Q. How do I apply for financial aid?
A. You apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The application becomes available on January 1 prior to the fall semester that you will be attending. You apply once every academic year (fall, spring, summer or summer, fall, spring depending on your college). If you are attending a college located in New York you should also apply for TAP at www.HESC.ny.gov.
Q. Do you have all of the paperwork required to process my financial aid?
A. Log onto MyCollege and click on the Financial Aid Link to review the paperwork you have submitted, missing paperwork, the status of your application and your financial aid awards. You will also use this system to accept, reduce or cancel your student loan offers.
Q. When will my student loan funds be disbursed?
A. Returning students that have borrowed in the past, have accepted their loans on MyCollege and have a credit balance owed to them can expect to receive these funds on or around the end of the 6th week of classes. New borrowers that have accepted their loans on MyCollege, have completed both their Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note at https://studentloans.gov, and have a credit balance owed to them, will also receive their funds at this time. Late applicants will receive their loan funds on a rolling basis as they become available during the semester after the end of the sixth week of classes.
Q. What will happen to my financial aid if I drop a class?
A. If you drop classes during the first three weeks of the semester (the add/drop period) you will lose the financial aid that was awarded for those credit hours in full. For example a full-time student that has a Pell grant would lose 50% of their funding if they dropped to ½ time enrollment during this period. Students that drop below 6 credit hours during this period will lose their student loan funds in full. If funds were disbursed to you they may need to be repaid to the College.
Credit hours are locked and financial aid is based on the number of credit hours that a student is registered for on the 1st day of the fourth week of the semester. If you withdraw from a class after that it may or may not have an impact on your current financial aid. Assuming you attended all of your classes, if after the withdrawal you are still enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) there will be no effect on your current financial aid; drop below half-time and any future loan disbursements will be cancelled.
Q. What will happen to my financial aid if I drop all of my classes?
A. If you withdraw from all of your classes during the first 3 weeks of the semester (the drop-add period) you will lose 100% of your funding. If funds were disbursed to you they will need to repaid to the College.
Full withdrawal from classes after the first three weeks of the semester will require a proration of your financial aid based on the percentage of the semester that you have attended. Prior to the 60th percent point in the semester some of your financial aid will be required to be returned to the federal programs and you will incur a bill owed to the College. Once you have attended 60% of the semester you have earned your financial aid for that time period.
Q. Why was I chosen for verification?
A. Approximately 30% of all applicants are chosen for verification by the federal processor. Applications are chosen both at random or because the application does not meet specific audit criteria that have been established. You can also be chosen by the financial aid officer that is reviewing your application for a variety of reasons. To reduce the possibility of being chosen be sure to answer all questions on the FAFSA application with accurate information (for example don’t round all numbers, use zero if the answer does not pertain to you, etc.).
Q. Am I required to attend classes?
A. Yes. You must attend classes to earn your financial aid. If you are reported as never having attended a class you will lose the financial aid that you received for those credit hours. Not attending all classes will result in the cancellation of 100% of your funding. Students that stop attending a class but do not formally withdraw will receive a grade of “F” in that class at the end of the semester. If a student receives all “F” grades their financial aid will be prorated based on the last day of attendance as if the student had formally withdrawn from the classes.
Q. What is the 150% rule?
A. The 150% rule is a federal academic standard that determines the amount of time that you can attend college and receive financial aid. Basically the rule requires you to graduate from your program of study within 1 and ½ of the time that it would normally take. At BCC this is determined by the number of credit hours that you have attempted. For example if you are in a program of study that requires 64 credit hours to graduate you must be able to complete your degree by the time you have attempted 96 credit hours. If at any time in your educational career it is determined that you can not graduate within your allotted time frame you lose eligibility for all federal financial aid including student loans. Changing majors may change the maximum number of credits in the time frame but all of the credit hours attempted to date still count toward that number.
Q. My parent’s are separated, which parent do I file for financial aid with?
A. You file with the parent that you lived with most during the past 12 months. If you did not live with either parent during the past 12 months you file with the parent that provided the most support to you during the past 12 months. If you did not live with or receive support from either parent in the past 12 months you file with the parent that provided the most support to you in the last year that you received support from a parent.
Q. I don’t live with my parents and they don’t claim me on their taxes, why do I have to apply with their information on my application?
A. Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are not factors in determining your dependency status for federal financial aid. There are a series of questions on the FAFSA application that determine if your parent’s information will be required. Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are factors in determining your dependency for NY State TAP awards.
Q. I am an independent student that has lost my job. Why is my financial aid based on my income from last year?
A. Last year’s income is the best snap shot we have to determine your ability to pay for your educational expenses. If you have suffered a major loss of income or benefits (that have been reported on the FAFSA) from the reporting year you should contact your financial aid office for assistance. After collecting information about your current year income and benefits your financial aid officer may be able to change your expected family contribution. The same holds true if a dependent student’s parent’s income and benefits have been reduced.
Q. What is the school code for SUNY Broome?
A. SUNY Broome’s federal school code, used for completing the FAFSA, is 002862. Our NY State TAP school code is 2025.