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How do I get started with applying for Federal Student Aid?
The financial aid application process begins by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov. A Personal Identification Number (PIN) that serves as the student's electronic signature is required to validate the FAFSA. You may obtain your PIN by logging on to www.pin.ed.gov. In addition, parents of dependent students are also required to apply for a PIN to provide their signatures electronically.
Federal school codes for all schools you wish to have the government transfer your FAFSA results to must be indicated on your application prior to submission.
What is the difference between a grant and a scholarship?
Grants are usually awarded based on economic need, and scholarships are awarded based on merit. Neither grants nor scholarships need to be paid back.
What types of aid are available?
Sources of financial assistance include federal (grants, loans, and work-study programs), state (NYSTAP, APTS, and VESID grants, etc. and scholarships), institutional (merit, athletic, or service to school scholarships), and outside funding (local and national grants and scholarships).
What types of grant aid does the federal government offer to help pay for college?
The Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) are sources of free federal aid that the student may be eligible to receive.
The Federal Pell Grant Program is the largest federal need-based student aid program providing grant assistance to undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program and have not received their first bachelor's degree. Eligibility is determined by the federal government based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Pell Grants are administered on a year-round basis including summer terms provided the student meets all eligibility requirements.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate the greatest financial need - students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Federal Pell Grant recipients receive priority consideration for FSEOG awards.
What types of Loans are available to me from the Federal Government?
The Federal Direct Stafford Student Loan: Students are guaranteed this low interest loan from the federal government as long as they are not in default on a previous student loan and meet enrollment criteria. Stafford Loan amounts for undergraduates and graduates are based on grade level. Please refer to the chart on the Loan Limits page of our website for the maximum loan amounts. Federal Direct Stafford Loans can be Subsidized (need-based) or Unsubsidized (non-need based) and eligibility is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA. Students have 10 years to pay off their Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Repayment begins 6 months after the student graduates (the grace period before repayment) or falls below 6 credits of enrollment.
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan: Parents may borrow a Federal Direct PLUS Loan to help pay the student's educational expenses if the student is a dependent undergraduate enrolled at least half time in an eligible program at an eligible school. Parents are permitted to borrow up to the cost of attendance and must have an acceptable credit history to qualify for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: A low interest loan available to graduate students to help pay for the cost of the student's education. The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is credit-based and not guaranteed. The student may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus any financial aid awarded.
Carl D. Perkins Federal Loan: a low interest loan offered to students who demonstrate the greatest economic need. The interest rate is fixed at 5%, and the grace period before repayment begins is 9 months. The Perkins Loan annual limit is up to $5,500 for undergraduate students. However amounts may be limited based on the school's allocation. The student repays the loan to the school after graduation.
What is the difference between a Federal Direct Subsidized and a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?
If the student is eligible for a Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan, Public Law 112-74 amended the Higher Education Act (HEA) to temporarily eliminate the interest subsidy provided on Direct Subsidized Loans during the six month grace period provided to students when they are no longer enrolled on at least a half-time basis. This change will be effective for new Direct Stafford Loans for which the first disbursement is made on or after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2014. The federal government will continue to pay interest that accrues on the Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan during “in-school” and other eligible deferment periods.*
If the student is eligible for a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, the student is responsible for paying the interest that accrues on the loan from the time the loan is fully disbursed until it is paid in full. Depending on the federally determined financial need, the student may receive both a subsidized and unsubsidized loan for the same enrollment period, but the total amount of these loans may not exceed the annual loan limit. The student can pay the interest while in school or during a period of deferment or forbearance. Alternatively, the student can capitalize the interest and enter repayment after graduation or when the grace period is exhausted.
What are the Annual Loan Limits for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan & Interest Rates?
