The University at Albany is committed to the concept of helping students obtain the resources necessary to meet their educational expenses. A variety of grants, loans, and student employment opportunities are available from various sources. The application procedures and descriptions of the various types of financial aid included in this section were accurate at the time of publication. It should be kept in mind that financial aid programs are frequently modified by legislation.
Financial aid awards are based on the ability of the family to contribute towards the student's educational expenses in relation to the estimated cost of attendance at the school the student plans to attend. The total cost of attendance is called a student expense budget, and is an estimate of the student's direct and indirect educational expenses for an academic year. Direct expenses are tuition, fees, room and meals for students who live on campus and only tuition for students living off campus. The budgets also include allowances for estimated expenses for books and supplies, personal items, transportation, and living expenses for off-campus students. Several different budgets are used to take differences among students into consideration.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC):
The Expected Family Contribution towards educational expenses is computed from the information students and, if applicable, their families provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The EFC is shown on the Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to applicants after the FAFSA has been processed by the federal processor.
Simply stated, financial need is:
Estimated Cost of Education (Student Expense Budget)
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need
Application ProcedureNew Students
New students must be accepted for admission to the University prior to being considered for financial aid. In order to receive priority consideration for assistance administered by the University, all information required by the Admissions Office should be submitted on a timely basis. In addition, students wishing to apply for financial aid should submit the following forms:
- The FAFSA is the only form that initially must be submitted to be considered for financial assistance at the University. It should be completed and submitted to the federal processor as soon as possible after January 1.
- New York State residents will receive an Express TAP Application (ETA) from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation about one month after submitting the FAFSA if a New York State institution was listed on the FAFSA. The ETA should be submitted after the student has determined the institution he or she plans to attend in the fall.
- Transfer students beginning studies at the University during the spring semester must submit financial aid transcript(s) from the last school attended (only for the immediately preceding summer or fall semesters) to the Office of Financial Aid before federal student aid can be credited to their accounts.
- Students who have been awarded a Federal Stafford Loan will receive a Master Promissory Note (MPN) in the mail sometime early in the summer. This form must be completed before borrowers can receive the proceeds of the loan.
The Office of Financial Aid will begin making awards to new students accepted for admission beginning in January or February. Awards are made on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer as financial aid files become complete.
Application ProcedureReturning Students
The FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA must be filed each year a student wishes to be considered for financial assistance. The Renewal FAFSA will be sent in December or January each year to any student who applied for aid the prior year. The deadline for submitting the form in order to receive priority consideration for aid is usually in late April each year. New York State residents who receive TAP must submit an application each year.
Condition of Financial Aids Awards
- Undergraduate students do not need to return the financial aid award letter. If you wish to decline any or all of the aid awarded to you, please complete the declination portion of the copy of the award letter and return it to the Office of Financial Aid.
- Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis and students must reapply each year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available in the Office of Financial Aid around the first of the year. Students who applied for financial aid in the prior year will receive a Renewal FAFSA in November or December. The total amount of aid offered may vary each year in relation to the student's financial need and available funds.
- If requested, students, and, if dependent, their families, should be prepared to submit income and other documentation that may be requested by the Office of Financial Aid. Federal financial aid will not be credited to your account until we receive the required verification information.
- Typically, one-half of any financial aid received by a student is credited to the student's account ten days prior to the beginning of each semester or when funds become available.
- Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress towards their degrees in order to continue receiving financial aid.
- Amounts of aid from sources outside the University are estimates, and are based on the best information available to us. They do not represent a guarantee of these funds by the University.
- Students must inform the University of any student financial aid received from outside sources that is not listed on the award letter. This may result in an adjustment being made to the financial aid package.
- All students planning to receive Federal Perkins Loans or Federal Stafford Loans must have an entrance interview prior to disbursement of loan proceeds. Stafford Loan entrance interviews can be completed on the Student Accounts website. Loan recipients will be contacted by the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of Student Accounts regarding entrance interview schedules.
