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The following 7 Steps will provide you with on how to apply for federal and New York State financial aid.

1. Collect Documents

Collect your income tax returns, Social Security number, W-2 form(s), and other records of income and assets. If you are under 24 years old, you will likely need your parents’ information as well. You could estimate your tax information if you did not complete your tax return and correct the information later. It is helpful to fill out the ‘FAFSA on the Web’ Worksheet first. You can get the worksheet at

2. Get a PIN

Students and Parents should apply for a federal student aid PIN. With your PIN, you can  “sign” your FAFSA electronically and complete the federal student aid process completely online.   Also you can make corrections to your application once it is filed and access your information online. If you are under 24 years old, it is likely you and one of your parents will each need a PIN. You can apply for a PIN at You will use the same PIN to reapply and to access your student aid records each year.

3. Complete the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application for federal student assistance. Apply online by going to  Internet access is available at the financial aid office at each MLI Campuses.

For free help in completing your FAFSA or to obtain a paper FAFSA you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1800-4-FED-AID (1800-433-3243). For federal student financial aid information online you can go to

Note: To fill out and submit your FAFSA is FREE. There are websites and services not associated with the federal government that will charge you to fill out your FAFSA. You don’t have to pay anyone for assistance and there are many free resources for help, such as the Federal Student Aid Information Center by calling (800) 433-3243 and the college you plan on attending.

4. Link to TAP from the Web

The TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) application is for New York State residents to apply for NY State financial aid. Once you complete your FAFSA online, you will get to the ‘Confirmation Page’.  Click on the link to apply for New York State-based financial aid and you will be directed to the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website in order to fill out your TAP application. If you miss the link you will get an email within a week from HESC with information on how to complete your TAP application. If you do not supply an email address on your FAFSA, you will be notified by a postcard on how to complete your TAP application.

5. Receive a Student Aid Report (SAR)

After your FAFSA is processed within a few days you will be emailed a Student Aid Report (SAR) from ‘Federal Student Aid’ with a link to your SAR.  Your SAR contains a summary of your FAFSA information and a calculation of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) – the number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility. Review your SAR to see if any additional information or corrections may be needed. It’s possible that you may need to provide additional information before your Expected Family Contribution can be calculated. You can also access your SAR at with your Federal Student PIN.

6. Verify Your Data

The U.S. Department of Education selects a certain number of applicants for a verification process. If you have been selected, you will need to submit tax returns and other documents to your school’s financial aid office to verify the data you supplied on your FAFSA.

Being selected for verification does not necessarily mean that you made an error in filling out your FAFSA but in order to receive financial aid that you have been awarded, you will have to submit tax returns and other documents requested by your school’s financial aid office.

7. Receive the Award Letter

Once your FAFSA is complete and you demonstrate financial need, your selected college will send you an award letter indicating the financial aid programs for which you qualify. If you are not eligible for need based financial aid, you can contact the financial aid office at your college to find out other options to finance your education.

*** “Do I Qualify for Financial Aid?”

“It’s normal to have questions about financial aid, especially if you have never applied for it before. One of the most common questions is, “Do I qualify for financial aid?” There are many myths and misconceptions about who is eligible to receive financial aid, so it’s important to have all the facts when going through this process.” Written by Higher Education Team.