The Federal Direct Stafford Loan annual limits are determined by the student's grade level. Each student also has an aggregate loan limit, which refers to the cumulative maximum allowable amount of Federal Direct Stafford Loans the student is permitted to borrow for undergraduate or graduate level. There are separate aggregate limits for undergraduates and graduates. *Public Law 112-141 also includes a new limit on eligibility for Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans for new borrowers on or after July 1, 2013. On or after July 1, 2013 a borrower will not be eligible for new Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans if the period during which the borrower has received such loans exceeds 150 percent of the published length of the borrower's educational program. The law also provides that a borrower reaching the 150 percent limit becomes ineligible for interest subsidy benefits on all Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans first disbursed to that borrower on or after July 1, 2013. After you have received Direct Subsidized Loans for your maximum eligibility period, you are no longer eligible to receive additional Direct Subsidized Loans. In addition, if students continue to be enrolled in any undergraduate program after receiving Direct Subsidized Loans for the maximum eligibility period, the Federal Government will no longer (with certain exceptions) pay the interest that accrues on Direct Subsidized Loans for periods when they would have normally done so. Please refer to Loan Limits page of our website.
How do I apply for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan?
To apply for the Federal Stafford Loan, the FAFSA must first be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. The schools to which the student has applied will then generate a financial aid package offering student loans. Be sure to accept the Federal Direct Stafford Loans with the school you will be attending. Upon accepting the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Master Promissory Note and an online Entrance Counseling session must be completed online by the student at www.studentloans.gov.
How do I apply for the Federal Direct PLUS or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan?
To apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, the FAFSA must first be completed online at www.fafsa.gov. The schools to which the student has applied will then generate a financial aid package. Be sure to accept your Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan or have your parent accept the Federal Direct PLUS Loan with the school you will be attending. Upon accepting the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan, a Master Promissory Note, an online Entrance Counseling session, and a credit check must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov. Upon accepting the Federal Direct PLUS Loan, a Master Promissory Note and a credit check must be completed online at www.studentloans.gov.
When do my parents begin repaying the Federal Direct PLUS Loan?
For Federal Direct PLUS Loans made to parents that are first disbursed on or after July 1, 2008, the borrower has the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or wait until six months after the dependent student on whose behalf the parent borrowed ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. The parent must request this from the Direct Loan Servicing Center by calling 800.848.0979. Interest on the loan will accrue during this period.
Is it ever possible to postpone repayment of a PLUS Loan?
Yes, under certain circumstances, parents can receive a deferment on their Federal Direct PLUS Loan.
If the parent temporarily cannot meet the repayment schedule, the parent can also receive forbearance on the loan, as long as it is not in default. During forbearance, payments are postponed or reduced.
Generally, the conditions for eligibility and procedures for requesting a deferment or forbearance apply to both Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct PLUS Loans. However, parents will be charged interest during periods of deferment or forbearance. If the parent does not pay the interest as it accrues, it will be capitalized (added to the principle amount of the loan, and additional interest will be based on that higher amount).
For additional information on postponing the repayment of a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please contact the Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center at 800.848.0979.
If my parents do not qualify for the PLUS loan due to their credit history, do I have any other options?
Yes, students whose parents are unable to borrow under the PLUS program are eligible to borrow an additional $4,000 - $5,000 in a unsubsidized direct loan, depending on their year in school.
What is an Alternative, Educational Loan, or Private Loan?
An Alternative Loan is a credit-based educational loan in the student's name through a non-federal, non-institutional lender. Many lenders require that a dependent undergraduate student with a limited credit history have a co-signer to apply for an alternative loan. Please be aware that alternative loans have higher interest rates and do not originate from the federal government. Therefore, the benefits of loans guaranteed by the federal government do not apply to alternative loans. NYIT does not recommend a specific lender, however NYIT encourages the student to research and select the lender that provides meaningful benefits which best suit the student's needs. Students can access our Loans section our website, www.nyit.edu, for questions that should be answered before selecting an alternative loan.
What are the benefits of applying for a Federal Direct PLUS or Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan versus an Alternative Loan?
Federal Direct PLUS and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate that is usually comparatively lower than alternative loans, which have variable interest rates determined by an individual lender. Federal Direct PLUS and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans also have wider deferment privileges and are federally insured against death and disability.
