Financial Aid FAQs

Financial Aid FAQs

Federal School Code: 002879
New York State School Code: 2225

You apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available at The application becomes available on January 1 prior to the fall semester that you will be attending. You apply once every academic year (fall, spring, summer or summer, fall, spring depending on your college). SUNY Sullivan’s federal school code is 002879. If you are a New York State resident attending a college located in New York you should also apply for TAP at


Yes, you should still complete the FAFSA to determine if you are eligible for aid including student loans.

  • Yes, you may complete the FAFSA using estimated amounts. You can go back into the FAFSA and update your/your parents’ income after you file your return(s).

You file with the parent (and step-parent if re-married) that you lived with most during the past 12 months. If you did not live with either parent during the past 12 months, you file with the parent that provided the most support to you during the past 12 months. If you did not live with or receive support from either parent in the past 12 months, you file with the parent that provided the most support to you in the last year that you received support from a parent.

Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are not factors in determining your dependency status for federal financial aid. There are a series of questions on the FAFSA application that determine if your parent’s information will be required. Where you live and who claims you on their taxes are factors in determining your dependency for New York State TAP awards.

Approximately 30 percent of all applicants are chosen for verification by the federal processor. Applications are chosen both at random or because the application does not meet specific audit criteria that have been established. You can also be chosen by the financial aid officer that is reviewing your application for a variety of reasons. To reduce the possibility of being chosen be sure to answer all questions on the FAFSA application with accurate information.

Last year’s income is the best snap shot we have to determine your ability to pay for your educational expenses. If you have suffered a major loss of income or benefits (that have been reported on the FAFSA from the reporting year you should contact your financial aid office for assistance. After collecting information about your current year income and benefits, your financial aid officer may be able to change your expected family contribution. The same holds true if a dependent student’s parent’s income and benefits have been reduced.

First, call or stop in and check with the financial aid office staff. If they can’t help you or if you are uncomfortable speaking in the outer office, you can either phone or schedule an appointment with one of the counselors. If you are phoning with a question and you need to leave a message, please make the question as explicit as possible. That way, when a counselor returns your call, he or she may already have the answer for you. If you would prefer to see someone in person, you can make an appointment by calling the office or sending an email.

It is up to each school to process financial aid; financial aid does not ‘transfer’. Make sure your FAFSA results have been sent to SUNY Sullivan. Log on to your FAFSA and add our school code 002879. If you have a TAP award already processed, change the school to SUNY Sullivan. Lastly, make sure your official college transcript has been sent to the Admissions Office.

To receive financial aid, a student must be accepted and matriculated in a degree program. Only courses that count towards a student’s declared degree are eligible for financial aid. Prerequisite courses not in your major are not eligible for financial aid.

If you have failed or withdrawn from a class in a prior semester you may repeat it and be eligible for Federal Title IV aid (ex. Pell and Direct Loans) and TAP. You may repeat a class you have already passed one-time and be eligible for Title IV aid, however, this class will not count toward the full-time minimum for TAP.

Under most circumstances, the first money received by the college (grants and/or student loans) will pay your tuition bill. Any funds not used to pay your tuition bill will be given to you. Also, your tuition bill may contain other charges that will be paid by your financial aid. Examples include book charges, meal plans and on-campus student housing.

SUNY Sullivan will grant a book voucher to students that are eligible. To be eligible, a student must have and be eligible for enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and fees (and housing and meal plan if applicable). The remaining amount can be applied toward a book voucher.

Financial Aid can be used to cover the cost of a meal plan if you have enough financial aid to cover the cost of tuition and fees. Any remaining amount can be used to purchase a meal plan.

SUNY Sullivan on-campus housing will have a charge on your billing statement that financial aid may cover. Any funds not used to pay your tuition and fees (and other charges) will be given to you in the form of a refund check. These funds may be used by you to pay for off-campus housing.

If you drop classes during the first three weeks of the semester (the add/drop period) you will lose the financial aid that was awarded for those credit hours in full. For example a full-time student that has a Pell grant would lose 50 percent of their funding if they dropped to half-time enrollment during this period. Students that drop below six (6) credit hours during this period will lose their student loan funds in full. If funds were disbursed to you they may need to be repaid to the College. NYS TAP awards are for full-time (twelve [12] credits or more) students.

Credit hours are locked and financial aid is based on the number of credit hours that a student is registered for on the first day of the fourth week of the semester. If you withdraw from a class after that it may or may not have an impact on your current financial aid. Assuming you attended all of your classes, if after the withdrawal you are still enrolled at least half-time (six [6] or more credit hours) there will be no effect on your current financial aid; drop below half-time and any future loan disbursements will be canceled.

