What is federal student aid?
Federal student aid is financial help made available to eligible students to pay for educational expenses at an eligible postsecondary school (e.g. college, vocational school, graduate school).
The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid programs are the largest source of student aid in America. If you’re interested in financial aid for college these programs provide more than $60 billion a year in grants (Pell Grants), loans (Stafford, PLUS), and work-study assistance (Federal Work Study).
If you have questions regarding the financial aid process please call 1-800-4-FED-AID to speak to a Customer Service Representative. Local assistance is available at the Financial Aid Offices of Binghamton University and Broome Community College.
Remember to check with each college to which you applied to see if there are any other institutional financial aid forms that are necessary.
The FAFSA (FREE Application for Federal Student Aid) form is available online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The online application will be processed much more quickly than the paper copy and is recommended. This form is free. If you are seeking any aid at all, it is very important to complete this form.
The FAFSA becomes available on October 1.
*The pre-application worksheet and other useful information can also be downloaded at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
The CSS Profile
The CSS Profile is an online application that collects information used by nearly 400 colleges and scholarship programs to award non-federal aid. Only certain colleges require that students complete the CSS Profile. Additional information is available here.
Financial Aid Websites
“The FSA ID, which consists of a user-created username and password, replaced the PIN effective May, 2015. It allows users to electronically access personal information on Federal Student Aid Web sites as well as electronically sign a FAFSA.”
CollegeBoard.com – Pay for College
Advice from the College Board about financial aid, scholarships, loans, and so on.
Discover Free Scholarship Search
Free Scholarship Search Site
FAFSA on the Web
Information about the Federal Student Financial Assistance Programs and how to fill out an application online. Online applications can be saved and completed in stages up to 45 days later.
“Receive an early estimate of eligibility for federal student aid … (and) increase your knowledge of the financial aid process.”
FastWeb: Scholarships, Financial Aid and Colleges
“The most complete source of local, national, and college-specific scholarships… Search and compare detailed college profiles including tailored scholarship matches.” Requires free registration.
Financial Aid Glossary
“Read real college financial aid award letters. Decode confusing (and sometimes misleading) loan and scholarship information. Translate financial aid jargon and acronyms into plain English. Get great tips on raising extra college cash, cutting costs, and making that degree more affordable.”
FinAid: The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid
This is a comprehensive site on financial aid.
FSA: Student Aid on the Web
Information, forms, FAQs, and publications about federal student financial aid financial aid and students loan opportunities from elementary school through graduate school. From the US Dept. of Education.
Going Merry: Scholarship Search and Financial Aid Information
An independent scholarship search site that also has additonal information on the financial aid process.
HESC: Higher Education Services Corporation
“The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is the state agency that helps people pay for college by administering the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), guaranteeing student loans, offering guidance and administering a highly successful College Savings program for students and families.” A must-see site for New York students seeking loans or scholarships.
New York State Tuition Assistance Program
“The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,165. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.”
As well as information about financial aid, loans, and grants, this site allows you to set up a personalized profile which can be compared to the site’s database of over 600,000 college scholarships.
Student Aid Helpful Resources
Free help completing the FAFSA and other resources.
The Student Guide
“The Student Guide is a comprehensive resource on student financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. Grants, loans, and work-study are the three major forms of aid available through the Department’s Federal Student Aid office.”