Financial Aid FAQs and Resources

FAQs

How Do I Apply For Financial Aid?

You must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid for the academic year in which you are seeking assistance at www.fafsa.gov. In order to complete and sign your FAFSA electronically, you will need a FSA ID and password. Please visit fsaid.ed.gov for more information. If you are a NY State Resident and plan to study on a full-time basis, please complete the NY State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application at www.hesc.ny.gov.

When Do I Apply For Financial Aid?

You must apply for financial aid each academic year, and should adhere to the recommended filing dates below:

Fall entering new students: February 25

Fall entering transfer students: March 15

Spring entering new students: November 1

Continuing students: April 30

If you missed a recommended filing date, you may still apply for financial aid. Applications are processed on a rolling basis. The Office of Financial Aid must be in receipt of your FAFSA and all required documentation no later than your last day of enrollment in the particular semester for which you are applying for aid.

Who's My Parent When I Fill Out My FAFSA?

What is the EFC?

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is calculated using information that is reported on your FAFSA. Taxed and untaxed income, assets and certain types of benefits all could be considered. Your household size and number in college during the academic year are factored in as well. Colleges use the EFC to calculate what types of and how much financial aid you will be eligible for.

What is Cost of Attendance?

Cost of Attendance (COA) is the approximate amount it will cost you to attend college for an academic year. COA is comprised of direct costs that are billed by the college and indirect costs that are not billed by the college. Direct costs include items such as tuition, fees and housing charges if residing on campus. Indirect costs include estimates for expenses that you are likely to incur such as books and supplies, transportation, personal and living (off campus) expenses.

Where Can I Find Information on Scholarships?

Students who are applying for admission may find information about our merit scholarships at the following links:

SJC Brooklyn

SJC Long Island


Continuing students enrolled at SJC should frequently check the financial aid section of the MySJC student portal for an updated listing of external scholarship opportunities.

Students may also visit free scholarship search sites such as www.fastweb.com and www.finaid.org.

Why Must I Submit Additional Documentation?

There are many reasons why the Office of Financial Aid may be asking you to submit additional documentation to verify your eligibility for various aid programs. The most common reason is that a FAFSA application has been selected for a process called “verification.” When this occurs we may ask for additional items such as tax return transcripts, W2 forms and worksheets to verify information reported on your FAFSA. We may also ask for documents that verify citizenship or eligible non-citizenship status, selective service registration, proof of High School graduation and loan default clarification.  If we do request additional information or documentation from you, it is important to respond to the request in a timely manner.

When Will I Receive My Award Package?

Depending on your student status, award packages are mailed out at various times of the year. If you have been admitted (or are already a student at SJC), and we are in receipt of a valid FAFSA and all required documentation award packages will begin to be mailed on or around the following dates:

Fall entering freshmen: March 15

Fall entering transfers: April 1

Spring entering freshmen and transfers: November 15

Registered continuing students: June 15

How Do I Apply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan?

Submit a FAFSA application and be sure to complete all requests for any additional documentation from the Office of Financial Aid. You must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) in order to be considered for federal Stafford loans. Your eligibility for Federal Direct Stafford Loans will be outlined on your financial aid award letter. Sign and return a copy of your award letter to the Office of Financial Aid indicating which loans (or how much of your offered loan) you would like to accept.  If you are a first time borrower at SJC complete the entrance counseling requirement and Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.studentloans.gov.

What is the Difference Between a Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan?

Subsidized loans may be available to undergraduate students with financial need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest on subsidized loans that you borrow while you are enrolled at least half-time (six credits or more), for the first six months after you leave school or graduate (referred to as your “grace period” and during periods of deferment (a certain type of postponement of loan payments).

Unsubsidized loans may be available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Interest will begin accruing on unsubsidized loans and if you chose not to pay it while enrolled it will be capitalized (added to the principle amount of your loan).

How Does My Parent Apply for a Direct Parent PLUS Loan?

Submit a FAFSA application and be sure to complete all requests for any additional documentation from the Office of Financial Aid. Parents who wish to borrow a Parent PLUS loan should visit www.studentloans.gov and log on with his/her FSA ID and password. Choose “Apply for a PLUS Loan” and then “Complete PLUS Request for Parents.” Parents who are borrowing a Parent PLUS loan for the first time at SJC must also complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN).

When Will My Financial Aid Disburse?

When payment of financial aid funds are transmitted to your student account, the award is said to have been “disbursed”. Disbursements at SJC begin after the start of the semester. Not all awards disburse at the same time, as there are different disbursement requirements for various types of awards. Generally, Institutional and Federal grants and scholarships will disburse immediately after classes begin. Federal Loans will disburse during the second week of classes and NY State Awards will begin to disburse within the first 3-4 weeks of classes beginning.

