Letter from the executive vice president: Fill out your FAFSA before June

Courtesy+of+USG

Courtesy of USG

Briana Staten

As class registration just passed, it is important to remind everyone to make sure to complete their financial applications.

The Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as FAFSA, closes on June 30 and it is important to make sure it’s filled out before then to ensure you have a way to pay for classes for the upcoming semester.

FAFSA is the way that the federal government provides financial aid to students. To fill out this form you must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen.

To clarify, it does ask for parent information, but your parents do not have to be U.S. citizens in order to complete the application. If they don’t have a Social Security number, students can substitute zeros in place of the nine-digit Social Security slot.

Another form of financial assistance students can apply for is the New York State Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP. This is aid for those who are New York residents and have lived in New York City for over a year. The application deadline is also on June 30.

One thing to note with TAP is that a student must take a minimum of 12 TAP-eligible credits. In order to see if your classes are TAP-eligible, check your FACTS sheet, which is located in the CUNYfirst student center.

For those who are New York residents and don’t qualify for TAP, you may qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship. This is available to students whose household income is $125,000 or less. There are some specific requirements you can find here, that lay out how to maintain good standings with Excelsior.

Another form of aid that just passed recently is the Jose Peralta New York State Dream Act. This allows students who are attending school in New York City and are undocumented to receive state aid. There are detailed requirements to be found here. If assistance is needed please contact the Financial Aid Office so they can assist you in the process.

One thing to be aware of is that a lot of CUNY students are flagged for verification of their completed FAFSA application. To check to see if you are one of them, you would have to check your “To-Do” list on your student center on CUNYfirst.

It is very imperative that you are constantly checking this because if you leave your verification incomplete it will prevent your aid from being disbursed and you will be left with a bill that is unpaid. In order to verify, as you will see, you will need to complete the form, order specific documents from the IRS and upload it to the site linked on the “To-Do.”