Apply for a PIN at www.pin.ed.gov now so you can electronically sign your FAFSA. Have your parents apply for a PIN so they can electronically sign your FAFSA.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1. Don't wait for admissions acceptance. File the FAFSA electronically at www.fafsa.ed.gov or obtain a paper FAFSA by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.433.3243.
Complete the NY State Express TAP Application (ETA) that is linked to the on-line FAFSA or complete the ETA that will be mailed to you by NYSHESC if you list any NY state colleges on your FAFSA and you are a NYS resident.
Complete individual college financial aid applications where required. Consult the colleges’ catalogues to see if required.
Check deadline dates for all applications. Don’t wait for tax return to be completed.
Review and correct, if necessary, the Student Aid Report (SAR), which is sent to you by the federal processor of your FAFSA.
Check the status of your New York TAP application anytime on-line at: www.hesc.ny.gov.
Receive financial aid award letters (packages) from colleges. Compare and evaluate packages carefully using cost of attendance less financial aid to the real “bottom line”.
Respond to each college’s package within the stated deadline. If required, submit verification form with appropriate documentation to college's financial aid office. If you and/or your parents are tax filers and you have filed your return, go back to www.fafsa.ed.gov and use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to update your FAFSA income information. Otherwise you will be required to obtain IRS tax transcripts to be sent to the Financial Aid Office to complete verification requirements.
Make your choice of college to attend. (May 1 is a common deadline).
Finalize Federal Direct Loan application process at www.studentloans.gov by signing a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and completing entrance loan counseling.
Submit the TAP change form at www.hesc.ny.gov if you decided to attend a college other than the one listed on your award certificate or call NYSHESC at 1.888.697.4372.
Attend an orientation session for fall.
Follow up on progress of your application for TAP, Federal Direct Loans, and other forms of student aid, if necessary.