The Virtual Office of Financial Aid
is open for business

New York State Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, provides you the opportunity to receive a full tuition scholarship, up to $6,470 for the year.

UAlbany shares your concerns regarding the timely notification of your 2020-21 Excelsior Scholarship application status. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reduced state revenues and the State is contending with a devastating revenue loss amounting to $61 billion over four years. In light of this, New York Higher Education Services Corporation processing of new Excelsior Scholarship applications is pending Federal assistance, which has been delayed since April. In the absence of multi-year federal funding for New York State awards, Excelsior Scholarship awards may have to be reduced and/or prioritized for current recipients, as provided for under the program. NYSHESC will update applicants as more information becomes available.

The Virtual Office of Financial Aid is open for business. While our staff are not physically present in the office, you may contact us through the following:

Through E-mail, we will answer inquiries and make arrangements to serve your needs. .

Telephone and Minerva Online-chat
Our telephone service (518) 442-3202 and Minerva Online-chat
( ) are available during our office hours:

Regular Office Hours:

  • Monday through Thursday
    • 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Friday
    • 10:00am - 4:00pm

We are taking every reasonable step to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families. We thank you for your patience while we continue to serve you in alternate ways.

Please continue to monitor our COVID-19 information web page, which contains all communications sent to our University community, as well as regular updates.

CARES Act Questions and Answers

For information on the Federal CARES Act at the University of Albany please view the Student Financial Services CARES Act Q&A

CARES Act Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Department of Education is requiring institutions that are receiving funds from the CARES Act, to disclose the following information: CARES Act Reporting Requirements

COVID-19 Update for NYS Grant and Scholarship Recipients

As our state and nation respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is working with colleges and universities to ensure that students receiving NYS financial aid retain their awards if they are unable to satisfy their eligibility requirements due to COVID-19. Visit the Finances tab on MyUAlbany for more information.

Student Loan Update

In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, the CARES Act has placed federal student loan borrowers, currently in repayment, in an administrative forbearance. This will suspend loan payments from March 13, 2020 up until December 31, 2020. For more information about this program, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.



Enrolling at the University at Albany is an investment in your future. The University provides both merit aid and need based aid to help you achieve your dreams.

What is financial aid and who is it for?

Financial aid helps students pay for college — which is why we encourage every student to apply for financial aid, even if they don’t think they will qualify for much assistance. Nearly 80% of our undergraduate students apply and about 60% receive money they don’t need to pay back.

To determine if you qualify for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). New York State residents and students meeting the NYS Dream Act eligibility should also complete all necessary New York State Grants and Scholarships applications.

What types of financial aid are available?

There are two categories of financial aid: gift aid and self-help aid.

Gift aid is free money — also referred to as grants and scholarships that students do not pay back. It’s awarded based on merit or financial need.

  • Merit aid is generally awarded based on academic aptitude or another unique skill. Students are notified of their merit award(s) in the acceptance letter sent by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
  • Financial need can only be determined by filing the FAFSA.

Self-help aid is money students eventually pay back or work to earn — typically in the form of federal or private student loans, or federal work-study.

  • Students must repay federal student loans, unless a certain situation permits student loan forgiveness.
  • For federal work-study, students — generally those with the highest needs — are paid to work in various departments across campus.

What steps do I need to take to receive financial aid?

> For current UAlbany students

> For transfer students

> For graduate students

> For newly admitted freshmen: 

Prospective UAlbany undergraduates can begin the financial aid application process starting October 1 by completing the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year. Beginning in February, students will be sent instructions on how to view their financial aid awards and accept, decline or reduce these awards through MyUAlbany.

Step 1: Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be completed and submitted online.

The FAFSA opens each year on October 1 and the priority filing date for prospective UAlbany undergraduates is December 1.

The University at Albany Federal School Code to be entered on the FAFSA is 002835.

If prompted, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to automatically load your federal income information to the FAFSA. This streamlines the application and eliminates the potential need to submit tax documents to the UAlbany Financial Aid Office.

Have your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) ready to electronically sign the FAFSA. Dependent students will need an FSA ID for themselves and one parent.

