Financial Aid

What to Do & FAQs

What do I need to do to get Financial Aid?

The Financial Aid Process:

The application process for almost all federal, state, local and college financial aid programs begins with the filing of a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. It is through filing the FAFSA that you will receive consideration for Pell Grant, campus-based aid and begin the TAP application process.

How to obtain an application?

  • Paper FAFSA will no longer be available at the Financial Aid Office. You can request a paper FAFSA by calling 1-800-4-FEDAID.
  • Financial Aid counselors are available to assist in filling out the FAFSA in Shuster Hall, Room 136, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • During the Fall and Spring semesters (when classes are in session), the Financial Aid Office reopens on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-6:30 p.m.

You can submit a FAFSA by...

  • Mailing a completed paper FAFSA in the self-addressed envelope found in the FAFSA application booklet.
  • OR
  • Filling out an online FAFSA allows the transmission of your information directly to the federal government and bypasses the need for a paper FAFSA. In order to file an online FAFSA, you must use your PIN number.
  • Be sure to enter the Lehman College Federal Title IV code, 007022, in the appropriate boxes. This will guarantee that Lehman College will receive your application information.

Continuing Students

  • If you filed a FAFSA for the previous academic year you may file the FAFSA renewal online. In order to file an online FAFSA, you must use your PIN number.
  • If you have filed a FAFSA but do not know your PIN#, you may obtain it from the Federal Student Aid Pin Registration site.

Deadlines

While it is possible to submit a FAFSA throughout the academic year, you should file the FAFSA at least eight weeks before the start of the registration period. This way, you will be able to use awarded financial aid funds at registration (rather than pay all of your tuition from your own funds and wait for reimbursement). However, sooner is always better than later, because requests for clarification, verification, and/or correction can lengthen the time needed to complete the process and delay the availability of funds. Students requesting College Work-Study funds and/or Perkins Loans should file their applications as soon as possible. These programs are awarded on a first come, first served basis and funds are limited.

What Happens Next?

1) Look out for the Student Aid Report

After you submit yourFAFSA, you’ll get a Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR is a paper or electronic document that gives you some basic information about your eligibility for federal student aid as well as listing your answers to the questions on yourFAFSA.

2) Locate Your EFC

After locating your SAR, you may want to start by looking for your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Its formula considers your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) as well as your family size and the number of family members who will attend college.

3) Make Corrections to It

Did you fill out FAFSA before your tax information was complete? Do you need to update any information? Did you find a mistake? Don’t worry! It’s easy to make corrections online at www.fafsa.gov. Log in and click “Make FAFSA Corrections.” You’ll need to enter your Federal Student Aid PIN to make any corrections. Corrections should be processed in 3-5 days and you should receive a revised SAR.

4) Review Your Financial Aid Information

The last page of your SAR includes information about your financial aid history, specifically the loans you have taken out. It can be complicated and confusing to keep track of all of your loans and interest rates, but it is very important. Reviewing the financial aid history in your SAR will help you be aware of how much you are borrowing and how much you’ll owe later.

5) Double-Check on your CUNYfirst account and with the Financial Aid Office.

Read all of the SAR. Give close attention to alerts on possibly submitting documentation to the Financial Aid Office.

Some of the phrases that will indicate that you need to submit appropriate documentation to the Financial Aid Office are:

  • "Your school will ask you to provide certain financial documents..."
  • "The name you reported on your application doesn't match..."
  • "The Department of Homeland Security did not confirm..."
  • "The Social Security Administration (SSA) did not comfirm..."
  • "Your parent's total income appears to be unusually low."

If any of the preceding phrases appear on your SAR, review the definition of documentation in this web site's glossary in order to determine which document(s) best prove(s) the accuracy of the SAR information. Take the appropriate document(s) to the Lehman College Financial Aid Office as soon as possible. The Financial Aid Office will do SAR correction(s) electronically. Feel free to visit the Financial Aid Office whenever questions arise regarding incorrect answers on your SAR and/or SAR processing in general.

