College Financial Aid & FAFSA Help

Financial Aid is a broad term that includes any monetary assistance in the form of grants, loans, scholarships or paid employment to help a student pay for college. College expenses can include, but are not limited to tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation fees, personal expenses, required loan fees, and study abroad costs.

Financial aid is typically provided by New York State, the Federal government, businesses, colleges, high schools, and other community agencies. Each student must file for financial aid by completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) each year he/she plans to attend college. The amount of financial aid a student receives varies and is based on guidelines set forth by government agencies and institutions.

Grants “free money” do not require repayment, however, students loans must be repaid. There are a variety of institutions that distribute and manage student loans. Employment aid, often called work study, is given for work performed in the form of an hourly rate.

Application Process

  1. Complete the FAFSA each year beginning on October 1st of a student's senior year of high school. Parents/guardians must also complete the FAFSA and will be assigned a FSA ID that is different than the FSA ID of their child. This should be completed as soon as possible! Visit to complete the FAFSA.

  2. Once the FAFSA has been completed, students who plan to attend a NYS college will be redirected to complete TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) application. Additional information can be located on the HESC (Higher Education Services Corporation) website

  3. After a student has applied for financial aid, each student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) which specifies their eligibility for the various types of financial aid. Maritime students will be guided through this process in Senior Seminar. If there are any additional questions. please contact your school counselor.