Students ignoring financial help opportunities

Anthony O’Connell
News Editor

SUNY is pushing for greater completion of FAFSA.

“Approximately 62% of our high school students complete FAFSA, we need to increase that,” said president Andrew Matonak during Hudson Valley’s All College Meeting.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It allows students to apply for federal student loans, federal grants and federal work study to cover any expenses a student may have.

“We absolutely encourage all students to complete the FAFSA and TAP application, even if they believe they may not be eligible,” said Krista Hamm, financial aid technical assistant.

Administered by The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, TAP stands for Tuition Assistance Program which allows students to apply for a state grant that does not have to be repaid.

After completing FAFSA, students are able to link their online TAP application at the end of the FAFSA session. The award is contingent upon the annual approval of the New York State budget.

The deadline for TAP is June 30.

Factors including income, household size, assets, etc. determines eligibility for federal and state grants and federal subsidized loans. Even if the student is out of range for grants and subsidized loans students still qualify for unsubsidized loans as long as they have not exceeded lifetime borrowing limits.

Students are also able to apply for Hudson Valley Foundation Scholarships. However, a valid FAFSA application must be on file with the school to be eligible.

Unsatisfactory academic progress with a school may make student ineligible for any federal and state financial aid. All students must meet GPA and completion requirements for federal and state aid programs.

“If a student is not eligible for federal and or state financial aid, they can apply for scholarships, private education loans or look into employer tuition assistance to help cover expense,” said Hamm.

If a student is repeating a course in which they previously received an F, Z or W grade, federal and state financial aid will cover the course again as long as the student is in good academic standing.

If a student is repeating a course that they previously received a passing grade such as D, C or B, federal financial aid will possibly cover it again as long as the student receives a higher final grade than previously earned, and is in good academic standing.

As a Hudson Valley student, you also have the option to pay 50 percent of your total registration charges and defer payment of the unpaid balance until later in the semester. There is a $50 non-refutable payment plan fee, if a student chooses this option.

Financial awards are based on your total cost of attendance which includes tuition, fees, books and supplies, transportation, room and board and personal expenses. First, the award will be applied to a student’s tuition and fees cost.

The remaining amount will be refunded to the student at various times throughout the semester depending on the type of aid they are receiving.

FAFSA forms can be completed at www.fafsa.gov. The federal FAFSA school code is 002868 and the state TAP school code is 2080.

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