State Financial Aid
Academic Criteria for State Awards
In order to retain eligibility for New York State scholarship and grant awards, students must be in "good academic standing", which is comprised of two components: "satisfactory academic progress" and "pursuit of program".
Satisfactory Academic Progress
In order to make satisfactory progress towards a degree, students must accrue graduation credits each semester and have the cumulative grade point average shown on the academic progress chart in this section. Although the academic progress standards allow ten semesters for completion of a bachelor's degree, the maximum award period at the undergraduate level is four years, except for students enrolled in approved five-year degree programs or the Educational Opportunity Program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress Chart
New York State Grant and Scholarship Programs
Before being certified for a semester's payment, a student must have accrued a certain number of credits and have a minimum grade point average at the end of the semester, as shown in the following chart.
Payment Credits Minimum GPA First 0.0 0.00 Second 3.0 0.50 Third 9.0 0.75 Fourth 18.0 1.20 Fifth 30.0 2.00 Sixth 45.0 2.00 Seventh 60.0 2.00 Eighth 75.0 2.00 Ninth 90.0 2.00 Tenth 105.0 2.00
In addition to meeting the criteria outlined on the academic progress chart, State regulations require students who receive New York State awards to be enrolled on a full- time basis and complete a minimum number of credits each semester with grades of A, B, C, D, E, S, U, or I. Students receiving a New York State award for the first time must complete six credits each semester the first year of receipt of an award, nine credits each semester of the second year, and a minimum of twelve credits in semester of the third and fourth years.
Students who do not complete the minimum number of credits in a given semester are ineligible for New York State financial aid in the following term or until additional credits are completed to reach the minimum level. Grades of "I" must be completed within one semester to have the credits counted for New York State grant and scholarship purposes.
Waivers of the Progress Standards:
Students who fall below the minimum criteria stated previously may be eligible to receive one waiver of the satisfactory academic progress or pursuit of program criteria during their undergraduate career. In addition, students who lose TAP eligibility because they do not have a "C" average after receiving four TAP payments may request a waiver of the satisfactory academic progress standards. Sufficient and documented reasons must be presented for the student's inability to meet the minimum standards. Procedures for granting waivers will follow University policies relating to the appeals procedure for academic dismissal from the University. If granted, the waiver becomes part of the student's financial aid record and the student is expected to make minimum progress thereafter.
New York State Grant and Scholarship Programs
- Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
This grant program provides for awards of between $275 and $3085 a year to undergraduate students who are New York State residents enrolled in an eligible program at an institution within the state on a full-time basis. The maximum TAP award cannot exceed 90% of the institution's tuition charges. Awards are based on the family's New York State net taxable income. If more than one member of the family is attending an approved post secondary educational institution on a full-time basis, the net taxable income figure is reduced by $3,000 for the second person when the applicant's TAP award is computed and $2,000 for each additional student.
Undergraduate students may receive TAP for four years of full-time study. Students enrolled in approved five-year programs or in State sponsored opportunity programs may receive undergraduate aid for five years. Graduate students may receive awards for four years, but no student may receive awards for more than a total of eight years of undergraduate and graduate study.
- Vietnam Veterans/Persian Gulf Veterans Tuition Awards
In order to be eligible for this award, a student must have served in the United States armed forces in Indochina between December 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975 or in the Persian Gulf from August 2, 1990 to the end of such hostilities as evidenced by the receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal, been discharged from the service under other than dishonorable conditions, and be a New York State residents. In addition, the recipient must complete the appropriate award supplement, which is available from the Office of Financial Aid or the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, and apply for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award if a full-time student or a Federal Pell Grant it a part-time student. Full-time awards are $1,000 per semester, and part-time awards are $500 per semester or tuition, whichever is less. The total of all awards received cannot exceed $10,000.
- Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
New York State residents who are children of certain deceased or disabled veterans will receive $450 per year, regardless of need, to attend institutions within New York State. Applications are available from high schools or the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. Questions should be referred to your high school guidance counselor.
- Child of Police Officer-Firefighter-Correction Officer Awards
New York State residents who are children of deceased police officers or firefighters who died as a result of an on-the-job injury after June 30, 1982 are eligible to receive this award. The award is $450 a year for up to four years of undergraduate study. Additional information is available from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.
- State Aid to Native Americans
Applications and additional information about this program are available from the Native American Education Unit, New York State Education Department, Albany, New York 12234. Applicants must be a member of one of the Native American Tribes with New York State, and have graduated from high school or earned a General Equivalency Diploma. The award is $1350 per year for four years of full-time study. Students registered for less than full-time study will receive approximately $46 for each credit hour.
- Educational Opportunity Program Grant
New York State students who are educationally and economically disadvantaged are admitted to the University's Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) on the basis of their prospects for academic success. The University's program enrolls more than 650 new and continuing students each year. An applicant must be: (1) a New York State resident; and (2) academically disadvantaged according to definitions promulgated by the State University; and (3) economically disadvantaged according to guidelines approved by the Board of Regents and the Director of the Budget. Selection of eligible applicants is made by University at Albany personnel in accordance with the New York State regulations that govern the program. The amount of financial assistance provided to eligible EOP participants is dependent on financial need as determined by the University and availability of funds.
- Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarships
These scholarships provide up to $5,000 to New York State residents studying in certain fields leading to licensure in a profession approved by the Regents of the State of New York. Recipients must agree to practice their profession in New York State for at least one year. Preference is given to economically disadvantaged students belonging to a minority group underrepresented in the professions. More information is available from the New York State Education Department, Bureau of Higher Education Testing.
- Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)
This program provides tuition assistance to undergraduate New York State residents matriculated in a degree program and enrolled for between three to eleven credits per semester. The family New York State taxable income cannot exceed $50,550 in the case of dependent students and $34,250 if the student is independent. Award amounts are determined by the Office of Financial Aid and cannot exceed tuition charges. Applications and additional information are available from the Office of Financial Aid.
FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
Academic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Awards
Federal regulations require that students make satisfactory progress towards a degree in order to receive any federal student aid, including Federal Stafford Loans. Students may attempt up to 150% of the credits normally required to complete a baccalaureate degree and retain eligibility for federal student aid. At the University at Albany students must have earned 120 graduation credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Thus, student may attempt up to 180 credits and retain eligibility for federal student aid; however, students must complete a percentage of credits attempted each year as shown on the academic progress chart. In addition, students must maintain a satisfactory cumulative grade point average.
Satisfactory progress is described in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations section of this bulletin. Students on probation may be eligible to receive financial aid, but are subject to the University's policy regarding review and dismissal for academic reasons. Aid recipients on probation and those with less than a "C" average at the end of their second year of study or the equivalent will retain eligibility for aid if they meet the requirements shown on the academic progress chart and are allowed to continue their studies at the University.
Students who do not make satisfactory progress will lose their eligibility for federal student aid, but may appeal to the University for a waiver if they feel there are special circumstances that affected their ability to make academic progress.
Questions regarding academic progress should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid.
ACADEMIC PROGRESS CHART FOR FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
TITLE IV PROGRAMS
If Credits Attempted Are Between: Then the Following Percentage of Graduation Credits Must Be Completed: 3-30 30% 31-60 50% 61-90 60% 91-120 65% 120-150 70% 151-180 80%
Quantitative progress towards the degree will be measured once each year, usually at the end of the academic year. Students may restore eligibility for federal aid when they meet the standards shown on the chart.
- Federal Pell Grant
This federal grant program provides assistance to matriculated students attending college at least half-time (6 credits) and is designed to help those from lower and certain middle-income families. Eligibility is determined from the information provided on the FAFSA. Award amounts will range up to $2,470 for the 1996-97 academic year.
