How to Apply for Federal and State Financial Aid

Applying for financial aid can seem overwhelming, but our Financial Aid Office is here to help you navigate the process. There is also an online tutorial you might find useful.

The first step to receiving financial aid begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). All grant, loan, and work-study applicants need to complete this application to determine eligibility for need-based financial aid programs, including New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

What you'll need

Before you begin, make sure you have all of the required documentation needed to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA:

  • Your Social Security number (and your parents', if you are a dependent), or alien ID numbers (if applicable).
  • Your driver's license (if applicable).
  • Your (and/or your parents’) 2018 income tax and W-2 forms, and records of any money earned, including earnings from Federal Work Study.
  • Records of any grants, scholarships, and fellowship aid that was included in your or your parents' adjusted gross income on the 2018 Federal Income Tax Return.
  • Any untaxed income records for 2018 (e.g., tax-exempt interest, child support).
  • Current bank statements and investment information under your name or your parents’ name.

Steps to apply for financial aid  

If you do not already have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), apply for one here. This will be your electronic signature for your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and student loans. If a parent is required to provide information on the FAFSA, then your parent(s) should also apply for an FSA ID.

When you create an FSA ID you need either an email or phone number to verify identity.  Before you start, make sure you have access to one or both of those things.  Also, please remember that when you create a FSA ID the student should use their permanent email and phone number.  Do not put parent's phone numbers or emails under the student's FSA ID, or vice versa.

If you experience difficulty with establishing your FSA ID, you may call the Federal Aid Help Center at 1-800-557-7394 for assistance. 

Now that you have your FSA ID set up log onto www.studentaid.gov. There is also an audio-visual tutorial you may find helpful.  Be sure you apply for the correct academic year. The MVCC federal school code is 002871.

If you do not sign electronically with your FSA ID, print out the signature page, sign (parent signature if needed), and mail the signatures to MVCC.  Make sure you click "submit without signatures".  Your application cannot be processed by the Department of Education until the signature is obtained (either electronically or through the mail). If the signature page is mailed, it will delay the processing time.

When you have completed the application, please review it carefully and make any changes if needed. When you are ready, click “Submit my FAFSA Now” on the last page. Once you have submitted your application, you will be taken to a confirmation page that shows your confirmation number and the estimated family contribution (EFC). You should print a copy of this page for your records.

You will get a confirmation email right away saying your FAFSA has been submitted.  When your FAFSA is processed (3 days) you will get another email saying it's been processed.  The school does not receive your FAFSA until it has been processed.

Please note: The FAFSA must be filed for each academic year. For Financial Aid purposes, the academic year begins with the Summer semester and ends after the following Spring semester.

Within five days of submitting your FAFSA, your electronic student aid report (SAR) will be emailed to the address you provided on your FAFSA. If you do not list an email address, the SAR will be mailed to your physical address within approximately two weeks of filing the FAFSA. The colleges listed on your FAFSA also will receive your information at this time.

If you are a full-time student (minimum of 12 credit hours) who is a resident of New York State, you may be eligible for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) though the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). When the FAFSA has been completed, you can link to the TAP on the web form from the confirmation page. The form will be pre-filled with the FAFSA data you provided. If TAP on the web is not completed at this time, you will be sent a notice from HESC with instructions on how to establish a HESC PIN and how to complete the online application. The MVCC NYS school code is 2105.

If you are interested in the Excelsior scholarship, this will cover tuition that is not covered by TAP, Pell, or other scholarship/grants.  To be notified when the Excelsior Scholarship application is available please sign up for notifications on www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior

The HESC website is www.hesc.ny.gov, and the phone number to reach them is 888-697-4372.

If you have fewer than 12 hours, but at least 6 credit hours, you may be eligible for a part-time TAP award. The Aid for Part Time Study application must be completed by the first day of classes.

When MVCC has received and reviewed your FAFSA, as well as any requested documents, an award letter will be sent. This will indicate any estimated eligibility for financial aid funds. Financial aid awards are based on full-time enrollment status and will be adjusted at the time of payment according to the number of credit hours you are attending. 

The FAFSA uses family income to determine eligibility from two years prior. If a family has experienced circumstances beyond their control (loss of employment, significant decrease in income, death in family, separation/divorce, etc.), it may be possible for the Financial Aid Office to make adjustments.

The MVCC Special Conditions Form can be found online and is also available in the Financial Aid Office. It should be completed as thoroughly as possible with any supporting documentation attached. All requests should be submitted before the start of the semester.