Residence Hall

Financial Aid

Financial Aid FAQ's


How do I apply for financial aid?

You apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available at The application becomes available on January 1 prior to the fall semester that you will be attending. You apply once every academic year (fall, spring, summer or summer, fall, spring depending on your college). SUNY Sullivan's federal school code is 002879.  If you are a New York State resident attending a college located in New York you should also apply for TAP at

Should I complete the FAFSA if I have been told that I probably am not eligible for financial aid?

 Yes, you should still complete the FAFSA to determine if you are eligible for aid including student loans.

Can I still apply for financial aid if I have not completed my taxes?

 Yes, you may complete the FAFSA using estimated amounts. You can go back into the FAFSA and update your/your parents' income after you file your return(s).

My parents are separated. Which parent do I file for financial aid with?

You file with the parent (and step-parent if re-married) that you lived with most during the past 12 months. If you did not live with either parent during the past 12 months you file with the parent that provided the most support to you during the past 12 months. If you did not live with or receive support from either parent in the past 12 months you file with the parent that provided the most support to you in the last year that you received support from a parent.

I don't live with my parents and they don't claim me on their taxes, why do I have to apply with their information on my application?

Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are not factors in determining your dependency status for federal financial aid. There are a series of questions on the FAFSA application that determine if your parent's information will be required. Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are factors in determining your dependency for NY State TAP awards.

Why was I chosen for verification?

Approximately 30% of all applicants are chosen for verification by the federal processor. Applications are chosen both at random or because the application does not meet specific audit criteria that have been established. You can also be chosen by the financial aid officer that is reviewing your application for a variety of reasons. To reduce the possibility of being chosen be sure to answer all questions on the FAFSA application with accurate information.

I am an independent student that has lost my job. Why is my financial aid based on my income from last year?

Last year's income is the best snap shot we have to determine your ability to pay for your educational expenses. If you have suffered a major loss of income or benefits (that have been reported on the FAFSA) from the reporting year you should contact your financial aid office for assistance. After collecting information about your current year income and benefits your financial aid officer may be able to change your expected family contribution. The same holds true if a dependent student's parent's income and benefits have been reduced.

What if I have questions or problems with my financial aid and I don’t know what to do?

First, call or stop in and check with the financial aid office staff. If they can't help you or if you are uncomfortable speaking in the outer office, you can either phone or schedule an appointment with one of the counselors. If you are phoning with a question and you need to leave a message, please make the question as explicit as possible. That way, when a counselor returns your call, he or she may already have the answer for you. If you would prefer to see someone in person, you can make an appointment by calling the office or sending an email.

I am transferring to SUNY Sullivan; what do I need to do?

It is up to each school to process financial aid; financial aid does not 'transfer'.  Make sure your FAFSA results have been sent to Sullivan County Community College.  Log on to your FAFSA and add our school code 002879.  If you have a TAP award already processed, change the school to Sullivan.  If you need to borrow a student loan, follow the procedures listed on our Procedures page.  Lastly, make sure your official college transcript has been sent to the Admissions Office.

Can I enroll in any courses and have financial aid pay for it?

To receive financial aid, a student must be accepted and matriculated in a degree program.  Only courses that count towards a student's declared degree are eligible for financial aid.  Pre-requisite courses not in your major are not eligible for financial aid.

Can I repeat a class and still get financial aid?

If you have failed or withdrawn from a class in a prior semester you may repeat it and be eligible for Federal Title IV aid (ex. Pell and Direct Loans) and TAP.  You may repeat a class you have already passed one-time and be eligible for Title IV aid, however, this class will not count toward the full-time minimum for TAP.

How do I use my financial aid to pay my tuition bill?

Under most circumstances, the first money received by the college (grants and/or student loans) will pay your tuition bill. Any funds not used to pay your tuition bill will be given to you. Also, your tuition bill may contain other charges that will be paid by your financial aid. Examples include book charges, meal plans and on-campus student housing.

How do I pay for my books at the Bookstore if I have financial aid?

SUNY Sullivan will grant a book voucher to students that are eligible. To be eligible, a student must have and be eligible for enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and fees (and housing and meal plan if applicable). The remaining amount can be applied toward a book voucher.

Can I use financial aid to pay for a meal plan?

