Disbursement of Financial Aid
Standard RequirementsGenerally, financial aid awards are offered for the entire academic year and are credited to a student’s tuition account in two equal installments in the fall and spring. If awards are for one semester only, the full amount of the semester’s award will be credited in one installment, except for the Federal Stafford Loan and the Federal PLUS Loan, which require a dual disbursement regardless of the length of the academic period of the loan. Click here for more information about loan processing. The student must:
- Return a signed copy of the award letter
- Complete Loan Entrance Counseling (first-time Federal Direct Loan and Perkins Loan borrowers only)
- Submit a copy of parents’ W-2 forms
- Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Federal Direct Loan approval (first-time borrowers only)
- Submit to New York State and have approved the TAP application (New York State residents)
- Submit Verification Worksheet (if selected)
ExceptionsThe other exceptions are earnings from the Federal Work-Study Program, which are paid every two weeks, and the Trustee Leader Scholar stipend, which is paid several times a semester upon approval by the TLS coordinator.
All requirements for receipt of financial aid must be satisfied before any of the financial aid will be reflected as a credit in the student’s account statement. These requirements will be noted in the student’s award letter.
Assuming that award letters are mailed by early May and all requirements are met in a timely fashion, financial aid awards will be reflected on the first billing statement for fall charges. An exception to this is the Federal Direct Loan, which will not be reflected until the MPN is submitted and an approval is received from the Department of Education for the loan. Another possible exception is the New York State TAP award. The state will not finalize a TAP award until the state budget is passed. The budget is due to be passed by April 1, but passage is invariably late.
Most need-based grant recipients are verified, therefore, the awards become final only when data on the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE concur with the supporting documents, namely, W-2 statements and verification worksheets.
Verification is a time-consuming process that occurs throughout the summer. If the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE data are mostly accurate, the student should expect the final awards to be comparable to the original offer. Since the federal Pell Grant allows only a minimal tolerance in the financial data, the student must refile for a Pell Grant if the original financial data submitted on the FAFSA differs from the supporting financial documents. The Pell Grant will not become final until the College receives a revised analysis from the federal processor. If the student does not make the corrections, the Financial Aid Office will submit the corrections electronically.
If there are significant discrepancies between the data on the FAFSA and those on the CSS PROFILE and supporting documents, financial aid awards other than the Pell Grant may be revised. The Financial Aid Office will send written notice to the student of any adjustments to financial aid awards.