HESC Virtual Events for Your Students and Families in January/February

  • Exploring Job Training and Other Pathways after High School
    Date: Thursday, Jan. 20, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
  • After high school, a traditional four-year college isn't right for everyone, and that's ok! Join HESC for a discussion to learn about the many different options after high school that lead to great careers including the skill trades, apprenticeships, training programs, and more! No preregistration required.

    Join this event here.

  • What Juniors Need to Know about Preparing for College and Applying for Financial Aid
    Dates: Throughout February and March
  • Preparing for college and applying for financial aid can be overwhelming, but getting a jump start on your planning activities during your 11th grade year can help you stay on track for college. Join HESC financial aid experts who will help you get ready to apply to college and help you learn how to get help paying for it. We'll also share information on important deadlines and what you should be checking off your list during your junior year of high school. No preregistration required.

    Check here for dates and links.

  • How to Create Your Smart College Application List
    Date: Thursday, Feb. 17, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Deciding which colleges to apply to can be confusing. Join HESC and college admissions officers to learn tips on how to evaluate admission requirements and affordability, and consider your individual preferences and goals, to create your smart college list. No preregistration required.

    Join this event here.

  • For more information and additional event listings, visit StartHereGetThere.ny.gov/events.

College Application Month Report

  • If your school participated in College Application Month, be sure you're counted! If you haven't already, complete this brief report as soon as possible.
  • Your input will ensure New York's reporting accuracy when sharing the successes of our campaign with our national partners and help us make improvements for 2022.
  • Thanks for your assistance!

Your Students Who Need Help Completing the FAFSA and TAP Applications Can Drop into HESC's Virtual Lounge!

  • Beginning February 2, HESC representatives will be available every Wednesday, 3:00-6:00 pm, at our virtual drop-in lounge to answer questions about the FAFSA and TAP applications.
  • Students and parents must create their own FSA IDs and each student and one parent need FSA IDs to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA.
  • Links to each Wednesday's Drop-in Lounge are found at StartHereGetThere.ny.gov/dropin.
  • If your students have started the FAFSA and stopped because they were confused about a question, or if they are just having trouble getting started, urge them to log in!

STEM Incentive Program

  • STEM applications are available now through August 15 each year.
  • The STEM Program provides tuition awards to students who are New York residents attending a public or private degree-granting college or university located in New York State. Recipients must be in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class, pursue an approved, two or four-year STEM degree program and agree to live in NYS and work in a STEM field in NYS for five years after graduation.
  • For students attending private college, the maximum award for the 2021-2022 academic year is equal to the SUNY tuition rate which is $7,070 per year.
  • Students can complete and submit the NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program Application.

2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Applications Now Available

The financial aid filing season opened on October 1 for students planning to attend college next fall.

New York State students can now file the FAFSA and New York State TAP applications to receive free and low-cost financial aid to help cover their college costs.

Students and parents can use the Internal Revenue Services’ Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to electronically transfer their 2017 tax return information when completing the FAFSA, making the application even easier to use.

Many colleges use the FAFSA information to calculate the amounts and types of financial aid that students may qualify for, and each college has its own schedule for awarding financial aid. Students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible to both meet college deadlines and maximize their financial aid.

Help Completing the FAFSA

HESC offers students and their families with assistance in completing the FAFSA. Simply register for one-on-one assistance at HESC’s dedicated FAFSA website, StarttHereGetThere.org. You can also refer families to HESC’s online chat or to our dedicated toll free line, 800-808-1790, to speak with a HESC representative weekdays between 9am-4pm.

School officials looking for hands on assistance with FAFSA completion events at their schools or for financial aid presentations can contact HESC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reminders about the FSA ID

Students and families who plan to submit the FAFSA online should create an FSA ID at StudentAid.ed.gov/fsaid.

The FSA ID is needed by students and their parents or guardians to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA. Students taking federal student loans will also need their FSA ID to sign for their loans (the Master Promissory Note).

Remember that:

  1. Students and parents can get an FSA ID while filling out the FAFSA; however, getting it ahead of time will make the entire process smoother.

  2. An FSA ID may only be created using your own personal information and is for the exclusive use of the student or parent. An FSA ID cannot be created by any individual on behalf of someone else, including a family member.

  3. An FSA ID must not be shared with anyone. Students should not share them with anyone, even if they are receiving help in filling out their FAFSAs.

  4. If they’ve forgotten their FSA ID, they can retrieve it by going to StudentAid.gov/login, verifying their email address and answering the challenge questions established when the FSA ID was first created.

  5. The information on record with the Social Security Administration must be correct or corrected before getting an FSA ID. Students and parents can contact the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov to learn how to correct any errors.

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