The Office of Financial Aid at SUNY Erie Community College helps students through the financial aid process. Any student accepted into a degree or certificate program and taking one or more classes may apply for financial aid.
Financial aid at SUNY Erie falls into three broad categories and usually comes from
a combination of these resources, commonly referred to as a "financial aid package":
- Grants that do not have to be repaid
- Loans with interest rates that are usually low and that must be repaid after graduation
or leaving college
- Part-time employment called "Work-Study"
It’s a good idea to review all Federal Aid information needed for a successful application at the Federal Student Aid YouTube channel before you file.
Apply for Financial Aid
If you are interested in receiving financial aid, including student loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You can complete the FAFSA application at FAFSA.gov or download the MyStudentAid mobile app.
You, and your parent, will need to create a Federal Student Aid username and password known as an FSA ID. This allows you to sign your FAFSA, view your FAFSA results and access other Federal aid websites.
SUNY Erie Community College
Federal School Code: 010684
If you are a New York State resident, you should also complete the New York State
TAP application at the NYSHESC website.
Review Your Student Aid Report
Most students will receive the results of the FAFSA application, known as a Student Aid Report, within 3 - 5 business days. Notices are sent to the email address listed on your FAFSA. You are encouraged to review your Student Aid Report for accuracy. Errors or omissions should be corrected as soon as possible.
Track Your Financial Aid Status
The Office of Financial Aid will contact you if additional documentation is needed. You can track your financial aid status online in Workday. Here you will find a financial aid checklist of items to be completed, as well as links to helpful resources.
Find Additional Aid
Other aid options are available to veterans, parents and other qualifying applicants.
In addition to Federal and State aid, SUNY Erie offers a wide variety of Scholarships
through the SUNY Erie Foundation and the Office of Veterans Services. NYS residents should review their eligibility
for the Excelsior Scholarship. To apply for the Follett Textbook Scholarship, visit the SUNY Erie Bookstore webpage.
Federal Financial Aid at SUNY Erie Falls into Three Broad Categories:
Federal Grants are often referred to as "gift aid" because they are free money that
does not have to be repaid. Almost all grants are awarded to students with financial
Federal Student Loans come from the Federal government and usually offer borrowers
lower interest rates and flexible repayment options. Student loans may also come
from private sources such as banks and lending institutions. Student loans, unlike
grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest. If you
decide to take out a loan, you should understand the terms and conditions of the loan.
Information on the types of loans available can be found at Federal Student Aid website
3. Work Study
The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student's course of study and is available to full-time or part-time students.
I have the right to:
- written information on my loan obligations;
- written information on my rights and responsibilities as a borrower;
- a copy of my Master Promissory Note (MPN) either before or at the time my loan is
- a grace period and an explanation of what this means;
- notification, if the Department transfers your loan to another servicer without your
- to receive a disclosure statement before I begin to repay my loan that includes information
about interest rates, fees, the balance I owe, and a loan repayment schedule;
- deferment or forbearance of repayment for certain defined periods, if I qualify and
if I request it;
- prepay my loan in whole or in part anytime without an early-repayment penalty; and
- documentation when my loan is paid in full.
I am responsible for:
- completing exit counseling before I leave school or drop below half-time enrollment;
- repaying my loan according to my repayment schedule even if I do not complete my academic
program, I am dissatisfied with the education I received, or I am unable to find employment
after I graduate;
- notifying my lender or loan servicer if I move or change my address, change my telephone
number, change my name, change my Social Security number, or change employers or my
employer’s address or telephone number changes;
- making monthly payments on my loan after my grace period ends (unless I have a deferment
- notifying my lender or loan servicer of anything that might alter my eligibility for
an existing deferment or forbearance.
Academic Standards for Receiving Federal Student Aid
Federal aid requires students to meet certain academic standards. This is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Failure to meet any of the three SAP standards below may result in loss of federal aid.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
- Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Students must maintain certain Grade Point Average requirements based on all cumulative credit hours. All students, whether attending full-time or part-time, must have a 2.0 GPA by the end of the second year.
- Pace (Attempted Credit hours)
- a. Students must complete with a passing grade at least two-thirds (66%) of all cumulative attempted credit hours.
- b. The following grades are not considered passing grades: F, W, I.
- c. Transfer credits are counted as both attempted and completed courses.
- d. All courses removed through academic amnesty (Fresh Start) will be counted as attempted credit hours.
- e. Federal aid will only cover required courses for your current program. All courses taken will be counted toward your pace.
- Maximum Time Frame
Students may attempt a maximum of 150% of the published credit hours for their current program.
Example: If the program requires 60 credit hours to complete, the student may attempt 90 credit hours in this program. The student is no longer eligible for federal aid when the student has attempted 90 or more credit hours.
SAP includes all courses the student has attempted at SUNY Erie, whether Title IV aid was received or not. SAP also includes all credits transferred from other colleges.
Associate Degree Programs will be evaluated once per year, at the end of the Spring semester.
|Degree Credit Hours Attempted
|Minimum Cumulative GPA
Certificate Programs will be evaluated twice per year, at the end of the Fall and the Spring semesters.
|Degree Credit Hours Attempted
|Minimum Cumulative GPA
Students who fail to meet the requirements are no longer eligible for federal aid. Students will be notified in writing. A student may take courses without federal aid in order to meet SAP standards.
SAP Appeals Process
Students can appeal the loss of federal aid eligibility if there were events beyond their control.
Extraordinary circumstances include death of a close relative; injury or illness of the student, spouse, parents or children; and other special circumstances. Students may appeal only once.
If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation. At the end of the probationary period the student must meet SAP or Academic Plan requirements. Failure to do so will result in loss of federal aid at SUNY Erie.
Academic Plan Requirements
After a probationary semester a student may be considered for an Academic Plan if the following requirements are met:
- Student successfully completes all courses in the probationary semester.
b. Probationary semester GPA is at least a 2.0.
Students placed on an Academic Plan must meet these requirements each semester until they are back in compliance with SAP standards. Failure to do so will result in loss of federal aid at SUNY Erie.
Financial Aid Related Academic Information
- Academic Amnesty (Fresh Start): The federal aid programs make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty. A school must always include all courses taken when evaluating SAP, regardless of when they were taken.
- Completed program, no degree: A student who completes the academic requirements for a program is no longer eligible for federal aid for that program.
- Developmental Courses: Students may attempt a maximum of 30 credit hours of developmental courses. Developmental coursework is not counted toward Pace or GPA.
- Incomplete Grades (I): Incomplete grades in any class will always be counted as attempted credits; however, they will not be counted toward completed credit hours. When the incomplete is changed to a letter grade, it will be counted toward completed hours. The student must notify the Office of Financial Aid of the incomplete grade change and to request a re-evaluation of Title IV eligibility.
- Pre-Requisite Courses: Federal aid does not cover pre-requisite courses.
- Repeat Courses: Students may retake of any previously passed course once. Failed courses may be retaken until passed.
All Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs are governed by the Higher Education Act (as amended). These are known as Title IV Programs.
FSA funds are given with the expectation that the recipient will complete 100% of
the semester. In general, the law assumes that a student "earns" federal student aid
awards in proportion to the number of days in the term the student completes. When
a student fails to complete any course in a given semester, due to either withdrawing
or failing, a school must determine how much aid the student is entitled to receive.
Any funds determined to be “unearned” must be returned the FSA program. This may result
in the student owing money to the college.
For example: If a student completed 30% of the semester, then 30% of the federal aid originally awarded is "earned". This means that 70% of the student's scheduled or disbursed aid remains must be returned to the FSA programs. Federal aid that must be returned is referred to as "unearned".
A student must complete more than 60% of the semester to earn 100% of the federal aid awarded. This does not mean the student will be entitle to all the federal aid awarded if the student withdraws before aid has been disbursed.
Determining Time Completed
The student's official withdrawal date will be determined by the college as:
- the date the student officially withdraws, or
- the midpoint of the semester if an official withdrawal date cannot be determined, or
- the student's last date of attendance as determined by each Professor.
How Funds Are Returned
Any funds determined to be “unearned” must be returned the FSA program. The college may return some Federal Student Aid for the student. This may result in the student owing money to the college.
When the student must return grant funds it is considered an over-payment. The student
• Repay the entire amount
• make satisfactory repayment arrangements with the U.S. Department of Education (ED)
• Students who fail to do so will lose eligibility to receive future Federal Student Aid at any institution.
Student loan funds that are returned to the lender will reduce a student’s total Direct Loan balance.
If the amount owed to the College is less that the amount of federal aid “earned” then student may be eligible for a refund.
Note: Students must submit all required documents to be eligible for Federal student aid.
This policy governs Federal Title IV aid only. This policy does not affect the student's charges; the college's refund policy will be used to determine the reduction, if any, of the student's tuition and fees. The student is responsible for paying any outstanding charges to the college.
New York State Aid Programs
New York State has several programs designed to help eligible state residents secure the funds to finance their post-secondary education.
Minimum Academic Standards
The following chart outlines the minimum academic requirements for receipt of all New York State Aid programs:
|Prior Semester % to Complete
|Minimum Accrued Degree Credits
* Applicable to students in a four-year degree program.
Pursuit of a Program
Program pursuit must be determined independently from satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory program pursuit is defined as receiving a passing or failing grade in a certain percentage of a full-time course load in each term for which an award is received. The percentage increases from 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load (six credits) in each term of study in the first year for which an award is received to 75 percent of the minimum full-time course load (nine credits) in each term of study in the second year for which an award is received, to 100 percent of the minimum full-time course load (12 credits) in each term thereafter.
Repeating a Course
If a student repeats a course for which previous credit has been earned of a D- grade or better, it is not counted as part of a full-time load for TAP purposes or as part of the required part-time load for APTS unless required by curriculum.
Loss of State Aid (TAP/APTS)
Students failing to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress or Program Pursuit requirements will be denied aid the following semester (decertification). For example, students who do not meet the standards in the Fall semester will be decertified for the Spring semester.
Waiver Option (TAP/APTS)
When there are extraordinary circumstances, students who do not meet state standards may apply for a one-time waiver during undergraduate study. Granting of a waiver is not automatic and is subject to review by the TAP certifying officer and/or a committee. Waiver applications and further information are available in the Registrar's Office.
Regaining Eligibility (TAP/APTS)
There are four methods by which a student who has lost good academic standing may regain eligibility. The student may:
- make up the deficiencies without benefit of State support. For example, if a student was at the 75 percent pursuit level and received a grade in six semester hours, three credits short of the minimum, the student can take and complete a three-credit course at his/her own expense.
- apply for and be granted a waiver for extenuating circumstances.
- be readmitted to the institution after an absence of at least one calendar year for TAP, six months for APTS.
- transfer to another institution and meet the new institution's admissions requirements
NYS Aid Programs: How to Apply
Note: Full-time is defined as carrying 12 credit hours or more of degree-bearing and non-degree (remedial) course work. Of the 12 required hours, three must be degree credits in the first semester of TAP; at least six-degree credits per semester thereafter.
The TAP awards are based on a family’s net taxable New York State income from the
previous year and range from $500 to full tuition per year. Students are entitled
to TAP payments for up to three years in an approved associate degree or certificate
program. For each full semester (12 credit hours or more) of course work, a student
is assigned six points. Once the maximum of thirty-six points is reached, the student
will receive no further TAP payments at SUNY Erie.
Exception: EOP students will continue to receive up to five (5) years of TAP while pursuing a two-year degree.
While the three-year limit applies to students enrolled in a two-year program, a student may be eligible to receive an additional year of TAP at a four-year institution.
How to Apply: Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the NYS TAP Application. The TAP application must be filed by June 30 of the academic year in which the grant is sought.
Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) grants are available to New York State residents (U.S. citizens, permanent alien, or refugees) enrolled in at least three but less than 12 credit hours. At least three of these required hours must be toward a degree. The student must meet the income limits to be eligible for the program and maintain good academic standing.
Regarding Program Pursuit, APTS requires a 50 percent completion of the required minimum half-time course load the first year, 75 percent completion the second year, and 100 percent completion thereafter.
How to Apply: APTS application available in the Financial Aid Office. Limited funds. Note deadline on APTS application.
Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated in an approved program at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
- Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 1, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
- Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
- Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
- Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal
Duration: Awards are available for up to eight semesters (four years) of undergraduate study. Awards can be made available for up to ten semesters of undergraduate study for enrollment in an approved five-year program or for enrollment in an approved program of remedial study.
How to Apply: Applications for Vietnam Veterans Awards may be obtained in the Financial Aid Office or New York State Higher Education Services Corp. The deadline for establishing eligibility is September 1.
The State University of New York (SUNY) Educational Opportunity Program assists students by providing access to higher education and additional support services for students traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
Who We Serve
- Students who show both the ability and the motivation to complete college despite the effects of economic and academic struggles.
- Individuals holding a high school diploma or a high school equivalency (HSE).
- First semester, first-year students whose high school average was an 82 or below.
- New York State residents.
- Counseling and financial assistance beyond those services available to the general student population.
- Program counselors provide assistance with academic and personal concerns, academic advisement, career exploration, and transfer options.
- EOP maintains a computer lab and provides tutorial services.
- The program offers several supplemental orientation workshops to assist students transitioning both to college and college life.
EOP Application Guidelines: The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), funded and administered by the New York State Education Department, is a financial aid program designed to help those students who are educationally and economically disadvantaged. The amount of each award is determined on an individual basis depending on need.
Applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a first-generation, full-time college student in their first semester at SUNY Erie.
- Be a New York State resident for 12 months prior to enrollment.
- Meet one or both of the following criteria in order to be considered academically
eligible for EOP at SUNY Erie:
- The student must have an 82 high school average or below
- The student must have a High School Diploma or High School Equivalency (HSE/GED)
- Meet with an EOP counselor to review additional requirements for the program
- Fall within a defined income bracket or show other evidence of being economically disadvantaged
Household Size (including head of household) / Total Income (before taxes/gross)
1 / 22,459
2 / 30,451
3 / 38,443
4 / 46,435
5 / 54,427
6 / 62,419
7 / 70,411
8 / 78,403*
* Add $7,992 for each additional household/family member in excess of eight
How to Apply: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and EOP application. Funds are limited, apply by May 1 prior to academic year for first consideration.
Exceptions to Financial Guidelines
- The student's family is the recipient of Family assistance or Safety Net payments through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; or through a county Department of Social Services; or Family Day Care payments through the New York State Office of Children and Family Assistance.
- The student lives with foster parents who do not provide support for college and the student’s natural parents provide no such support.
- The student is a ward of the state or county.
The cost of a SUNY Erie education may be even more affordable with New York State’s
Excelsior Scholarship! Beginning with the 2019-20 academic year, New York residents
making up to $125,000 annually will be considered. After Pell, TAP, and other scholarships
are applied to tuition, the Excelsior Scholarship will cover what is needed to pay
tuition. Fees are not covered by Excelsior.
How to Apply: An application for the Excelsior Scholarship can be obtained on NYSHESC's website.
- Your financial aid will not go down. If eligible, you may receive for more aid through the Excelsior Scholarship.
- The Excelsior Scholarship covers tuition only. If your tuition costs are fully covered by Pell and/or TAP, you would not qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship.
- This program will make the greatest difference for students who pay at least some of their tuition out‐of‐pocket or with loans.
- Continuing students who qualify for the Excelsior Scholarship must have successfully completed 30 credit hours in the previous year to be eligible.
- Students must agree to live in New York State for a continuous number of years to the duration of the award received. If a student fails to meet this requirement, the award will be converted to a loan.
- The Excelsior Scholarship only applies to students pursuing an Associate or Bachelors’ degree. It does not apply to Certificates.
Under FASNY HELP, student-volunteers are eligible to have up to 100% of their tuition
reimbursed in exchange for maintaining their grades and fulfilling defined service
requirements. You must also be a "member in good standing" in one of New York's volunteer
fire companies during both your college years and service payback period. Contact
your fire chief or fire company president to apply for the FASNY Grant.
Contact: Tom Chmielowiec, Transition Programs firstname.lastname@example.org, (716) 851-1589