Please note that it is important to follow the steps as they are presented below:
Step 1 – Get a FSA ID
Apply for a FSA ID at studentaid.gov, if you don’t already have one . You will need this FSA ID to electronically sign your FAFSA. If you are dependent, your parents will also need to get a FSA ID to electronically sign the FAFSA. This will insure the quickest, most accurate filing process.
Step 2 – File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Results are sent to you and C-GCC usually in a week from filing if your application is electronically signed with a FSA ID.
C-GCC’s Federal school code (Title IV) is: 006789
Step 3 – Applying for the New York State Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP and Excelsior Awards)
If you are not a New York State Resident, please skip to Step 4.
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a financial aid grant for students meeting residence, income, academic, or other requirements, as established by state law. As a result of completing the FAFSA, your information will be forwarded to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Electronic FAFSA filers who meet New York State residency requirements and who have listed a New York State college will be given an electronic link on the FAFSA website to complete their NYS Express Tap Application (ETA).
Upon completion, you will be notified by HESC of your award. Although an estimate of your eligibility may be included on your C-GCC award letter, applicants should be aware that notification from HESC is your official TAP award*.
*Applicants should also note that official notification from HESC regarding TAP awards will not be sent until the New York State budget or a provisional spending agreement is approved by both the Governor and NYS Legislature.
Step 4 – Submitting the Columbia-Greene Financial Aid Application and Additional Information Requests
Complete and submit the CGCC Financial Aid Application from our Financial Aid Forms page.
Additional Information Requests:
After your FAFSA is processed, C-GCC will be sent the information electronically. For electronic filers, the data is usually received in 1 to 2 weeks.
Once your FAFSA data is received, you may be required to submit additional information to the C-GCC Financial Aid Office.
Additional information is often required for one or more of the following reasons:
- Database Mismatch – Your FAFSA data is matched against various federal databases (Social Security, Department of Veteran Affairs, etc.) to make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements for federal financial aid. If it cannot be determined that you meet the basic eligibility requirements, you may be asked to submit any of the following:
- Copy of your Social Security Card.
- Copy of your birth certificate.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship.
- Proof of being a veteran of the armed forces.
- Verification – One third of all federal aid applicants are randomly selected for a process called “verification”. If you are selected for this process, you will be required to submit the following to the C-GCC Financial Aid Office:
- Verification Worksheet
- Copy of student’s Federal tax return transcripts
- Copy of parent’s Federal tax return transcripts (Dependent students only)
Please be aware that all errors, mismatches, and verification issues must be resolved before your financial aid can be finalized and applied to your account.
Step 5 – The Student Aid Report (SAR)
After your FAFSA is processed, you will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR). Electronic filers who provided an e-mail address will be sent an e-mail providing an electronic link to their SAR. Electronic filers who did not provide an e-mail address will be sent a paper SAR in the mail.
Once you receive your SAR, you should review it for accuracy. If you need to make corrections to your SAR, follow the directions on the SAR.
Step 6 – Additional Applications & Requirements
After your FAFSA and TAP applications are processed, C-GCC will credit any grants that you are eligible for towards your tuition charges. However, not every student will qualify for a Pell and/or TAP grant or be eligible for a grant large enough to meet their educational costs.
Students who need additional funds to meet their financial need may apply for:
- The Work-Study Program (Federal Work Study & Columbia-Greene Work Study), which provides jobs for matriculated undergraduate students, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. You can pick up a Student Employment Contract at the Financial Aid office.
- The Federal Direct Student Loan Program, which allows students to borrow money from the federal government through a lender to help pay for their educational expenses. For more information, see the Types of Financial Aid section of this web site. Download the Federal Direct Student Loan Worksheet here Forms page.
- The Federal Parent Loan Program (PLUS), which allows parents to borrow money from the federal government through a lender, to help pay for their child’s educational expenses. For more information, see the Types of Financial Aid section of this web site.
Step 7 – Application Checklist
- Apply for a FSA ID at studentaid.gov
- Complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at studentaid.gov.
- Complete the NYS TAP Application.
- Review your Student Aid Report (SAR). Make any corrections that are necessary.
- Respond to any request for additional information from the C-GCC Financial Aid Office.
File separate applications with the Financial Aid office if you are interested in the following:
- Federal Direct Student Loan Worksheet
- Work-Study (FWS & CWS)
To review, choose from the steps below: