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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 is used to access other student aid websites such as

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 Start Here
  3. Choose I am a student and want to access the FAFSA form
  4. Create an FSA ID
  5. You will be redirected to the FSA ID creation page (Click Exit FAFSA Form)
  6. Click Get Started
  7. Enter name, Date of Birth, and SSN
  8. Create a username, enter student’s e-mail address, and create a password (case specific)
  9. Enter student’s address and student’s phone number
  10. Enter communication preferences
  11. Set up challenge questions
  12. Confirm and verify information, and review terms and conditions
  13. Retrieve Secure Code to verify e-mail and phone number. Do not skip this step.
  14. 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 four 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.  Each FSA ID should have its own unique email and phone number associated with it.

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 Log In
  3. Choose I am a student and want to access the FAFSA form
  4. Log In to Continue
  5. Enter your FSA ID (what the student created in Step 1 of these instructions)
  6. Accept Conditions
  7. Choose I am a student and want to access the FAFSA form
  8. Click Continue
  9. Choose Start FAFSA Form (the actual link will also indicate the Aid Year)
    • For Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023 complete the 2022-23 application
    • For Summer 2023, Fall 2023, and Spring 2024 complete the 2023-24 application
    • If you have previously completed a FAFSA application, choose Renew my FAFSA Form
  10. Create a random 4-digit Save Key. The save key is for temporary use and will only be utilized to save your application.  The save key can be as simple as 1234.
  11. On the Introduction Page, you can either read the instructions or click CONTINUE to get started.
  12. There are seven tabs to complete the FAFSA:
    1. Student Demographics: student general information. It is important to confirm this is the student’s current contact information.
    2. School Selection:
      • Choose the “Search by Federal School Code” tab
      • Enter the SUNY Schenectady school code of 006785
      • You will then need to choose housing plan from the drop down
    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 directed to the Parent Information Tab.
    4. Parent Demographics: parent general information. Only required for dependent students. It is important to confirm this is the parent’s information.
    5. Financial Information: Student (and parent) must enter their tax information. It is highly recommended that you utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import student (and parent) tax data (Click the blue button).
      • Do not skip questions after importing the taxes
      • Be sure to answer all questions asked within this section, even if the answer is zero
      • It is OK to skip the last asset question, unless a specific dollar amount has been calculated.
    6. Sign & Submit:
      • Review the summary page. If all looks good click Continue at the bottom of the page.
      • Either answer, or decline to answer, the gender, race, and ethnicity questions. These answers to not effect a student’s eligibility. Click continue at the bottom of the page.
      • Student will check off “I, Agree to the terms outlined above,” (do the same thing for parent, if applicable) and finally “Sign and Submit FAFSA Form”
    7. Confirmation: On the right-hand side of the confirmation page, Start Your State Application to apply for New York state-based financial aid (Click Apply Now, Blue Box). It is highly recommended that you apply for New York state-based financial aid.

Step 3: Complete TAP Application

Following the link from the FAFSA confirmation page (Start Your 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 to the TAP website to apply.)

  1. Click Start my Application
  2. First time applicants will click First Time user click here to register with HESC to create a login. Returning users will enter your HESC PIN User ID & Pin (this is a different login then your FSA ID).

The New York State Dream Act allows undocumented and other eligible students to apply for New York State financial aid; students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for TAP are encouraged to apply for the DREAM Act

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 drop down to learn more.

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. Choose second option to login with SUNY Schenectady ID (900 number)
  4. Click Student Registration & Records
  5. Choose Financial Aid from the list of options
  6. Click My Eligibility
  7. Click Student Requirements
  8. 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, Welcome Center

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.  New York State will contact the student via email with status updates on the application.  Students must monitor their e-mail regularly for updates.

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 their FAFSA.

  • The student is dependent using financial aid criteria, but the student believes they 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.