college to attend
9. What will my total costs be? Are there any other costs not listed in the award letter that I should budget for, such as expenses for books, room and board, transportation, or personal needs?
10. How much financial aid will I receive? If the financial aid award package isn't enough to make it possible for me to attend my preferred college, under what conditions, if any, will the aid office reconsider the offer?
11. If my family can't meet the financial responsibilities from current income or assets, what financing options are available to help me pay my share?
12. How will my aid package change from year to year? Will loan amounts increase? What impact will cost increases have on the aid package? What will happen if my financial situation changes? What will happen if my enrollment status (or that of a family member) changes?
13. What are the terms and conditions of the aid programs included in my award package (e.g., treatment of outside scholarships)? What are the academic requirements or other conditions for the renewal of financial aid, including scholarships?
14. What amount of student loan debt does the typical student borrower have once he or she finishes college?
15. Where do I fit on this scale?
Before you leave home
16. When can my family expect to receive bills from the college? Is there an option to spread the yearly payment over equal monthly installments? If the bill is not paid by the deadline, will there be penalties? Does the college accept payment by credit card?
17. How much money will I need during the first week of school for things like books, a parking permit, moving expenses, etc.? Can I use financial aid to pay for books and supplies? Can books be charged to my student account? What typical out-of-pocket expenses do most students have during the year?
18. Is information available regarding budgeting resources, money management, and credit card usage?
19. Are there banking services with fee-free ATMs and/or check cashing on or near campus? Does the campus have a debit card?
20. How are student jobs assigned? How are jobs assigned? How many hours per week will I be expected to or allowed to work? How often and in what manner will I receive payments? Will earnings be automatically credited to my student account?
Think about it
You wouldn't buy something expensive for yourself – a stereo, bike, computer or car – without researching it and asking the salesperson questions. The same should hold for college. It's probably one of the largest purchases you'll ever make.