How To Apply For Financial Aid

On The Web

Office of Finanacial Aid Home Page

Step 1 Obtain a PIN number before Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

If you do not already have a PIN, apply for one now at You will need a PIN to electronically sign your FAFSA. If a parent is required to provide information on the FAFSA, then one parent should also apply now for a PIN so he/she can electronically sign your FAFSA. A PIN will also allow you to check the status of your financial aid application on- line, correct any errors on your application, and sign student loan promissory notes.

When you apply for a PIN number, you will be given an opportunity to choose your own four digit PIN number. It is strongly recommended that you choose your own number because the PIN will then be immediately activated and you can use it to sign your FAFSA.

If you do not choose your own PIN number at this time, the PIN number will be emailed to you within 1-5 days. Your PIN is confidential and should not be shared with anyone. Since a PIN does not expire, you should keep it in a safe place.

Step 2 Completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

There is no fee to complete the FAFSA on line. To complete the FAFSA, go to and select Start A New FAFSA; in the second column. Follow the on-screen instructions. If you only partially complete the FAFSA, it is possible to save your information to be completed at a later time. Once you have completed the FAFSA, review your answers carefully, and correct them if necessary before you submit your application. Remember to add Schenectady County Community College code 006785.

Use one of two options to sign your FAFSA. You can sign electronically with your PIN, and your parent (if dependent) can also sign electronically with his/her PIN. If you do not have one or both PINs, you can print the signature page, sign it and mail it. If you choose to mail it, this will delay the processing of your application for a couple of weeks until the signature page is received and processed.

Submit your application by selecting the “Submit my FAFSA Now” button on the very last page of the form. Once you submit your application, you will be taken to a Confirmation Page that shows your confirmation number and estimated Expected Family Contribution (EFC). You should print a copy of the Confirmation Page for your records.

Step 3 After the FAFSA is Submitted

You will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) Information Acknowledgment in the mail about 2 weeks after submitting your on-line FAFSA. If you provided your e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail with a link to your SAR on the Web in 5 days or less. The colleges that you listed on the FAFSA will also receive your financial aid information at this time.

Step 4 New York State TAP Grant

A full time student who is a New York State resident may be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) through the New York State Higher Education Services corporation (HESC). Students can now apply for both federal and state aid using a single on-line session. After submitting the FAFSA on the Web, a New York State resident is able to immediately link to the TAP on the Web form (from the FAFSA confirmation page) which is pre-filled with their FAFSA data. If the student does not complete the TAP on the Web at this time, he/she will be sent an email or postcard from HESC with instructions how to establish a HESC PIN and how to use the on-line TAP application. The SCCC TAP code is 2243.

The HESC website is and the phone number for student questions regarding their TAP grant eligibility is 1-888-697-4372.

Step 5 Notification to Student of Financial Aid Eligibility

When the Financial Aid Office receives the FAFSA data for a student (usually 3-4 business days after the FAFSA is filed), the student will be sent an email confirming receipt of the data.  The student will also be instructed to log in to the SCCC web site in order to view an estimate of his/her financial aid eligibility.   The student would log in using his/her SCCC ID number and a student selected PIN.  Once logged in, the student will have full access to all financial aid information including estimates of their eligibility for state and federal grants, student loans and other forms of financial aid.

Step 6 Extenuating Circumstances

The Financial Aid Office recognizes that some students and/or parents may have unusual or extenuating circumstances that may complicate the completion of their financial aid application. In the following cases, the student may need to talk to a financial aid advisor before submitting his/her FAFSA. For example:

1. The student is Dependent using financial aid criteria, but the student believes that he/she should be Independent due to special circumstances.

2. The FAFSA uses the prior year family income to determine financial aid eligibility. Some students and/or parents may experience unusual circumstances (i.e: significant decrease in family income, unemployment, death in family, separation/divorce, etc.) that would mean that income would not be a good indicator of the family’s financial status. It may be possible for the Financial Aid Office to make adjustments to the family income. Students who have extenuating circumstances should contact the Financial Aid Office before submitting the FAFSA.

Step 7 Admissions Office

Financial Aid regulations require that first time students must be accepted for admission into a degree or certificate program. Any questions about the Schenectady County Community College admissions criteria can be addressed to the Admissions Office at (518)-381-1366.

Step 8 Paper FAFSA as an alternative to the web application

The U.S. Dept. of Education strongly recommends that students and parents use the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).  If it is not possible to complete the FAFSA on line, a paper application PDF file for FAFSA filing option is available at under "FAFSA filing options." You can complete the paper FAFSA on screen and print the completed application, or you can print the blank form and complete it manually.  The completed and signed application can be mailed to the Dept. of Education.  You should be aware that it will take 2-3 weeks for it to be processed as compared to 2-3 days if completed on the web.

Read All About It!

Interested in possibly applying to SCCC? See our Viewbook. Want to know more about academics and being a student? Try our Catalog. These publications and more are on our Publications Page.