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Important Financial Aid Info

ARE YOU PLANNING TO RETURN FOR THE SPRING 2014 SEMESTER?

All outstanding charges must be paid in full before you can register for Spring classes. Specific information regarding your student account can be found on Web Access under “Account Summary by Term.” If your account shows a credit balance or a zero balance, your account is paid in full and you should not have any registration restrictions for non-payment.

FINANCIAL AID HELP IS AVAILABLE

Sign up for help to complete your FAFSA, apply for TAP or complete online student loan requirements. Click here for more information.

BOOKSTORE CHARGE LIST

Students who have pending Pell Grant, TAP, SEOG and/or Direct Loans with at least a $25 balance remaining after tuition, fees and residence hall charges are paid may qualify to use the Bookstore Charge to purchase books. The maximum amount available to charge on the Bookstore Charge List for eligible students is $615 per semester. During the week of January 13th, qualified students will receive an automated phone call to notify them of their eligibility to use the bookstore charge.

The Bookstore Charge is available beginning the week of January 13th and the LAST day to charge books and supplies against pending financial aid is Friday, February 7th, 2014 at the close of business.

Students will be responsible for payment of book charges and will be billed by the Bursar’s Office if for any reason financial aid eligibility is lost, if there is a change enrollment status, or if any other outstanding charges cause a reduction or elimination of the bookstore line of credit.

SPRING SEMESTER REFUNDS

When financial aid and/or other payments is enough to cover a student’s bill with money left over, the student will get a refund and/or can transfer the remaining funds to their Smart Card.

Loans - The College will begin processing refunds for received and eligible student loan funds on Tuesday 1/21/14, and will continue until all loans refunds are processed.

Grants - Refunds are typically processed for students with grant eligibility around the 6th week of classes.

Specific information regarding your student account including refund amounts is available by logging on to Web Access and selecting “Account Summary by Term.”

IF ENROLLED IN VARIABLE LENGTH OR FLEX START COURSES, WHEN WILL I GET MY REFUND?

Before refunds can be processed, enrollment in all coursework must be verified. Enrollment in courses that do not follow the traditional academic calendar may affect financial aid eligibility and expected disbursement dates of funds.

SMART CARD TRANSFERS

Smart card transfers of pending aid may be made in the Bursar’s Office, located in the lower level of the Gordon Student Center. Students may also deposit funds onto their Smart Card from a credit or debit card transaction online through Net Card Manager. Money that is transferred from excess financial aid must be used for education related expenses only, such as books, supplies and meals. Smart Card transfers are limited to a maximum of $600 per semester.

The Smart Card serves as your Student ID – please keep it in a safe place!

EMERGENCY LOANS

Emergency Loans are administered by the Bursar’s Office, located in the lower level of the Gordon Student Center. These funds are only used to assist students with true emergencies such as emergency medical or health costs; transportation breakdowns; costs associated with fire or natural disaster; or travel costs due to the death of an immediate family member. Students may borrow up to $200 against their pending refund for documented emergencies only. For more information, click here.

WHAT IF I HAVEN’T HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT MY FINANCIAL AID YET?

Specific information regarding your financial aid, including missing documentation, is available by logging on to Web Access and selecting “My Documents”. Specific award information for Spring 2014 can be found by clicking on “Financial aid status by term.” We encourage students to bring any requested documentation to Student Central in person so that a member of the financial aid team may provide personalized service at the counter. When mailing or dropping off forms or paperwork, please allow up to 15 business days for processing.

STUDENT LOANS

First Time Borrowers: If this is your first time borrowing a student loan, you will have a 30 day delay on your first disbursement. If your student loan is “Accepted” on WebAccess and your first disbursement is enough to cover your entire bill with money left over, the Bursar’s office will begin processing refunds of eligible student loan funds beginning October 1st and continue to process refunds throughout the semester.

Non First Time Borrowers: If your student loan is “Accepted” on WebAccess and your first disbursement is enough to cover your entire bill with money left over, the Bursar’s office will begin processing refunds of eligible student loan funds beginning August 26th and continue to process refunds throughout the semester.

How Do I apply for a Student Loan?

After you file your FAFSA and receive an official award letter from OCC offering you a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan, you must complete the following three steps to borrow your loan:

Students will receive instructions on how to borrow along with a Loan Request Form enclosed with their Financial Aid Award letter. The Student Loan Request Form is also available to download from the OCC website.

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE REGISTERING FOR YOUR SPRING COURSES

Students cannot be awarded financial aid for classes that do not count toward their degree or certificate program requirements. If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his degree, those courses cannot be used to determine enrollment status and aid eligibility. All registered courses must apply to the student’s program as a general education requirement, a major requirement, or elective (whether restricted or free elective).

There is one exception to this under the New York State TAP program when the student is in his final term of study: if the student needs fewer than 12 credits to complete the program, other courses may be included to determine full-time status even if not required to complete graduation requirements.

REPEATING COURSEWORK MAY IMPACT FINANCIAL AID.

Students who repeat courses they have taken previously either at OCC or another institution and received a passing grade for that coursework, may have an adjustment or denial of one or more of their financial aid programs. This may impact both federal and state aid programs. To maintain full-time status for financial aid, a student’s coursework must be for at least 12 credits without the repeated class. An exception may be made for state aid if the student did not meet the minimum grade requirement for that class for graduation

  • Federal Aid, including student loans, will pay for a student to repeat a passed course only once.
  • State aid (TAP) will only pay for a repeated course once, but only if it is required to have a higher grade for graduation in the student’s particular degree program. 

If a student’s program does not require them to earn a higher grade for graduation, but the student is being advised to repeat coursework for academic reasons, it may be advisable for the student to be enrolled in at least 12 credits of new coursework (in addition any repeated courses) in order to maintain his/her full time status.

Students can be referred to Student Central for questions or may call (315)498-2291.

WHAT IF I DROP A CLASS OR ALL MY CLASSES?

ON OR AFTER the first day of classes:

  • A percentage or all of the tuition and fees will be your responsibility.
  • You may not be able to keep all of your financial aid.
  • You may owe money after you withdraw.
  • Any classes you drop may jeopardize future financial aid eligibility.
  • Please talk to someone in Financial Aid to understand the impact if you drop courses.