Process of Awarding Financial Aid

Award Letter, E-mails, and Postcards

We will mail you a paper financial aid award letter when we receive your valid FAFSA from the federal government (see Apply for Aid). We generally start to receive FAFSAs and also mail award letters on March 1 for the upcoming academic year. We then continue to download FAFSAs and mail award letters once a week. The award letter lists all aid programs that you are eligible for.

Visit MyPlattsburgh to view your aid online and review any requirements

If there are changes in your aid after the initial paper award letter, we will notify you via an email to your Plattsburgh account. We will also send an email to your Plattsburgh e-mail account when there is a task that you must complete for us to finalize your financial aid, bill, or both. We mail postcards to new students who do not yet have a Plattsburgh email account.

It is important that you check your Plattsburgh email often. Most aid programs are deducted from the bill as long as you have completed all of the steps that are required for us to pay the aid to your account.

Failure to complete your aid requirements will delay aid and cause other problems.

Determining Your Aid Eligibility

Your eligibility for aid is based upon your cost of attendance (COA), expected family contribution (EFC), unmet need, enrollment status, eligibility requirements of each specific aid program, academic progress, and fund availability.

Visit MyPlattsburgh to view your COA, EFC, unmet need, and enrollment status

In order to meet your need, we first award any scholarships, federal Pell grant, and the Tuition Assistant Program Grant for which you are eligible. Federal Nursing Loans are then added to your package if need remains and you are a nursing student. Federal subsidized loans are then offered to eligible applicants with need remaining. Eligible students are then offered a SUNY SUSTA grant, Federal SEOG grant, Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study as long as funds remain. Federal unsubsidized loans are offered to students whose total aid remains below their COA.

Students who require additional assistance to cover their bill or education expenses may wish to consider a Payment Plan, Parent PLUS Loan, or alternative student loan.

Cost of Attendance (COA)

Cost of attendance (COA) is the sum of the educational expenses that we expect you to incur during your enrollment period. These expenses include billed costs such as tuition, mandatory fees, optional fees, room rent and meals. Also included are non-billed expenses such as books, off-campus rent, food, transportation costs and personal expenses like clothing and entertainment. We use the enrollment status and housing plans that you reported on your FAFSA to determine your cost of attendance.

Enrollment Status

Your enrollment status includes your level (undergraduate, graduate, etc), class (freshmen, sophomore, etc), credit load (full-time, half-time, etc), residency (NYS, out-of-state etc), and housing plans (on-campus, off-campus, at home), among others. The financial aid award letter summarizes the enrollment status and housing plans that you reported on your FAFSA. Please inform us of any changes or errors in your enrollment status since these may affect your aid eligibility and change your financial aid.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that your family is expected to pay toward your cost of attendance. EFC is calculated using the information that you reported on your FAFSA and a federal formula that is uniformly applied to all aid applicants. It is a measure or tool that the federal government uses to rate the financial status of you and your parents, and also compare your financial status to others. For example, a student with an EFC of $1,000 is generally considered to have more financial need than a student with an EFC of $10,000. Your EFC does not reflect the amount you and your parents will have to pay out of pocket.

Unmet Need

Unmet need is the difference between the students COA and EFC (COA Less EFC Less Other Resources = Unmet Need). We use this formula to determine eligibility in various federal, state, institutional, and private aid programs. Your award letter reflects the aid programs that you are eligible for based on this formula.

Accepting Aid

You need to accept or decline any loans or work-study in an offered status. It's a good idea to consider all of your college financing options, review the costs of college and talk with your family before finalizing your award offers.

When you are ready to either accept or decline your offered loans or work-study:

New Students

  1. Login to MyPlattsburgh
  2. Click: Admissions tab
  3. Click: Review Financial Aid Awards in the Admissions Checklist box
  4. Click: Accept Award Offer tab and follow the instructions
  5. Students borrowing for the first time with a federal direct subsidized loan or federal direct unsubsidized loan must also:
    1. Complete and sign your electronic Master Promissory Note
    2. Complete an online entrance counseling session
  6. Any parent electing to use a Parent Loan (PLUS) must sign in to StudentLoans.gov using the parent federal PIN and then click Request a Direct PLUS Loan. If credit approved for the PLUS loan, your parent will also need to complete his/her MPN at the same website, if this is his/her first PLUS loan at Plattsburgh.
  7. If you have any outside educational funds that are not listed on your award letter, mail a copy of the donor's letter to the Financial Aid Office.

Enrolled Students

  1. Login to MyPlattsburgh
  2. Click: Student Services tab
  3. Click: My Awards in the Financial Aid box
  4. Select: appropriate aid year
  5. Click: Accept Award Offer tab and follow the instructions
  6. Students borrowing for the first time with a federal direct subsidized loan or federal direct unsubsidized loan must also:
    1. Complete and sign your electronic Master Promissory Note
    2. Complete an online entrance counseling session
  7. Any parent electing to use a Parent Loan (PLUS) must sign in to StudentLoans.gov using the parent federal PIN and then click Request a Direct PLUS Loan. If credit approved for the PLUS loan, your parent will also need to complete his/her MPN at the same website, if this is his/her first PLUS loan at Plattsburgh.
  8. If you have any outside educational funds that are not listed on your award letter, mail a copy of the donor's letter to the Financial Aid Office.

Determining Your Award Status

Most aid programs are deducted from the bill as long as you have completed all of the steps that are required for us to pay the aid to your account. The aid programs listed on your award letter and on my.plattsburgh.edu have an award status:

  • Offered: you need to decide whether to accept, decline, or reduce the loan or work-study award. You will continue to receive e-mail or postcard reminders until you make a decision. Loan amounts that are offered are not deducted from the bill.
  • Accepted: you have accepted the loan or work-study award. Accepted loan amounts are deducted from the bill as long as you have completed all of the steps that are required for us to pay the aid to your account (ex. Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling Session). Work-study is never deducted from the bill because it is paid via a bi-weekly paycheck.
  • Estimated: we have not received confirmation of the award amount from the funding source and it may change. Award amounts that are estimated are not deducted from the bill.
  • Certified: we have certified your alternative loan with the lender. Loan amounts that are certified are deducted from the bill.
  • Confirmed: we have confirmed the award amount with the funding source. Award amounts that are confirmed are generally deducted from the bill.

 

Contact Information

For more information about Financial Aid at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Financial Aid Office
Location: Kehoe Administration Building, Suite 401-410
Phone: (518) 564-2072
Toll-Free Phone: (877) 768-5976
Fax: (518)564-4079
Email: finaid@plattsburgh.edu

Our mailing address:

Financial Aid Office
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-12681