Comparing Financial Aid Award Letters

Before your high school seniors make their college choices, they should understand what is being offered in the financial aid package provided by the colleges to which they’ve been accepted, including how much of that aid must be repaid and the requirements for maintaining their aid.

HESC’s Financial Aid Award Package Comparison Tool helps students determine the financial bottom line by highlighting:

  • Which school is offering the most “free money,” or grants and scholarships that don’t have to be repaid
  • What aid is recurring and the requirements that must be met to retain that aid.
  • How much is comprised of federal student loans.
  • How much they will still need to pay, commonly referred to as their unmet need.

Inform your students about HESC’s Financial Aid Award Package Comparison Tool so that they can make a more informed college choice.

Now Accepting…STEM Incentive Program Applications

Top high school seniors who will be attending a SUNY or CUNY college in the fall may now apply for the NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program application. Please share this financial aid opportunity with seniors ranking in the top 10 percent of your 2016 graduating class.

More information, including complete eligibility requirements, approved STEM programs of study, the STEM application and STEM information flyer, is available at

NY-AIMS Application Available in May

The NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (NY-AIMS) provides merit-based scholarships to NYS high school graduates who achieved academic excellence as a high school student.

Beginning in May, your top high school seniors who will be attending college in New York State may apply to receive a $500 NY-AIMS award to offset their college costs.

Visit to learn more.

Encourage Your Juniors to Get Their FSA IDs Soon

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to receiving student financial aid. Each student, and at least one of his or her parents or guardians, must now have an FSA ID to electronically sign and submit the FAFSA.

Now is a great time for your current high school juniors to get their FSA IDs, ahead of the new October 1 FAFSA application filing start date, It just takes about 10 minutes, and investing the time now will help ease the FAFSA completion process in the fall.

Encourage your high school juniors and their parents or guardians to visit Federal Student Aid to create their FSA IDs this spring!

HESC Partner Access for High School Counselors

HESC’s Partner Access for High School Counselors page has the information and tools you need to help your students and families.

The 2016-17 FAFSA: The Basics

Starting January 1, your graduating seniors can begin filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – the FAFSA – at to be considered for financial aid for the 2016-2017 school year.

To get started, students and parents should:

  • Get their FSA IDs from
  • Have their 2015 federal tax returns, if available, and other income information, or estimate their 2015 income information.
  • Correct any tax or income information after their taxes have been filed using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.

For more information on applying for financial aid, visit



Student Financial Aid Awareness 2016

HESC’s website dedicated to encouraging completion of the FAFSA,, is now live.

Encourage your students and parents to visit to:

  • Sign up for a hands-on FAFSA workshop on the statewide calendar of FAFSA completion events.
  • Chat online or speak with a HESC representative on a toll-free hotline.
  • Find information on the financial aid application process.

More Articles...