Are the Federal Direct PLUS and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS credit approvals a one-time process or do I need a credit approval every year?
Credit changes from year to year, thus a credit pre-screen is required each year if a parent or graduate student wishes to apply for the Federal Direct PLUS Loan. In addition, Federal Direct PLUS credit pre-approvals are valid for 90 days.
What are my other options if my financial aid does not cover my bill and I am not able to borrow an alternative loan?
You can contact the Bursar for information on enrolling in a tuition payment plan that is an interest-free way to break down your educational expenses into monthly installments instead of one lump-sum payment.
I received a direct student loan and/or a parent PLUS loan on my award letter, so why did the Bursar say it has not been approved?
You may not have accepted the loan online and/or you may not have completed the required forms such as the Master Promissory Note (MPN), online Entrance Counseling session, or Parent PLUS Pre-approval on the federal website www.studentloans.gov. Additionally, you may not have completed an Authorization Statement, which can be found on the NYIT website under Forms and Links.
What is an Authorization Statement?
It gives NYIT the permission to use any of your excess federal fund aid funds to cover institutional charges after tuition, fees, room and board have been deducted. No federal aid, including grants such as Pell, and direct loans may be disbursed without this form, but your election of how you would like your excess funds, if any, to be used is up to you.
What is the Federal College Work Study Program and how do I qualify?
The Federal College Work Study Program provides part-time employment to assist eligible enrolled students in paying for educational expenses. Eligibility is determined by FAFSA need calculation and is offered to students who demonstrate economic need. Federal Work Study students receive a paycheck every two weeks from the Office of Student Employment. Funds earned through the Federal College Work Study Program are not calculated against student income on the following year's FAFSA application.
What is verification and why was I selected?
Verification is a process in which the federal government requires schools to verify that certain information reported on the FAFSA is correct. The federal government randomly selects applications for the verification process. If you are selected for verification, you must complete a Verification Worksheet and submit all requested documentation (such as federal tax return transcripts and/or W-2's) to the Financial Aid Office for review.
Why does my financial aid package total more than the cost of tuition and fees?
The federal government requires that the school establish a cost of attendance to reflect additional costs that could be encountered in obtaining a degree. NYIT offers a financial aid package up to that maximum allowable amount (which may include loans) to help students finance other costs of attendance. It is up to the student to decide whether to accept or decline all of the aid that is offered. Some students may choose to borrow extra loan funds to help pay for transportation costs, housing costs, and books.
Will my financial aid package remain the same for all four years at NYIT?
No. In order to continue receiving federal and institutional aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year online at www.fafsa.gov. Your eligibility for aid and hence your financial aid package can change every year and is based on the federal tax documents from the previous year, funds availability, and eligibility requirements.
What is TAP and how do I apply?
TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) is a need-based grant program administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. To be eligible for a TAP award, the student must fulfill the following requirements:
To apply for TAP, you must first complete your FAFSA. After completing your FAFSA, complete your online TAP application by linking to it directly from your FAFSA confirmation page at www.hesc.ny.gov.
What is VESID and how do I apply?
VESID is an acronym for Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities. The VESID Program offers aid to New Yorkers who have a disability and offers students with disabilities the opportunity to become independent through education, training, and employment. Applicants must also meet income criteria for eligibility. For more information on VESID and how to apply for aid through VESID, please visit www.vesid.nysed.gov.
I am not from New York State. Am I eligible to receive other state grants or loans?
Students who attend NYIT and reside in the states of Rhode Island or Vermont may be eligible to receive state administered funds. For more information, please visit www.riheaa.org for the Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority or www.vsac.org for the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Please check with your State Department of Education to see if your state has a reciprocal agreement with New York State for educational aid. In addition, your state of residence may offer educational loan opportunities should you need to explore alternative funding to cover the cost of your education.
I received an academic scholarship from NYIT upon admission, but I will not be attending full-time. Am I still eligible to receive my scholarship?
