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.
Most student financial assistance is awarded on the basis of financial need. Simply stated, financial need is:
Estimated Cost of Education (Student Expense Budget)
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
= Financial Need
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 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 following are examples of two budgets used to determine eligibility during the 2004-2005 academic year:
Student Expense Budgets 200405
|Type of Expense
||Dependent Student Living On-campus
||Independent Student Living Off-campus
Tuition and Fees *
Room and Board*
*Institutional charges subject to change every year.
Out-of-state tuition is an additional $4900 for full-time undergraduate students.
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.
The University has established February 1, 2005, as the final deadline for the submission of the 2004-2005 FAFSA information to the federal processor for the 2004-2005 academic year. In addition, the Office of Financial Aid must receive a valid Student Aid Report by March 15, 2005. The Office of Financial Aid will not process FAFSA information received after these deadlines.
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. Students who file the FAFSA online will be able to apply for a New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award at the same time. The FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after January 1 regardless of whether or not the applicant has heard from the Admissions Office. The Office of Financial Aid will begin making awards to new students accepted for admission beginning in February or March. Awards are made on a rolling basis throughout the spring and summer as financial aid files become complete.
- 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 paper FAFSA if a New York State institution was listed on the form. The ETA should be submitted after the student has determined the institution he or she plans to attend in the fall.
- New students who have been awarded a Federal Stafford Loan and not informed the Office of Financial Aid that they wish to decline the loan will receive information in the mail in late May about how to file the required Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. This form must be completed before borrowers can receive the proceeds of the loan.
The FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA must be filed on paper or online 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 may be required to submit an ETA each year.
Students who plan to attend summer sessions at the University at Albany are eligible to receive financial aid. In order to be considered for aid students must have filed the FAFSA for the upcoming academic year and the University at Albany Summer Information Sheet, which is available from the Office of Financial Aid around April 15 every year.
Students who plan to participate in a SUNY Study Abroad program are eligible to receive financial aid. No special application is required, but students are required to submit a letter of acceptance into a Study Abroad program along with an estimate of program costs. Students who plan to participate in a program at an institution outside the SUNY system will be required to submit, in addition, a consortium agreement (available from the Office of Financial Aid) and a transfer credit permission form (available from academic advisers). These students will be eligible to receive federal financial aid and may be eligible to receive State of New York assistance.
Visiting students not matriculated at the University are not eligible for financial aid from this institution.
Condition of Financial Aids Awards
- You should complete and return the original of the award notice only if you plan to decline any of the student financial aid offered to you.
- Financial aid is awarded on an annual basis and students must reapply each year by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or renewal FAFSA or by filing online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The renewal form will be sent during the winter to the address you put on last year's form. Regular FAFSA forms are available in this office in January. 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. Do not send any documentation unless it has been requested by this office.
- 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. Under certain circumstances, students may be granted a waiver of the progress requirements.
- 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 the first disbursement of loan proceeds. Stafford Loan entrance interviews can be completed on the Mapping Your Future website. Perkins Loan recipients will be contacted by the Office of Financial Aid or the Office of Student Accounts regarding entrance interview schedules.
- Students whose family financial circumstances are adversely affected after being awarded student financial aid should visit with a financial aid counselor about the situation. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to increase the financial aid award.
- Students who wish to question a decision made by the Office of Financial Aid should send a letter of appeal to the Director of Financial Aid.
University at Albany Scholarships-The Office of Financial Aid does not award scholarships. However, the University offers a number of merit scholarships to undergraduate students. They are called Presidential, Achievement and College Scholarships and are awarded to new students by the Admissions Office and renewed by the Office of the Undergraduate Dean. Eligibility requirements and award amounts vary. Undergraduate students who have been awarded merit scholarships will have received information about the awards from the Office of Admissions. Athletic Scholarships are awarded by the Department of Athletics and Recreation.
STATE FINANCIAL AID
Academic Criteria for State Awards
- You must be matriculated in an eligible degree program at the beginning of your course of study. In addition, to be considered matriculated for State financial aid purposes, the New York State Education Department requires that the student declare a major no later than the beginning of the junior year if enrolled in a baccalaureate program.
- You must be enrolled full-time (twelve or more credits) by the TAP certification date, which is one day after the 100% tuition liability date each semester. Courses added after the certification date do not count towards full-time status.
- If students repeat courses for which they received passing grades and the course schedule does not indicate that the course can be re-taken for credit, the courses will not count towards satisfactory academic progress or pursuit of program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress:
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".
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.
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 for 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 for New York State residents who are full-time undergraduate students currently provides for annual awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 or tuition, whichever is less. 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.
- 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.
