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College & Career – November is Financial Planning Month!

College Affordability

November is Financial Planning Month!

Complete Financial Aid Forms & Explore Scholarships Opportunities

Submit the Free Lunch Form here

Completing the Financial Aid Process is a critical step in making the possibility of attending and completing college a reality. It should be done in a timely manner and with accuracy. We encourage you to complete & submit financial aid forms by the holiday break. This is not a deadline for completing financial aid forms, but rather an important personal goal for you to set, leaving you free to research & apply for scholarships, have plenty of time for financial aid follow ups, while better ensuring  you have access to all of the funding you might be eligible to receive and enjoying the break with friends and family having achieved this important milestone.

Submitting FAFSA & TAP are your first steps.  They are necessary for students to access federal funds and needed for New York state resident students to apply for New York state funds in addition to other NY state funding like Excelsior Scholarship or the Jose Peralta DREAM Act applications.  Finally, some colleges and universities ask that  a student complete these forms before considering a student for institution based aid. 

How do I apply for financial aid?

Gather things you’ll need  to complete the 2021-22 FAFSA

(Additional check list attached)

Step 1: Create an  FSA ID

You will need one for you and one for your parents. If you have a sibling in college that has completed financial aid, your parent(s) already has an FSA ID and will not need to create a new one.

Step 2: Complete the following online forms

FAFSATAP, Jose Peralta DREAM ActCSS Profile (if the private institution requires it), Excelsior or Enhanced Tuition

If you are completing FAFSA without the support of a completion event, please have FAFSA REVIEWED by the COLLEGE OFFICE before submitting.

You can reach out to me or our College Bridge Coach, Kayla Carter to set up an appointment.


Step 3: Order an IRS Tax Transcript for any parent that did not work in 2019“Do this NOW!” 800-908-9946

It is often needed when applications are selected for “verification.” It is sent by “snail mail” and can take up to 10 days to arrive.


Finally: Important things to do:

~ Record Financial Aid/ Priority Deadlines for each institution on your application list in your College Note Book & calendar.

~ Check email regularly & respond to requests for information right away! Delays could jeopardize your  financial aid process.

Once you have completed your financial aid applications you are ready to explore scholarship opportunities!

How do I research scholarships?

1st: Continue to work towards “Academic Excellence”  The largest amount of scholarship awards come from institutions to which students have applied. This happens as a student’s application is being reviewed for admission.

2nd: Research scholarship opportunities as you research the institutions to which you plan to apply.  Opportunities can often be found on the “Financial Aid” tab of the institution’s website. 

3rd: Search for additional scholarships visiting the sites listed below:



CollegeBoard:Where to find Scholarships

Important things to keep in mind:

~ How much is the award and what can I use the money for?

~ What are the requirements to keep the scholarship?

~ Is the scholarship renewable?

Where can I get help with completing FAFSA & TAP?

SUNY Financial Aid Sessions

Students and families are invited to join SUNY for an online workshop which will provide detailed information about the financial aid application and award process. They will review the cost of attendance and explore the types of financial aid available, including the Excelsior Scholarship. During the session, you will be able to send questions via live chat.  You can register here


College Goal NY

You will find additional information on how to complete FAFSA, TAP, as well as event postings as dates and locations become available here

Universities & Colleges

You can also reach out to the financial aid office of the institutions that you have applied to.  Many hold FAFSA completion events or will tell you when you can make an appointment for help.


Brooklyn Collaborative

Will plan to host another FAFSA Completion event in December with our educational partner NYCares Date TBA.  So keep checking your email and continue to gather your proof of income documents.


Financial Aid Resources 

You can use the resources below to prepare, and complete your financial aid forms or to review in preparation to attend a completion event.

FAFSA & FSA ID Tips for Parents

Proof of income documents needed to complete FAFSA  (pdf attached)

FSA ID Tutorial

FSA ID instructions and how to use it  can be found here

FAFSA Walk Through

FAFSA Guide (english & spanish) additional languages can be found  here

CSS Profile slide show tour with audio

CSS Guide 2021-22 here


Application Links:

Federal Student Aid: Create a new FSA ID

Federal Student Aid: FAFSA Apply for Aid

HESC: Apply for TAP

Jose Peralta DREAM Act  

Excelsior (CUNY/SUNY) & Enhanced Tuition Awards Program (NYS Private Colleges)

College Board: CSS Profile