Financial Aid

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 studentís 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 studentís direct and indirect educational expenses for an academic year. Direct expenses are tuition, fees, room and meals for students who live on campus and tuition and fees for students living off campus. Indirect educational expenses 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) 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 Procedure

New 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:

  1. It should be submitted to the federal processor as soon as possible after January 1. 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.

  2. New York State residents will receive a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application 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 TAP application should be submitted after the student has determined the institution he or she plans to attend in the fall.

  3. Transfer students planning to begin study at the University the second semester of an academic year must submit financial aid transcript(s) to their previous school(s) and have them sent to the Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible. These forms may be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid at the University or the school previously attended by the students. These forms are no longer required for transfer students who plan to begin study at the University the first semester of an academic year.

The Office of Financial Aid will begin making awards to new students accepted for admission in February or March. Awards are made on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer as financial aid files become complete.

Returning 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.

Conditions of Financial Awards

  1. The original financial aid award notice should be completed and returned to the Office of Financial Aid by the deadline specified on the letter. Extension of the submission deadline will be made on request.

  2. Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis and students must reapply each year. The total amount of aid offered may vary each year in relation to the studentís financial need and available funds.

  3. 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.

  4. Typically, one-half of any financial aid received by a student is credited to the studentís account ten days prior to the beginning of each semester or when funds become available.

  5. In the case of transfer students beginning their studies during the second semester of an academic year, federal student aid will not be credited to the studentís account with the University until financial aid transcripts have been submitted to the Office of Financial Aid from all schools previously attended by the student.

  6. Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress towards their degrees in order to continue receiving financial aid.

  7. 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.

  8. Students must inform the University of any aid received from outside sources that is not listed on the award notice. This may result in an adjustment being made to the financial aid package.

  9. All students planning to receive Federal Perkins Loans or Federal Stafford Loans must have an entrance interview prior to disbursement of loan proceeds. Loan recipients will be contacted by the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of Student Accounts regarding entrance interview schedules.

State Financial Need

Academic Criteria for State Awards

New York State Education Department regulations establish eligibility for state scholarship and grant awards.

Satisfactory Academic Progress:   The following academic progress chart states the number of graduation credits and the minimum grade point average students must meet to remain eligible for future state payments. For example, note on the following chart for the bachelorís degree that a student must have completed 18 credits with a 1.2 grade point average to be eligible for the fourth payment of a New York State award. This means that if the student completed 17 credits with a 1.19 grade point average, the student would not qualify to receive the TAP award for the following semester. The student would need to reach the stated minimums to be eligible for the next award. (See ďwaiverĒ section.) Although the academic progress standards allow ten semesters for completion of a bachelorís degree, the maximum award period at the undergraduate level is eight semesters, except for approved five-year degree programs or in the case of EOP students.

Program Pursuit:   In addition to meeting the criteria outlined on the academic progress chart, the SED regulations require students who receive New York State awards to complete a minimum number of credits each semester as follows:

In each semester of the first year of New York State awards, the student must complete a minimum of 6 credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, E, S, U, or I.

In each semester of the second year of New York State awards, the student must complete a minimum of 9 credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, E, S, U, or I.

In each semester of the third and fourth years of New York State awards, the student must complete a minimum of 12 credits of course work with grades of A, B, C, D, E, S, U, or I.

If a student does not complete the minimum number of credits in a given semester, the student is 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 TAP purposes.

Waivers:   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. The waiver is not automatically given, and the student must consent to its use. Sufficient and documented reasons must be presented for the studentís inability to meet the minimum standards. If granted, the waiver becomes part of the studentís financial aid record and the student is expected to make minimum progress thereafter.

Academic Progress Chart

Standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress for Purpose of Determining Eligibility for Student Aid

All campuses-State University of New York

Calendar: Semester

Program: Baccalaureate Degree

Before being certified for a semesterís 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             8.0                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

State Programs

  1. Tuition Assistance Program (TAP):   This grant program provides for awards of between $100 and $3085 a year to undergraduate students who are New York State residents attending an institution within the state on a full-time basis. The maximum TAP award cannot exceed 90% of the institutionís tuition charges. Awards are based on the familyís 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 applicantís 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.

    Students apply for TAP by filing the FAFSA and the New York State TAP Application, which is available from the Office of Financial Aid. Award certificates will be mailed to the students in April or May by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

  2. 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, and apply for a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award if a full-time student or a federal Pell Grant if 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.

  3. Regents Awards for Child of Veteran Award:   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.

  4. Regents Awards for Child of Correction Officer Award:   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.

  5. Memorial Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased Police Officers and Firefighters:   This award provides financial assistance to the children and spouses of deceased police officers, firefighters, and volunteer firefighters who served in New York State and died of injuries sustained in the line of duty. Recipients must be full-time undergraduate students. Those attending SUNY institutions will receive scholarships that equal actual tuition and room and board costs plus an allowance for books, supplies and transportation. The scholarship is reduced by any federal Pell grant or other federal or state-funded scholarships or grants. Applications and more information are available from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation.

  6. 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, Education Building Room 545, 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 $1550 per year for four years of full-time study. Students registered for less than full-time study will receive approximately $65 for each credit hour.

  7. Educational Opportunity Program Grant:   New York State students who are educationally and economically disadvantaged are admitted to the Universityís Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) on the basis of their prospects for academic success. The Universityís program enrolls more than 700 new and continuing students each year and is generally regarded as one of the best programs of its kind.

    Students admitted to the University through the Educational Opportunity Program may be eligible for an EOP grant. 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 conducted by the State University of New York unit of the EOP on campus, or both. The amount of financial assistance and support provided to eligible EOP participants is dependent on need as determined by the University and the program, within the state guidelines.

  8. Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarships:   These scholarships provide up to $5,000 per year 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.

  9. 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.

  10. New York National Guard Educational Incentive Program:   Members in good standing of the New York State Army or Air National Guards or New York State Naval Militia may receive scholarships of up to the average SUNY tuition rate to attend any SUNY or CUNY institutions, any New York community colleges or designated independent colleges. The recipients must also be New York State residents who are matriculated students in good standing enrolled on at least a half-time basis. All recipients must apply for Tuition Assistance Program awards and federal Pell grants. Additional information about the program is available from National Guard unit commanders.

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 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, students 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 Universityís policy regarding review and dismissal for academic reasons. Aid recipients on probation and those with less than a ďCĒ 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 Program

If Credits Attempted          Then the Following Percentage of
Are Between:                  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 Programs

  1. 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 $3,000 for the 1998-99 academic year.

  2. 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. The maximum that may be borrowed for undergraduate study is $23,000.

    At the time the loan is disbursed, an insurance fee and origination fee (currently 4.0%) with have been deducted by the lender from the amount borrowed. The interest rate is variable and may change 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 a junior or senior.

  3. Federal PLUS Loans:   PLUS loans allow parents of dependent students to borrow from participating banks or other lenders up to the difference between the studentís 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. A 4% origination fee is deducted from the loan proceeds.

    Applications are available from your lender.

  4. 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.

  5. Federal Perkins Loan:   This loan is awarded to student with substantial financial need. Undergraduate students may borrow up to $3,000 each year, and a total of $15,000 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 balance of the loan. Under certain conditions, all or part of amount borrowed may be canceled.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 participantís 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 participantís 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 participantís first enlistment or at any time thereafter.

Undergraduate Bulletin — Table of Contents
University at Albany
State University of New York