Step 2: File all New York State Grant and Scholarship Applications (New York State residents ONLY)

New York State residents may link to the New York State Grants and Scholarships application at the end of the FAFSA. This application will determine your eligibility for NYS aid including the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

You also must file the Excelsior Scholarship application when it becomes available in April. The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. Applicants must be New York State residents, US citizens or eligible non-citizens, and have resided in New York State for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term. Other eligibility requirements are listed on the New York State Higher Education website.

While institutions may estimate the Excelsior award amount, UAlbany excludes Excelsior Scholarships in preliminary financial packages. Eligibility is based on the application process and requires students to sign an Excelsior Scholarship contract with New York State. A premliminary financial aid package will only include information about grants and scholarships we're confident the student will be eligible to recieve. 

The undergraduate NYS Grants and Scholarships school code for UAlbany is 0895.

Step 3: Monitor MyUAlbany for Important Items

Once UAlbany receives and processes the FAFSA, items may appear on the MyUAlbany Important Items list. Financial aid processing cannot continue until these Important Items are completed.

Important Items can be documentation requests, problems with your FAFSA that need to be fixed or processes that need to be completed by the student or parent.

The student will receive notifications until the items are completed. Students can click each item in the Important Item list to get more detailed information on what’s needed to move forward.

Important Items can appear at any point during the aid processing cycle. Items most commonly appear on the Important Items list after the FAFSA is filed and also after students accept their Financial Aid Award.

Once you submit the requested documentation, or satisfy the outstanding request(s), we aim to review your documents within two weeks. Peak times, such as August, may result in processing delays. Please monitor your email for important updates or subsequent requests for information.

If Important Items are not resolved, it could prevent your award or refund being processed and/or applied to your account.

Step 4: Submit Documentation to the Office of Financial Aid

Requested documents should always be submitted online, unless otherwise noted. You will receive notification via email and/or text message on how to upload these documents. If at any point you need to speak with a financial aid advisor, please feel free to contact our office.

The student's nine-digit UAlbany ID should appear on each page submitted.

Note: For the protection of your information, students and parents are advised not to send documents with private information such as tax data, social security numbers or citizenship verification via email.

Step 5: Accept Award Through MyUAlbany

Shortly after being accepted to the University at Albany, students are assigned a UAlbany pin number. Instructions on how to use the pin and log in to MyUAlbany are sent by Information Technology Services (ITS).

On MyUAlbany, students can review their financial aid and accept, reduce or decline their financial aid award offers.

For information on how to accept awards, please visit the Accepting Awards page.

If financial aid doesn’t cover my entire bill, how can I make up the difference?

When comparing college costs, it is important to always be aware of the bottom line — meaning the money you pay after financial aid.

Direct expenses at UAlbany include tuition, fees, room and board. To determine how much you’ll need to pay, add up those direct expenses, then subtract all financial aid you’ve been offered.

If you’re left with a balance to pay, consider the following options:



COVID-19 Information

The University at Albany Financial Aid Office is aware that COVID-19 is affecting students and their families. The University has created a resource page to address questions about COVID-19.

Please click here for additional information.

Federal Aid Census Date

The Federal Aid Census Date (last day of late registration for the semester) is used by the Office of Financial Aid to confirm your enrollment status and subsequent federal financial aid eligibility. Fulltime study, defined as being enrolled in 12 or more credits applicable toward your degree is determined by your enrollment on the Census Date.

Note: The last day of late registration for Fall 2020 is September 4th, 2020.

Answers to the most common financial aid and billing questions:

University at Albany Scholarships

Additional Direct Loan Eligibility for Change in Grade Level

Based on changes in the number of credit hours a student completes over the course of a semester a student/s grade level may increase which would increase their loan eligibility for the academic year. For example, if a sophomore completes enough credits in the fall semester making them a junior in the spring semester of the same academic year they may be eligible for a loan increase if they have not already received aid up to the cost of attendance.

Please refer to the annual borrowing limits to see if you have progressed to the next grade level.

If you have determined that you are eligible for additional loans based on a grade level increase please complete the Federal Direct Loan Adjustment Request Form selecting "Grade Level Change" for the adjustment reason.