- Federal Stafford Loan
Any matriculated student aid applicant enrolled at least half-time may obtain this loan. Students with need may obtain the loan on a subsidized basis, which means no interest accrues on the loan while the borrower is in school. Students who do not demonstrate financial need may obtain the loan on an unsubsidized basis, which means they must pay interest while they are in school as well as during repayment. This loan is made by banks, credit unions, and other lending organizations.
First-year students may borrow up to $2,625, sophomores up to $3,500 and junior and seniors up to $5,500 each year. Independent students who are first-year students or sophomores may borrow an additional $4,000 each year on an unsubsidized basis, and an additional $5,000 each year as juniors or seniors The maximum that may be borrowed for undergraduate study is $46,000. At the time the loan is disbursed, an insurance fee and origination fee (currently 3.0%) with have been deducted by the lender from the amount borrowed. The interest rate is variable and may change each year. Currently the rate is 7.46% during repayment for all borrowers and 6.86% during the in-school period for those who have unsubsidized loans.
- Federal PLUS Loan
PLUS loans allow parents of dependent students to borrow from participating banks or other lenders up to the difference between the student's cost of education (the budget referred to earlier) and any financial aid awarded to the student. The loan is not automatic; a credit check is required. Repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days of receipt of the loan. The interest rate is variable on an annual basis, and is currently 8.46%. A 4% origination fee is deducted from the loan proceeds.
Applications are available from your lender.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Students receiving this type of assistance must have exceptional financial need. At the University at Albany, this grant normally ranges from $200 to $1,000 each year.
- Federal Perkins Loans
This loan is awarded to students with substantial financial need. Undergraduate students may borrow up to $4,000 each year, and a total of $20,000 for undergraduate studies. Interest does not accrue and payments are not due on the loan during the in-school period. Repayment begins nine months after the student leaves school, and 5% simple interest is charged on the unpaid vbalance of the loan. Under certain conditions, all or part of amount borrowed may be canceled.
- Federal Work Study Program
A work study award offers the recipient the opportunity to work on campus. The standard hourly rate is the federal minimum wage, but may be higher depending on the type of work performed and experience. Students are paid by check every two weeks.
- Bureau of Indian Affairs to Native Americans Higher Education Assistance Program
Eligibility is restricted to students with financial need who are pursuing a four-year degree, are at least one-fourth American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut and are enrolled members of a tribe, band or group recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office. Application must be made each year. In addition, first-time applicants must obtain tribal certification from the appropriate bureau agency or tribal office which records enrollment for the tribe.
- Veterans Education Assistance Program
(For Veterans and Service Persons Entering Active Duty on or after January 1, 1977).
Veterans who served and service persons currently serving are eligible if they (a) entered active duty after December 31, 1976, and (b) were released under conditions other than dishonorable or continue on active duty but have completed their obligated period of service (or six years of active duty, whichever comes first), and (c) have satisfactorily contributed to the program. (Satisfactory contribution consists of the monthly deduction of $25 to $100 from military pay, up to a maximum of $2700, for deposit in the special training fund.) Participants, while on active duty, may make a lump sum contribution to the fund.
The contributory plan permits the service person to voluntarily participate in a plan for future education or training in which the participant's savings are administered and augmented by the government. (Job training is not available.)
At the time the eligible participant elects to use the benefits to pursue an approved course of education or training, the United States will match the contribution at the rate of $2 for every $1 made by the participant. (The government may also make additional contributions into the fund.) Participants receive monthly payments for the number of months they contributed, or for 36 months, whichever is less. The amount of the payments is determined by dividing the number of months benefits will be paid into the participant's training fund total.
A participant may leave the program at the end of any 12 consecutive month period of participation, and those who do so may have their contribution refunded. Participants have 10 years from the date of last discharge or release from active duty within which to use these benefits. Secondary education is available to service persons eligible under these benefits and may be pursued during the last six months of the participant's first enlistment or at any time thereafter.