Financial Aid can be used to cover the cost of a meal plan if you have enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and fees. Any remaining amount can be used to purchase a meal plan.

Can I use financial aid to pay for housing?

SUNY Sullivan on-campus housing will have a charge on your billing statement that financial aid may cover. Any funds not used to pay your tuition and fees (and other charges) will be given to you in the form of a refund check. These funds may be used by you to pay for off-campus housing.

What will happen to my financial aid if I drop a class?

If you drop classes during the first three weeks of the semester (the add/drop period) you will lose the financial aid that was awarded for those credit hours in full. For example a full-time student that has a Pell grant would lose 50% of their funding if they dropped to ½ time enrollment during this period. Students that drop below 6 credit hours during this period will lose their student loan funds in full. If funds were disbursed to you they may need to be repaid to the College.  NYS TAP awards are for full-time (12 credits or more) students.

Credit hours are locked and financial aid is based on the number of credit hours that a student is registered for on the 1st day of the fourth week of the semester. If you withdraw from a class after that it may or may not have an impact on your current financial aid. Assuming you attended all of your classes, if after the withdrawal you are still enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credit hours) there will be no effect on your current financial aid; drop below half-time and any future loan disbursements will be cancelled.

What will happen to my financial aid if I drop all of my classes?

If you withdraw from all of your classes during the first 3 weeks of the semester (the drop-add period) you will lose 100% of your funding. If funds were disbursed to you they will need to repaid to the College.

Full withdrawal from classes after the first three weeks of the semester will require a proration of your financial aid based on the percentage of the semester that you have attended. Prior to the 60th percent point in the semester some of your financial aid will be required to be returned to the federal programs and you will incur a bill owed to the College. Once you have attended 60% of the semester you have earned your financial aid for that time period.

Am I required to attend classes?

Yes. You must attend classes to earn your financial aid. If you are reported as never having attended a class you will lose the financial aid that you received for those credit hours. Not attending all classes will result in the cancellation of 100% of your funding. Students that stop attending a class but do not formally withdraw will receive a grade of "F" in that class at the end of the semester. If a student receives all "F" grades their financial aid will be prorated based on the last day of attendance as if the student had formally withdrawn from the classes.

I am a first-time student, when will I receive my student loan funds?

Per Federal Regulations student loans will be disbursed no earlier than 30 days into the semester for first-time borrowers. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling Interview at  After 30 days of the semester have elapsed, and after your attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified, your student loan funds will be paid to your student account. Balances remaining after your bill has been paid will be disbursed to you shortly thereafter.

When will my student loan funds be disbursed?

Returning students that have borrowed in the past, have accepted their loans on their financial aid award letter and have a credit balance owed to them can expect to receive these funds on or around the 6th week of classes after attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified. Late applicants will receive their loan funds on a rolling basis as they become available during the semester.

When and how do I receive financial aid that is due back to me?

All checks will be mailed to your local address, except for workstudy pay checks. Following is a list of the most common programs that might send you a check:


Student workers are paid every two weeks for the hours they have worked.

Federal Pell Grant:

If you have a "cleared for payment" Pell Grant by the first day of classes, you can expect a refund for excess funds approximately six weeks into the semester.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants:

SEOG grants are processed at the same time as the federal Pell grant.

New York State TAP Award:

As long as the College has been made aware of the TAP award by HESC on a roster, the TAP award will be credited to your tuition bill and you should not expect to get a refund. In some cases the TAP certificate is received late and other forms of aid will have paid the tuition bill. In this case, you will receive a refund when New York State sends the award money to the college. This can take several months.

Federal Student Loan Checks (both Subsidized and Unsubsidized):

All continuing students who have their applications complete by July 1st should have a refund check issued on or around Friday of the 6th week of classes. A federal regulation requires first-time borrowers to have their student loan check delayed for 30 days. Refund checks will be issued AFTER student's attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified.  Students must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling Interview at

 Other Scholarships and Grants:

Any money from grants or scholarships received by the college in your behalf will be credited to your tuition bill first, with the remainder given to you. A refund check will be issued to you after the Student Billing Office receives the funds and applies it to your student account.

Note: refund checks are issued approximately 6 weeks into the semester.  You may check to see if you have a refund check by logging onto SUNY Sullivan web module and looking at your Accounts Receivable.