Change in Direct Loan Origination Fees

Direct Loans disbursed for the first time on or after October 01, 2019 will be subject to the following origination fees:

  • Direct Subsidized (Undergraduates) - 1.059%
  • Direct Unsubsidized (Undergraduates) - 1.059%
  • Direct Unsubsidized (Graduates) - 1.059%
  • Direct PLUS (Parents/Graduates) - 4.236%

Please note: these new origination fees apply to the period of October 01, 2019 to September 30, 2020. Origination fees on subsequent loans first disbursed on or after October 01, 2020 are subject to change.

New York State Dream Act

The New York State Dream Act opens the doors of higher education, providing access to the Excelsior Scholarship , New York State TAP Grant and other NYS Scholarships.

Step-by-Step User Guide to completing the NYS Dream Act application

Frequently Asked Questions for the NYS DREAM Act.

Federal Verification Requirements Change

Effective immediately, the US Department of Education is allowing students/parents who are selected for federal verification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to submit the following documents:

  • Students selected for verification for 2019-20, can submit signed copies of their 2017 IRS tax returns or a 2017 IRS tax transcript. If you were not required to file taxes, you can submit an official verification of non-filing obtained from the IRS or a signed statement stipulating household income and that they were not required to file taxes with the IRS.

If your FAFSA was selected for verification, please upload all corresponding documents to our portal as soon as possible. Please note, failure to comply with federal verification regulations will result in the cancellation or loss of your federal financial aid.

Appeal for Special Circumstances

Please visit the Appeal for Special Circumstances Financial Aid webpage for more information about the steps you need to take to request a financial aid Appeal for Special Circumstances.


Useful College Planning Tools

Below are consumer information tools students and families will find helpful in assessing college costs and comparing important college information.

The University at Albany Cost Comparison Worksheet allows you to compare the costs, financial aid offers, and out-of-pocket expenses of the University at Albany to other institutions of higher education.

The College Scorecard includes essential information about a particular college's cost, its graduation rates and the average amount its students borrow. The College Scorecard is a planning tool and resource to assist students and families as they evaluate options in selecting a school.

College Navigator is an interactive website that allows you to explore and compare features of different institutions, including tuition and fees, retention and graduation rates, use of financial aid and student loan default rates. The College Navigator also features a cost calculator and school comparison tool.

The Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a model financial aid award letter designed to simplify the information prospective students receive about costs and financial aid. Many colleges and universities have adapted a Shopping Sheet. This tool is designed to provide an easy way to make clear comparisons among institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school.

The Paying for College webpage can be used by prospective students to enter the names and actual financial aid award information to compare up to three schools.

FAFSA Filing Dates

Available every year starting October 1st, the FAFSA should be completed and submitted on-line through

Prospective students wishing to receive priority consideration for aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid must have completed the FAFSA and received an official expected family contribution from the Department of Education by December 1st.

Continuing students wishing to receive priority consideration for aid administered by the Office of Financial Aid must have completed the FAFSA and received an official expected family contribution from the Department of Education by January 1st.

To ensure processing for the current aid year, all corresponding FAFSA forms should be received by November 15th for fall only students and April 15th for fall/spring or spring only students. FAFSA forms received after these dates may not be processed prior to the conclusion of the respective semester. For example, a student graduating at the conclusion of fall 2019, should submit the 2019-20 FAFSA no later than November 15th.

Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

Students and parents who have filed their federal tax returns may be able to use the IRS Data Retrieval option on the FAFSA. This tool simplifies the completion of the FAFSA by automatically transferring federal tax information to the FAFSA.

We strongly encourage you and your parents to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool which is the fastest and easiest way to provide accurate tax information. The IRS tax information can be reviewed first before being transferred directly into your FAFSA.


The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for the administration of state, federal and institutional financial aid programs.  In conjunction with the Student Financial Center, the Office of Financial Aid assists students and families in navigating the financial aid process.

For assistance, visit the Student Financial Center located in the Campus Center G26, or call the Student Financial Center at (518) 442-3202.