How Do I Get My Refund Check?

If your total disbursed financial aid is greater than your charges for tuition, fees and housing (if applicable), you may be entitled to a refund check. The Bursar’s office regularly reviews accounts to validate the credit and when appropriate will schedule and issue a refund check.  All checks are mailed to the permanent address on file for the student. If the refund is generated by a Parent PLUS loan, the refund may be sent to your parent. Please contact the Bursar’s office at 718.940.5617 (SJC Brooklyn) or 631.687.4555 (SJC Long Island) for more information.

How Do I Apply for Summer Aid?

Semester based undergraduate students who are interested in applying for financial aid for the summer should consult with a financial aid counselor. The student must complete the FAFSA application for the upcoming academic year in order to be considered. If you would like to utilize Federal Direct Stafford Loans, please complete the summer loan request form which can be found on the student portal or on the SJC Office of Financial Aid Website. Any amounts the student may be eligible for in Federal Direct Loans or Federal Pell Grants during the summer will be deducted from the annual limit.

Graduate students and students enrolled in the SJC Long Island Weekend College Program do not need to complete the summer loan request form. A valid FAFSA will be automatically reviewed for summer financial aid eligibility.

Are There Jobs on Campus?

Yes, SJC participates in the Federal Work Study program, and also part-time employment available for students who may not qualify for Federal Work Study. Positions are limited and are filed on a first-come first-served basis. If you are interested in finding a job on campus, please be sure to have a completed FAFSA application on file and contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Can I Access My Financial Aid Refund Early to Purchase Books?

The Department of Education has regulations requiring institutions to ensure that certain students can obtain books and supplies. As of July 1, 2016 students who meet the following conditions will be eligible:

*The institution could disburse the student’s Title IV funds (Pell, SEOG, Perkins loans, Federal Direct Stafford loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS and Federal Direct Grad PLUS loans) 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester; and

*If all the Title IV funds had been disbursed 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester, the student would have a Title IV credit balance. A Title IV credit balance occurs when the total amount of all Title IV funds (as mentioned above) credited exceeds the amount of tuition, fees and other authorized charges the institution assessed to the student.

Students who meet this criteria will be mailed a check in the amount of $500 for students registered for 12 or more credits, $375 for students registered for 9-11 credits, $250 for students registered for 6-8 credits, $125 for students registered for 1-5 credits, or the actual amount of your Title IV credit balance if it is less than the above mentioned allowances for books.  A student will be informed of his/her eligibility via e-mail and will be given the opportunity to opt out of receiving the early book refund. If the student does not opt out by the deadline date, a check will be automatically mailed by the 7th day of the payment period.

If I Drop or Withdraw From a Class, How Will My Financial Aid Be Affected?

Depending on the type of financial aid that you are receiving, dropping or withdrawing from a class (or multiple classes) could have an effect on your eligibility or your future eligibility. Different types of financial aid have different criteria and it also depends on when you drop or withdraw from a class. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a financial aid counselor before making any adjustments or changes to your schedule.

What Will Happen to My Financial Aid if I Withdraw From All Classes?

Students should always consult with a financial aid counselor in the Office of Financial Aid before changing enrollment status or withdrawing from the College. Any changes may affect current financial aid eligibility or future financial aid eligibility. A student who has existing student loans should be aware that withdrawing or dropping below half-time will affect when those loans enter into repayment. Please note that this applies to official withdrawals and unofficial withdrawals (i.e. student stops attending classes without officially notifying a campus administrator).

Federal financial aid is awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire term for which the aid is awarded. When a student withdraws from the College, he or she may no longer be eligible for the full amount of federal aid originally awarded. The amount of federal aid earned must be calculated based on the percentage of the semester the student completed (this is not related to the college tuition refund policy). For more information consult the Financial Aid section of the catalog, or with a financial aid counselor.

Institutional grants and scholarships are also awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire term for which the aid is awarded. If a student who is receiving institutional grant or scholarships withdraws prior to the end of the semester, and his or her tuition is prorated based on the college tuition refund policy, the institutional aid may be prorated accordingly.

If a student withdraws after a NY State grant has been disbursed, he or she may not be eligible for the full amount of the state grant originally awarded. The award may be prorated based on any tuition adjustments made to the student account. Withdrawing from an entire semester may affect your eligibility in future semesters.

Financial Aid Resources

College Scorecard

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA

How to Create an FSA ID

FAFSA Updates for 2017-18

Federal Student Aid Website

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation

National Student Loan Data System

Studentloans.gov

Federal Student Loan Repayment Estimator

Federal Loan Consolidation

SmartScholar Guide to Student Loan Resources

Financial Literacy Resources

Free Online Budgeting and Spending Tracking

Free Annual Credit Report

Identity Theft Information