File Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

FAFSA School Code: 002836
TAP Application (Undergraduate): choose SUNY Binghamton

How do you apply for aid?

The first thing you need to know are these five letters: F-A-F-S-A. They stand for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is the federal form that’s used to determine the amount a family should be able to pay for college. It’s definitely worth filling out a FAFSA online, even if you don’t think you’re eligible for need-based aid.

The 2020-21 FAFSA is available beginning Oct. 1. To have the best shot at all financial aid funding available, submit your FAFSA to Binghamton University by the recommended filing dates below:

  • New students: Jan. 1, 2020 for fall 2020 admission; Nov. 15, 2020 for spring 2021 admission.
  • Continuing students and all graduate students: March 1, 2020

2020-21 FAFSA Loading and Financial Aid Award Processing Timeline

  • 2020-21 FAFSAs will be loaded into our system by December 1, 2019. At that time, you can login to Binghamton's portal - BU Brain, Financial Aid tab, Eligibility section - to see (1) if your FAFSA was received successfully and the date; and (2) review any "unsatisfied" requirements.
  • New Undergraduate students: financial aid award offer e-notifications will be sent to the email listed on the FAFSA beginning mid-February 2020.
  • BAT students: financial aid award offer e-notifications will be sent to BU email accounts beginning early March 2020.
  • Returning Undergraduate students: financial aid award offer e-notifications will be sent to BU email accounts beginning early March 2020.
  • New and Returning Graduate students: financial aid award offer e-notifications will be sent to BU email accounts beginning early July 2020.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool 

The IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which allows students and parents to transfer tax information directly to the FAFSA, became available beginning with the 2018-19 FAFSA.

When completing the FAFSA, you can use this tool to link verified IRS tax information to your FAFSA. This tool ensures accurate information is reported on the FAFSA and may reduce the number of documents you may have to submit to the school later on.

Note: Transferred income and tax information will not be displayed on fafsa.gov, the IRS web page, or on the Student Aid Report (SAR).

Families may need to explore financial aid in the form of grantsloans, NYS aidscholarships, and work-study to help finance their college students' education. Binghamton University's Office of Financial Aid Services is committed to helping you and your family in evaluating your options.

Why complete the FAFSA?

Why complete the FAFSA? Because this is the only way to potentially land a piece of the more than 120 billion dollars the federal government provides in grants, loans and work-study programs each year to college students.

Benefit at Binghamton University by completing the FAFSA.

Based on your successful completion of the FAFSA, you may be eligible for:

  • Grants -- money that does not have to be repaid
  • Scholarships -- free money, awarded by the University or outside source 
  • NYS Aid-- grants and/or scholarships awarded by NY State that do not have to be repaid.
  • Loans -- borrowed money that must be repaid
  • Federal Work Study (FWS)-- money earned by working a part-time job on- or off-campus

How to complete the FAFSA

  • You (and one of your parents or guardians) can create an FSA ID and password through the U.S. Department of Education. With the login information, you can apply and “sign” the FAFSA online, check the status of your submitted FAFSA, and make corrections or revisions.
How to set up an FSA ID and password (video)
  • Make sure you have your Social Security number (SSN) available. Your application will not be processed without it!
  • Log in and complete the FAFSA online.
  • Complete the FAFSA accurately using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT):
    • The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) Electronically Transfers Your Federal Tax Return Information Into Your FAFSA.

      Why?

      • EASY: Transfer info with the click of a button.
      • FAST: Instantly retrieve your information.
      • ACCURATE: Correctly fill in data fields. 

      How?

      1. Login to your current FAFSA, or start a new FAFSA at fafsa.gov.
      2. In the finances section of the FAFSA, you will see a “Link to IRS” button if you are eligible to use the IRS DRT.
      3. Click the “Link to IRS” button and log into the IRS to retrieve your tax return information.
      4. Review your tax return information, and see the tax data that will be transferred into your FAFSA.
      5. Check the “Transfer My Tax Information into the FAFSA” box, and click the “Transfer Now” button.
      6. Review your federal tax return information that has been transferred into the data fields on your FAFSA.
  • Make note of state and college deadlines because these can differ from the federal deadline. Also, some colleges may require an additional financial aid application.

New York state residents: "TAP" into additional aid

If you’re a resident of New York state and are or will be an undergraduate student, you may be eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards. After filing your FAFSA, you will be able to link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA confirmation page.

You must include Binghamton’s school codes or you will not be eligible for TAP.

To remain eligible for state and/or federal financial aid, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

New York state residents: Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. 

Tips on applying for financial aid

  1. Apply for aid early. The priority deadline for fall is Jan. 1 for new students and March 1 for current undergraduates and all graduate students. For spring it’s Nov. 15 for all students.
    • Your completed and correct FAFSA must be received by the last day of classes of that aid year. (i.e. 2020-2021 FAFSA must be received no later than last day of classes for spring 2021).
  2. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool pulls accurate tax data directly from your tax return into your FAFSA.
  3. Be organized! Maintain a file of your financial aid materials.
  4. Keep your current (local) and permanent addresses up-to-date in BU BRAIN.
  5. Check your Binghamton email account (BMail) - it's your official Binghamton account and all important University communications are sent there.

Taxation of scholarships, fellowships and awards

If you receive a scholarship or fellowship, you may have to pay tax on the amount you do not use to pay for tuition and course-related supplies (books, lab fees, etc.). This does NOT, however, include federal or state grants (such as PELL, FSEOG, TAP, etc.), nor does it include federal loans (such as Direct Subsidized/unsubsidized Student loans, Stafford loans, PLUS, etc.).

EXAMPLE: Suppose you receive a $4,000 scholarship. You spend $1,500 for tuition and $300 for books. You spend the remaining $2200 for room and board. The $2,200 is taxable and must be reported when filing your tax returns.