Gov. Cuomo Encourages Students & Families to Complete the FAFSA Early in the New Year

Each year, New York high school seniors leave college money on the table by overlooking an important key to college financial aid – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid – the FAFSA. Some students and families mistakenly believe they don’t qualify for aid because they have too much or too little income. Others are simply frustrated by the FAFSA form itself, believing it’s too difficult to complete.

Start Here, Get There is HESC’s annual statewide campaign to educate students and families about college financial aid and offer assistance in completing the FAFSA. Last year, HESC and college financial aid volunteers helped thousands of students and families complete the FAFSA through personal, one-to-one assistance at FAFSA completion events held across the state. This year, we’ve added more events and locations to assist even more families.

At college-bound students and families can find information about federal, state, and college-based financial aid, including New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant and scholarships. The website lists FAFSA completion events, organized by geographic regions of the state, where students and families can receive one-on-one assistance with their FAFSA at workshops staffed by financial aid administrators from local colleges. In addition, students and families seeking answers to their FAFSA questions can:

·        Chat online at

·        Call the toll-free FAFSA Hotline at 1-800-808-1790 Mondays through Thursdays from 9 am - 5 pm, or

·        Send an email inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The website also provides resources for you as you help your students prepare to complete the FAFSA including downloadable posters, flyers, checklists, and hand-outs, as well as static and animated web banners for your school counseling website. You’ll also find a library of timely articles you can adapt for your own use in newsletters and other communications with families.

To read and download the Governor’s Proclamation, find events in your region, or for more information about financial aid and completing the FAFSA, visit