- 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 or the child of a member of one of the Native American Tribes in New York State, be a State resident attending an institution within the State, and have graduated from high school or earned a General Equivalency Diploma. The award is $1750 per year for up to five years of full-time study. Students registered for less than full-time study will receive approximately $75 for each credit hour.
- Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) 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.
- 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.
- Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
This competitive federal honors program provides for scholarships of up to $1,500 per year to academically talented high school students who are New York residents. It is renewable for up to four years. Minimum eligibility criteria are a high school average of 95 and combined SAT scores of 1250 from the same test administration.
- New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence
This program provides renewable scholarship assistance in the amount of $500 or $1,500 to New York residents attending an institution within the State. Awards are based on student grades in certain Regents examinations.
- Americorps Education Award
New York residents participating in an Americorps program on a full-time basis (1700 hours of community service) will receive an education award of $4,725 and may be eligible to receive a living allowance, health insurance, and child care. Part-time members who complete 900 hours of service earn an education award of $2,623 and in some cases may receive a living allowance.
- Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship
This scholarship is sponsored by the New York State Lottery and is applicable only to tuition charges. It provides awards of $1,000 per year for four years of undergraduate study. Potential recipients are nominated by their high schools on the basis of academic performance, participation in extracurricular and community activities, and leadership skills.
WORLD TRADE CENTER SCHOLARSHIPS
This award provides financial assistance to the children, spouses, and financial dependents of deceased or severely and permanently disabled victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or the subsequent rescue and recovery operations. Undergraduates who are full-time matriculated students enrolled in an approved program in New York and meet requirements for New York State grants and scholarships are eligible. Recipients need not be New York State residents or U.S. citizens to receive the scholarship. The award covers up to four years of full time undergraduate study and will pay SUNY tuition and mandatory fees, actual room and board charged to students living on campus or an allowance for these items for commuter students, and allowances for books, supplies, and transportation. The scholarship is reduced by any federal, state, or private assistance awarded to the student to pay educational expenses. Applications are available at www.hesc.com .
FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID
Academic Eligibility Criteria for Federal Awards
Federal regulations require students to 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, students may attempt up to 180 credits and retain eligibility for federal student aid; however, students must also complete a percentage of credits attempted each year as shown on the academic progress chart. Transfer credits accepted by the University are considered to be attempted credits for this purpose. Transfer students, regardless of the number of transfer credits accepted by the University, must complete a minimum of 50% of credits attempted during their first year at the university.
In addition, students must maintain a satisfactory cumulative grade point average. Academic retention standards are 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. Students receiving waivers continue to be eligible for federal financial aid for an additional semester or one academic year, depending on individual circumstances. Questions regarding academic progress should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and/or the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.
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 $4,050 for the 2004-2005 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 (usually 3.0%) with have been deducted by the lender from the face amount of the loan. The interest rate is variable on an annual basis and may range from about 3% to 8.25%.
Students who plan to borrow for the fist time must have master promissory note (MPN) on file with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and may complete it online. Students with an MPN on file do not need to file another.
- 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 may range from about 4% to 9.0%. A 3.0% 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 depending on availability of funds, 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 balance 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 varies from $5.50 to $6.00, 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 (VEAP)
The Post-Vietnam Veteran's Educational Program (VEAP) is a benefit for veterans who paid into VEAP while they were in the service. In order to be eligible, veterans must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, entered active duty after December 31, 1976 but before July 1, 1985, and completed twenty-four continuous months of active duty. There are some exceptions to the last requirement. Benefits are paid monthly and are based on the veteran's contributions and Veteran's Administration matching amounts in relation to the number of months contributions were made by the veteran, type of education being pursued, and the length of the educational program. Contact the Veterans Administration for additional information.
- Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty
This program provides for up to thirty-six months of educational benefits to eligible veterans.
Basic eligibility criteria are an honorable discharge and a high school diploma or GED. In addition, the veteran must meet the criteria set forth in one of three categories. These criteria are based on dates of active duty, length of service, and special requirements specific to each particular category. Detailed information is available from the Veterans Administration.
- Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve
Selected Reserve educational benefits are available to members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserves as well as the Army National Guard and the Air Guard. It is the first Veteran's Administration program that makes educational benefits available to reservists who have never served on active duty. Additional information about eligibility criteria and monthly benefit amounts is available from your Reserve or Guard unit.
Veteran's Administration Survivor's and Dependents' Educational Assistance
This education benefit is available to certain veterans' children who are at least eighteen years old, veterans' spouses, and surviving spouses who have not remarried. The veteran must be totally and permanently disabled from a service-related disability or died because of a service-related disability. Eligible persons can receive benefits for up to forty-five months. Additional information is available from the Veterans Administration.