+ Financial Aid Office
The Financial Aid Office staff is available to help you finance your college education at SUNY Cortland. Here are some questions we frequently receive from students and their families.
+How do I apply for TAP? Can I get an application from your office?
You must first file a FAFSA and indicate on the application that you are a New York state resident. If filing the FAFSA online, the opportunity to apply for TAP will be included at the end of the FAFSA application process. Otherwise, you should receive a postcard in the mail a few weeks after submitting the FAFSA with instructions on how to apply for tap online.
If you have TAP application questions, call the NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) at (888) 697-4372.
+Am I eligible for Work-Study?
If your financial aid package includes a Work-Study award, you are eligible. If your package does not include Work-Study, you should first check with your financial aid advisor during the first few weeks of the semester to find out if you qualify and to see what positions are available.
If you are not eligible for Work-Study, but are still interested in employment opportunities on and around campus, please visit the Student Employment Office, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-4.
+Do I have to re-apply for financial aid next year?
Yes, you have to reapply for financial aid each academic year. Remember that our deadline is March 1.
+I don't think I'll qualify for financial aid. Should I bother applying?
Yes. At the very least, you will be able to borrow a low-interest federal student loan. In order to receive a federal student loan, you must complete the FAFSA application.
+I have just been notified that I will receive a scholarship from my high school. How will this scholarship affect my financial aid?
Congratulations! We encourage you to apply for scholarships awarded by private organizations. This is an excellent source of funding and may reduce a student’s need to borrow. In most cases, no alteration to a student’s financial aid is necessary.
If we are required to amend the financial aid package as a result of receiving an “outside scholarship,” we will make every effort to reduce your loan before reducing any grants or SUNY Cortland scholarships.
Please send us a copy of the notification of your scholarship so that we can defer or credit your billing statement by the amount of your anticipated scholarship.
Any scholarship checks you receive should be sent to the Student Accounts Office. We will ensure that the scholarship is credited towards your charges in the Student Accounts Office.
+If my parents are divorced or separated, which parent should complete the FAFSA?
You should answer the FAFSA questions using information about the parent that you lived with for more of the past 12 months.
If you did not live with one parent more than the other, give answers about the parent who provided the most financial support for you, such as money, gifts, loans, housing, food, clothes and medical expenses.
Child support payments from your other parent will be taken into consideration, and information about the income and assets of any stepparent also must be provided.
We realize that these situations can be sensitive and complicated. Please feel free to discuss your individual circumstances with your advisor. All information will remain confidential.
+Is it too late to apply for financial aid?
Probably not. Our recommended deadline for filing the FAFSA is March 1, prior to the beginning of the aid year. We will continue to accept applications after the March deadline and throughout the aid year, but late applicants may miss out on many of the aid and scholarship programs.
The FAFSA takes a few weeks to process. We are not able to retroactively process financial aid after the end of the school year or after a student has ceased attending for any reason.
+My family's financial situation has changed since last year. What do I do?
You should submit a letter to your advisor in the Financial Aid Office describing the change. You also should provide documentation of the change. We will review the new information and possibly recalculate your financial aid eligibility.
A change in your family’s financial situation can be reviewed at any time during the academic year. Please note that we must receive this information in writing in order to properly document any change to your aid eligibility.
+My Student Aid Report (SAR) indicates that I have been selected for verification. What does this mean?
Approximately 30 percent of all aid applicants are selected to complete a process called verification. Applicants are selected by the Federal Processing Center when a FAFSA is processed or when subsequent changes are made to the FAFSA data. Financial aid offices are required to collect and review tax documents of selected applicants.
Once our office has reviewed your application, you will be notified of the required documents for verification. This process is to ensure that the financial aid awarded is based on accurate information.
+What if the amount of aid that I have been awarded is not enough to cover all my needs?
Once you have received your award package and determined that you will need additional assistance, you should contact the Financial Aid Office and speak with your financial aid advisor. Your financial aid advisor can talk with you about alternate financing options and help you find the best deal for you and your family.
+What is the SUNY Cortland's Federal School Code for my FAFSA Application?
The Federal School Code for SUNY Cortland is 002843.
+What options do I have when paying off the rest of my bill after financial aid is applied?
In addition to the many financing options available through the Financial Aid Office, the College also offers a monthly payment plan through the Student Accounts Office. Information on the payment plan is included with each billing statement or is available online at the Student Accounts Office website.
+When will my financial aid arrive?
As long as you follow through on all the necessary financial aid processes on myRedDragon, your aid should arrive in the Student Accounts Office in a timely fashion. Different types of aid arrive at different times of the semester.
+Why do I have a room and board allowance on my award letter even though I live off campus?
All students have a room and board allowance regardless of whether they live on or off campus. If you live on campus, you are living in a residence hall and eating at the campus dining hall, and the charges for these privileges are built into the cost of attendance at the College.
If you are living off campus, you will need to pay rent and buy groceries. Aid eligibility is calculated using an average cost estimate for on- and off-campus students.
+Why does my financial aid not show on my billing statement?
The number one reason is that you have not completed all of your outstanding requirements on your myRedDragon account. You should check and make sure that you have satisfied all of your outstanding requirements.
To check and complete any outstanding requirements go to:
- myRedDragon/Student Online/My Financial Aid
- Simply read the information posted on the page it will inform you that action is needed and give you instructions on what to do next.
- If nothing shows here, then you should contact the Financial Aid Office.
+Will I be eligible for the same amount of financial aid at every college?
Your “need” for financial aid is determined by subtracting what your family can afford to pay — your “expected family contribution” — from the costs of attending each college you are considering.
The amount you can afford remains constant in each case, but since each college has different costs, your “need” may vary from one college to another. The most expensive colleges will tend to offer you the most aid in order to assist in meeting higher costs.