All NYIT scholarships require full-time enrollment every semester - 12 credits or more for Undergraduate students and 9 credits or more for Graduate students. Additionally, all students must satisfy cumulative grade point average requirements and must complete at least 9 (graduate) or 12 (undergraduate) credits each semester in order for scholarships to be renewed. All scholarship requirements are outlined in the NYIT catalog. Please consult the catalog for more information.
Am I eligible for financial aid if I enroll as a part-time student?
Matriculated part-time students may apply for part-time TAP at www.hesc.ny.gov. New York State also offers aid to eligible students through the Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) Program. APTS is a state grant program for students who are enrolled for 3 - 11 credits. Funds are awarded on a first come first serve basis, and applications are available in the Financial Aid Office. Please note there is a deadline for submission. For more information, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 516.686.7680.
If the student registers for a least 6 credits per semester, the student is eligible for Federal Direct Stafford Loans. Part-time students may also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant. If after completion of federal and state applications the student is deemed eligible, the student may qualify for federal grants as a part-time undergraduate student and federal loans as a graduate student.
Where can I apply for additional scholarships?
Additional scholarships may be available to you through outside sources. A listing of outside scholarship sources can be found on the Scholarship page at www.nyit.edu.
I was originally planning to live on-campus and will now be living at home. How will this affect my financial aid package?
Should you decide to change your housing plans, you must notify the Financial Aid Office, as your cost of attendance will need to be adjusted. This could result in a reduction in the amount of offered financial aid, as your off-campus cost of attendance might be lower.
When will my funds be reflected on my account?
Funds are not posted to a student's account until the add/drop period (typically the first two weeks of classes) has ended.
I have questions about my bill. Where do I go?
Any questions pertaining to your bill should be directed to the Office of the Bursar at 516.686.7510.
If my financial aid exceeds my bill, will I get a refund?
Yes, refunds are processed through the Office of the Bursar. You will receive a refund check once your financial aid is posted to your account, as this process creates a credit on your account.
Can my parent speak to the Financial Aid Office concerning my award package?
Yes. Students who wish to have their parent, spouse, or other designated individual speak with the Financial Aid Office concerning their financial aid must first complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) agreement and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. The FERPA agreement form can be found on the Financial Aid Forms and Links webpage.
Can I speak with someone at NYIT about my individual circumstances?
Yes. If you believe you have a unique situation or if you would prefer to discuss the specifics of your financial aid award one-on-one, the Financial Aid Office is available to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. The Student Solution Center and the Office of the Bursar are also available to assist you with any additional questions you may have about paying for college.
Will I get a Subsidized Stafford Direct Loan if my class starts on or after July 1, 2012?
The Federal Budget Control Act of 2011 has eliminated Subsidized Stafford Loans for graduate students.
For any period of enrollment beginning on or after July 1, 2012, graduate students will no longer be eligible to borrow Subsidized Stafford Loans. Graduate students may continue to borrow Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Graduate PLUS Loans. The terms and conditions of Direct Subsidized Loans received by any student for loan periods beginning before July 1, 2012 are not affected by this change. This only affects NEW loans made on or after July 1, 2012.
If you have any questions regarding this new law, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 516.686.7680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Westbury Campus
Financial Aid Office phone number: 516.686.7680
Financial Aid Office fax number: 516.686.7997
Student Solutions Center phone number: 516.686.7878
Student Solutions Center fax number: 516.686.1463
Office of the Bursar phone number: 516.686.7510
Office of the Bursar fax number: 516.686.7833
Financial Aid Office phone number: 212.261.1590
Financial Aid Office fax number: 212.261.1501
Student Solutions Center phone number: 516.686.7878
Student Solutions Center fax number: 212.261.1750
Office of the Bursar phone number: 212.261.1620
Office of the Bursar fax number:212.261.1646
Other Important Phone Numbers
Federal Student Aid Hotline: 800.433.3243
New York State Higher Education Services Corporation: 888.697.4372
Federal Direct Loan Servicing Center: 800.848.0979