Applying for TAP

If you filed an on-line FAFSA, take note of the first page that occurs after you submit your completed FAFSA (i.e., "FAFSA on the Web Submission Confirmation"). Find the section on the page entitled "New York Residents". Click that link and you will be taken to the website of the New York Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). The HESC website will invite you to complete an on-line TAP application.

If you did not file an online FAFSA or if you forgot to "click" the link for New York State Residents, do not worry; a paper TAP application will be mailed to you within two weeks.

Regardless of the type of TAP Application to be filed, read the application carefully. The application has been pre-printed or filled-out with information and assumptions based on the answers you submitted on your FAFSA. Complete your TAP application by answering unanswered questions and/or changing incorrect answers. Make all changes in appropriate column, "The Answer Should Be", for the paper application or "Modify Your Answer" for the on-line application.

**DO NOT CHANGE CORRECT ANSWERS**

The TAP application uses a different school code than the FAFSA does. Be sure to enter Lehman's code, 1412, in the appropriate boxes. This will ensure that your TAP award will be sent to Lehman.

If you did an on-line TAP Application, no further signature will be required. If you are completing a paper TAP Application be sure to sign the application and, if necessary, obtain the appropriate signature(s) [yours, your spouse's, or your parent(s)]. Mail the completed TAP/APTS application in the self-addressed envelope provided.

Need Analysis

The primary purpose of the FAFSA is to determine Financial Need. A formula called Federal Methodology is applied to the information submitted on your FAFSA. The formula takes into account your family's income and some types of assets. The formula result is called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). It indicates how much money you and your family are expected to contribute toward your cost of attendance. If your EFC is below a certain amount, you will be eligible for a federal Pell Grant (assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements).

Concerning eligibility for other Title IV federal student aid programs, your EFC, the Pell Grant you are eligible for, and any other aid you may get from other sources are subtracted from your cost of attendance. The result is your remaining financial need.

In short:
Cost of Attendance - EFC - Federal Pell Grant Eligibility - Aid from Other Sources = Financial Need

Financial Need

Remaining financial need can be met through a variety of federal Title IV (SEOG, Federal Work-Study and loans) and NY State student aid programs (TAP, APTS, SEEK, etc.). Keep in mind that TAP, APTS and other non-federal aid programs may use a different need analysis formula than does the family of federal aid programs.

You may obtain an accurate estimate of what your EFC and/or TAP award will be by clicking here.

Eligibility Criteria

Financial need is merely one of the criteria used to determine eligibility for U.S. federal and New York State Need Based Aid. In general, students must also meet the following criteria:

  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate,
  • Be working toward a degree or certificate (be a matriculated student),
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program,
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen,
  • Have a valid Social Security Number,
  • Register with the Selective Service if required (you can use the paper or electronic FAFSA to register) and
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and Enrollment Status once in school.

Students who drop or withdraw from classes may lose part or all of that semester's financial aid and should consult a financial aid counselor before changing enrollment status. Changes in enrollment status can have consequences beyond the loss of a semester's worth of financial aid. A change in enrollment status can result in:

  • Increased "out of pocket" payments towards tuition,
  • Having to repay (or Refund) received funds back to U.S. Department of Education,
  • The loss of part or all of the following semester's financial aid,
  • A student loan being forced into repayment.

Application Responses

After the processing of your SAR and TAP/APTS application, you will receive the following additional documents:

A TAP Award Certificate will notify you of your eligibility for TAP funds. Review this carefully for your name, Social Security Number, college and academic period of award. If the certificate has an error, come to the Financial Aid Office for correction instructions. If the award certificate is correct, keep it for your records and do not submit it to the Financial Aid Office. Your TAP award will be sent directly to our computer file. You may want to bring the TAP Award Certificate to registration (in case our computer systems go off-line).

A CUNY Financial Aid Award Letter is the final response to the filing any FAFSA that includes a request for Work-Study and/or student loans. The letter will indicate how much Work-Study, Perkins Loan, and/or other campus-based aid that you are being offered. It may also include estimates of your TAP and/or PELL awards. A Check Distribution Calendar will accompany the award letter.

Last modified: Jun 13, 2014

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