How to Apply for Aid

 The following steps can be used when applying for federal, state or private funding. Contact the Office of Financial Aid if more information is needed.

Getting an FSA ID

You’ll need an FSA ID, a username and password combination that allows you to sign your FAFSA electronically. Your FSA ID also can be used to sign loan contracts and to access certain information online. You can get your FSA ID as you fill out the FAFSA, but you also have the option to get it ahead of time.

Create an FSA ID at Parents of dependent students will also be required to create an account. The FSA ID confirms your identity when you access your financial aid information and electronically sign your Federal Student Aid documents. View commonly asked questions about the FSA ID

*TIP: When creating your FSA ID, you will be presented with the option to use your federal pin number (if you have one) to expedite the new ID process.

Gathering the Documents Needed to Apply

The FAFSA asks for information about you (your name, date of birth, address, etc.) and about your financial situation. Depending on your circumstances (for instance, when you filed taxes or what tax form you used), you might need the following information or documents as you fill out the FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security number (it’s important that you enter it correctly on the FAFSA!)
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers if you are a dependent student
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information, for you (and your spouse, if you are married), and for your parents if you are a dependent student:
    • IRS 1040
    • Foreign tax return and/or
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans non education benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate but not including the home in which you live; and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

Keep these records! You may need them again.

Starting your FAFSA and Providing Your Basic Personal Information

If you are starting a FAFSA for the first time, go to and click on "Start A New FAFSA." As you start your FAFSA, keep the following in mind:

  • Your name and Social Security number must match those on your Social Security card.
  • If you’re concerned about providing your personal information on the login page, choose the virtual keyboard option for additional security.
  • Near the beginning of the application, you’ll create a “save key,” which you’ll use if you start your FAFSA, save it without finishing it, then want to open it again later to finish it. (One benefit of the save key is that students and parents can use this function to pass the FAFSA back and forth if they are completing the FAFSA in separate locations.)

If you filled out a FAFSA last year and want to renew it, click “Login” on the home page, and be sure to select “FAFSA Renewal” once given the option. That way, many of the (nonfinancial) questions will be pre-filled for you. Just be sure to update any information that has changed since last year.

Determining Your Dependency Status

The FAFSA asks a series of questions that determine whether you are a dependent or independent student for purposes of applying for federal student aid. If you are a dependent student, you must report parent information, as well as your own information, on your FAFSA.

To find out who counts as your parent, what to do if you don’t live with your parents, and what to do if you don’t have access to your parents’ financial information, click here for more information. 

If you’re curious, you can find out now whether you’re a dependent student.

Providing Financial Information (Before or After Filing Taxes)

The FAFSA asks for financial information, including balances of savings and checking accounts and information from tax forms.

  • Use income records for the prior, prior tax year to the academic year for which you are applying: for instance, if you are filling out the 2020–21 FAFSA, you will need 2018 tax information.
  • If you have done your taxes before filling out your FAFSA, be sure to consider the option the FAFSA offers you to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT). You may be able to use the tool if you filed your taxes electronically at least two weeks ago or if you filed on paper at least eight weeks ago.

Signing and Submitting the FAFSA

Before your FAFSA can be processed, you’ll need to sign and submit it. Here are some tips as you finish your FAFSA:

  • Be sure to sign with your FSA ID (your username and password) so your FAFSA will be processed as quickly as possible.
  • Once you see your confirmation page, you’ll know you’ve successfully submitted your FAFSA. If you provided an e-mail address on your FAFSA, you’ll automatically receive the confirmation page by e-mail. There are a few differences between the e-mailed confirmation and the one you’ll see in the FAFSA before exiting the application, so consider printing or saving your confirmation page before you exit. For example, the e-mailed confirmation won’t include the college graduation, retention, and transfer rates for schools you listed on your FAFSA.
  • When you fill out the FAFSA, you’re also automatically applying for certain state financial aid. In most cases, the state requires an additional application in order to determine your eligibility for state aid. There are some states that have a partnership with the FAFSA that allows you to transfer your information directly into your state aid application, so if you see a link on your FAFSA confirmation page to your state financial aid application, you should click on it.  (Please note that the link won't appear on the e-mailed confirmation page, so be sure to take advantage of it while you're still at the original confirmation page.)

Student Aid Report (SAR)

Your confirmation page offers the option for the parent information in your FAFSA to be transferred automatically into another student’s FAFSA. So if you have a sibling who needs to fill out a FAFSA, be sure to use this option when you see your confirmation page. (Please note that the link won't appear on the e-mailed confirmation page, so be sure to take advantage of it while you're still at the original confirmation page.)

Once your application is processed you will receive an email with a link to your Student Aid Report. This report will contain your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the information you provided in your FAFSA. The EFC is used to calculate the amount of your Pell Grant and other federal aid amounts. Please note that the EFC is only an estimate of what the federal government thinks you can afford to pay for college. A “zero” EFC does NOT necessarily mean that your family won’t have to pay anything toward your college costs.

Financial Aid Award Package

SUNY Morrisville will have access to your completed FAFSA within 4-5 business days.  Newly accepted students are “packaged” with their financial aid awards on an ongoing basis beginning mid-November.  Continuing students are “packaged” on an ongoing basis beginning mid-June.  All students will receive an email notifying them that their financial aid award information is available in Web for Students.

FAFSA Follow-up

Your FAFSA may be selected for a process called “verification” by the US Department of Education. In this process, the SUNY Morrisville Office of Financial Aid is required to review your FAFSA information to ensure accuracy. If selected, you will receive a list of required documents. It is extremely important that you provide the required documents as soon as possible. Failure to provide these documents will prevent you from receiving federal student aid and you will be responsible for all tuition and charges until the verification process is complete. 

Learn more about the verification process.

Applying for TAP (New York State Residents Only) 

SUNY Morrisville’s TAP Codes:

3030 - Associate
6030 - Bachelor

1. A FAFSA must be completed before a TAP application can be filed. New York State residents attending NYS schools will have the option to link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page. Select the link that says “File Your TAP Application Now.” If you do not complete your TAP application when you get this link you must wait 3-4 business days for Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to receive and process your completed FAFSA. The TAP application is available at

2. Once your application has been processed you will receive a TAP/State Scholarship Award Notice. If additional information is needed to process your TAP award you will receive a Request for Information from NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Be sure to respond to this request immediately to avoid processing delays. Failure to complete the TAP application will not delay your SUNY Morrisville financial aid award determination. TAP awards will be estimated based on FAFSA income information until the application is complete.

If additional funds are needed

An alternative loan (private loan) is a loan with a variable interest rate that requires a credit-worthy co-signor if a student does not have the required credit history established. Alternative loans have a 6 month grace period. Interest begins to accrue when the first disbursement is made. View the list of previously used lenders from the past two years. You may choose from this list or opt to use another alternative/private loan lender of your choice.

Canadian Financial Aid

The following Financial Aid programs are available to Canadian students who are studying in the United States: