Financial Aid

You can afford to attend SUNY Erie!

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 Documents 2020/2021 Academic Year

Financial Aid Documents 2021/2022 Academic Year

Secure Document Dropbox

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 from your MyECC portal by clicking on the Financial Aid Self-Service link or you may access it directly at Financial Aid Self-Service link. 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:

1. Grants

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 need. 

2. Loans

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.


Rights and Responsibilities as a Borrower

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 disbursed;
  • a grace period and an explanation of what this means;
  • notification, if the Department transfers your loan to another servicer without your consent;
  • 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 or forbearance); 
  • 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

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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
Associate Degree Programs will be evaluated once per year, at the end of the Spring semester.

Degree Credit Hours Attempted  9-24 25-47 48-96
Minimum Pace 66% 66% 67%
Minimum Cumulative GPA 1.50 1.75 2.00


Certificate Program
Certificate Programs will be evaluated twice per year, at the end of the Fall and the Spring semesters.

Degree Credit Hours Attempted  9-24 25-45
Minimum Pace  66%  67%
Minimum Cumulative GPA 1.5 2.0

 

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:

  1. 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.


Returning of Federal Student Aid

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.

Federal Grants

When the student must return grant funds it is considered an over-payment.  The student must either:
• 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.

Federal Loans

Student loan funds that are returned to the lender will reduce a student’s total Direct Loan balance.

Refunds

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:

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th* 8th*
TAP Points 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48
Prior Semester % to Complete 0 50 50 75 75 100 100 100
Minimum Accrued Degree Credits 0 6 15 27 39 51 60 75
GPA 0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0


* 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

 
The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a New York State funded, non-competitive, financial aid grant for state residents attending an approved post-secondary institution in New York as a full-time, matriculated student and meeting the minimum standards of Program Pursuit and Satisfactory Academic Progress.


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.

Eligibility:

  • 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.

Services

  • 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.

Excelsior Notes

  • 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.

Students are encouraged to investigate other grants available through the New York State Office of Vocational & Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), Veterans Administration, Training Readjustment Act, Social Security Administration, private clubs, charitable organizations and foundations. The Financial Aid Office and counselors can be of assistance in this area.
The Foundation has a comprehensive listing of scholarships which are available to incoming and current SUNY Erie students. For more information, visit the Foundation or contact us at (716) 851-1990.

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 chmielowiect@ecc.edu, (716) 851-1589


The NYS Aid to Native Americans provides aid to enrolled members of tribes listed on the official roll of New York State tribes or to the child of an enrolled member of a New York State tribe for study in New York State. Enrolled members of a New York State tribe and their children who are attending, or planning to attend, a college in New York State and are New York State residents are eligible for the program. There is no qualifying examination and awards are available for 2, 4 or 5-year programs.
Say Yes Buffalo provides scholarships to eligible graduates of Buffalo public and charter schools to attend all State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools and more than 90 private colleges and universities. The amount of these scholarships is determined by how long the student has been continuously enrolled at a Buffalo public or charter school and the tuition balance that remains after state, federal and institutional aid are subtracted. Family income is not a factor in determining the amount of Say Yes SUNY/CUNY Tuition Scholarships.
The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo is a public charity holding more than 750 different charitable funds, large and small, established by individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and businesses to benefit Western New York. Eligibility for scholarships is restricted to current residents of the eight counties of Western New York. Students must have been admitted to a nonprofit, U.S. Department of Education accredited school in the United States for full-time study at the undergraduate level. Students who attend college outside Western New York remain eligible if they maintain a permanent residence in Western New York. In addition, Pell eligible applicants attending school within the eight counties of Western New York will be given strong preference in the award decision process.
For more information:
Financial Aid Office, North Campus
(716) 851-1677