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Apply for Financial Aid

Apply for Financial Aid on the Web

Step 1: Create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID)

The Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) is a username and password that will be utilized to sign your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and can also be used to access other student aid websites such as,, and

The student (and parent of a dependent student) will want to create an FSA ID prior to starting the FAFSA. Here are the steps to create an FSA ID:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Login
  3. Click I am the student
  4. Click Create one
  5. You will be redirected to the FSA ID creation page
    • Click Get Started
    • Enter name, Date of Birth, and SSN
    • Create a username, enter e-mail address, and create a password
    • Enter address and phone number
    • Enter communication preferences
    • Set up challenge questions
    • Confirm and verify information, and review terms and conditions
    • Retrieve Secure Code to verify e-mail and phone number. Do not skip this step.
  6. Write down your FSA ID and save in a safe place

The parent of a dependent student will also need to create an FSA ID to sign the student’s FAFSA. Once the student’s FSA ID is created, return to and follow the six steps above to create the parent’s FSA ID.

Once the student (and parent of a dependent student) has the FSA ID, proceed to step 2 which is completing the FAFSA.

Important: Only the owner of the FSA ID should create and use the account. Never share your FSA ID.

Step 2: Complete the FAFSA

The FAFSA is the first financial aid application all students should complete. This will determine if the student is eligible for any Federal Grants (money that does not need to be repaid) or Federal Student Loans (money that does need to be repaid). To complete your FAFSA follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Login
  3. Click I am the student
  4. Enter your FSA ID (what the student created in Step 1 of these instructions)
  5. Click Start New FAFSA for your award year
  6. Create a random 4-digit save key. Going forward, you will only need this save key if you do not finish your FAFSA in one sitting.
  7. On the Introduction Page, you can either read the instructions or click NEXT to get started.
  8. There are seven tabs to complete the FAFSA:
    1. Student Demographics: student general information
    2. School Selection: Enter the SUNY Schenectady school code of 006785
    3. Dependency Status: a series of questions to determine if the student is dependent or independent. If the student answers NO to each question, they will be
    4. directed to the Parent Information Tab.
    5. Parent Demographics: parent general information. Only required for dependent students.
    6. Financial Information: Student (and parent) must enter their tax information. It is recommended that you Link To the IRS to import your tax data.
    7. Sign & Submit: You will click “Agree,” “Sign,” and finally “Submit My FAFSA Now”
    8. Confirmation: On the confirmation page, you will see a blue link (Start Your State Application). Follow this link to apply for the NYS Tap Grant.

Step 3: Complete TAP Application

Following the link from the FAFSA confirmation page (Start My State Application) is the best way to apply for TAP. If you miss this link, you will need to wait three days before you can return to apply for TAP. (If returning after the three-day period, you will go directly to the TAP website to apply.)

  1. Go to
  2. Click Start my Application
  3. First time applicants will click First Time user click here to register with HESC to create a login

TAP Help: 888-697-4372

Step 4: Explore other Grants and Scholarships

New York State and SUNY Schenectady offer a variety of grants and scholarships. Each of these programs have additional applications you must complete. We strongly encourage students to apply for as many grants and scholarships as possible.

Go to and choose Grants and Loans from the Financial Aid dropdown to learn more.

  • Excelsior Scholarship
  • SUNY Schenectady Foundation Scholarships
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • New York State Part-Time Scholarship
  • Aid for Part-Time Study
  • NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship
  • NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • NYS STEM Incentive Program
  • NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship
  • NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
  • Military Service Recognition Scholarship
  • NYS Memorial Scholarship
  • Veterans Tuition Awards
  • NYS Regents Awards for Child of a Deceased or Disabled Veteran
  • NYS Aid to Native Americans
  • Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Step 5: Follow up on Application Results

Once your FAFSA is submitted, the College will receive your results in three business days. In some cases, the student will need to turn in additional forms to finalize his or her financial aid.

An e-mail will be sent from the Financial Aid Office to the e-mail address the student listed on FAFSA. Students must monitor their e-mail regularly for updates on their financial aid.

To view your outstanding items follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click Records and Registration from the home page
  3. Login
  4. Choose Financial Aid from the list of options
  5. Click My Eligibility
  6. Click Student Requirements
  7. Choose the aid year which corresponds to the FAFSA you submitted

After selecting an aid year, the top section of the page will show the Unsatisfied Requirements that need to be submitted to the financial aid office to finalize your FAFSA application.

All documents should be submitted directly to the financial aid office and can be sent by fax, email, or delivered in person.

Fax: 518-381-1477
Office: Elston Hall, room 221

If you complete any of the New York State applications, it can take up to four weeks for the College to receive the application results.

Admissions Office

Financial aid regulations require that students must be accepted for admission into a degree or certificate program. Any questions about the SUNY Schenectady admissions criteria can be addressed to the Admissions Office at 518-381-1366 or

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.

  • The student is dependent using financial aid criteria, but the student believes he/she should be independent due to special circumstances.
  • The FAFSA uses the prior-prior year family income to determine financial aid eligibility. Some students and/or parents may experience unusual circumstances (e.g., significant decrease in family income, loss of employment, death in family, separation/divorce, etc.) that would mean that the prior-prior year income would not be a good indicator of the family’s current financial status. It may be possible for the Financial Aid Office to make adjustments to the family income.