If you withdraw from all of your classes during the first three weeks of the semester (the drop-add period) you will lose 100 percent of your funding. If funds were disbursed to you they will need to repaid to the college.

Full withdrawal from classes after the first three weeks of the semester will require a proration of your financial aid based on the percentage of the semester that you have attended. Prior to the 60th percent point in the semester some of your financial aid will be required to be returned to the federal programs and you will incur a bill owed to the college. Once you have attended 60 percent of the semester you have earned your financial aid for that time period.

Yes. You must attend classes to earn your financial aid. If you are reported as never having attended a class you will lose the financial aid that you received for those credit hours. Not attending all classes will result in the cancellation of one hundred (100) percent of your funding. Students that stop attending a class but do not formally withdraw will receive a grade of “F” in that class at the end of the semester. If a student receives all “F” grades their financial aid will be prorated based on the last day of attendance as if the student had formally withdrawn from the classes.

Per Federal regulations student loans will be disbursed no earlier than 30 days into the semester for first-time borrowers. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling Interview at After 30 days of the semester have elapsed, and after your attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified, your student loan funds will be paid to your student account. Balances remaining after your bill has been paid will be disbursed to you shortly thereafter.

Returning students that have borrowed in the past, have accepted their loans on their financial aid award letter and have a credit balance owed to them can expect to receive these funds on or around the sixth week of classes after attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified. Late applicants will receive their loan funds on a rolling basis as they become available during the semester.

Checks that are not picked up within 20 days will be mailed to your permanent address, except for work-study pay checks. Following is a list of the most common programs that might send you a check:

  • Work-study: Student workers are paid every two weeks for the hours they have worked
  • Federal Pell Grant: If you have a “cleared for payment” Pell Grant by the first day of classes, you can expect a refund for excess funds approximately six weeks into the semester
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants: SEOG grants are processed at the same time as the federal Pell grant
  • New York State TAP Award: As long as the College has been made aware of the TAP award by HESC on a roster, the TAP award will be credited to your tuition bill and you should not expect to get a refund. In some cases the TAP certificate is received late and other forms of aid will have paid the tuition bill. In this case, you will receive a refund when New York State sends the award money to the college. This can take several months
  • Federal Student Loan Checks (both Subsidized and Unsubsidized): All continuing students who have their applications complete by July 1 should have a refund check issued on or around Friday of the sixth week of classes. A federal regulation requires first-time borrowers to have their student loan check delayed for 30 days. Refund checks will be issued AFTER student’s attendance and satisfactory progress have been verified. Students must complete a Master Promissory Note and an Entrance Counseling Interview at
  • Other Scholarships and Grants: Any money from grants or scholarships received by the college in your behalf will be credited to your tuition bill first, with the remainder given to you. A refund check will be issued to you after the Student Billing Office receives the funds and applies it to your student account

Note: Refund checks are issued approximately six weeks into the semester. You may check to see if you have a refund check by logging onto SUNY Sullivan web module and looking at your Accounts Receivable.


Repayment of federal student loans typically begins six months after you graduate, withdraw from college, or drop below half-time enrollment. This grace period allows time for you to plan for repayment by evaluating your financial situation and the various repayment options available. For most student loans, interest will accrue during your grace period.

Parent PLUS loan borrowers are expected to begin repayment within 60 days after full disbursement, unless you qualify for a deferment.

Before the end of your grace period, you’ll get a repayment schedule from your loan servicer that includes details about:

  • your balance
  • interest rate
  • fees
  • repayment options

Contact your loan servicer if you have not received this information before the end of your grace period.

Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your education loans forgiven or cancelled in exchange for performing a qualifying service for a defined period of time. Although you do not have to repay the part of your loan that is forgiven or cancelled, you may owe taxes on the forgiven/cancelled amount in cases where the forgiven/cancelled amount is considered income. See a list of loan forgiveness programs at Higher Education Services Corporation.

Graduates who received the Excelsior Scholarship must execute a remain in New York State for the length of time their award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in New York State.

Financial Aid Office

112 College Road
Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
FAX: 845-434-0014


Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Meet the Financial Aid Team


Keri Whitehead



Adam Linko

Financial Aid Officer


Nicole Feller

Financial Aid Officer


The Office of Financial Aid at SUNY Sullivan is comprised of a team of dedicated professionals committed to assisting students and their families in obtaining financial resources to help meet their financial obligation to the college while assuring compliance with Federal, State and Institutional regulations. The Office of Financial Aid provides quality customer service in delivering information on federal, state, institutional and alternative sources of financial aid, and debt management while in college and thereafter. In pursuing our mission, we provide accurate and accessible information to the campus community recognizing that only together we can achieve our common goal to enhance enrollment, retention and the academic success of our students 

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