Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I apply for financial aid?

You must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at After January 1st, you are advised to file by March 1st for the upcoming academic year. Stony Brook's federal school code is 002838.

What is Financial Need and my EFC?

 Your financial aid eligibility is based on your financial need. Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA), also referred to as your estimated financial aid budget. Due to limited resources, the amount of financial aid awarded to you may not cover your total financial need.

The EFC is a measure of your and/or your family's financial strength and indicates how much money should be available to help pay for your education. The EFC is calculated according to a formula established by law based on the information reported on the FAFSA. The EFC is used to determine eligibility for some federal grant, work, and loan programs. There are other loans like Federal Direct PLUS that are available to replace the EFC. Contact your Financial Aid Office for additional information. Your EFC is listed on your resulting Student Aid Report (SAR) after you have filed your FAFSA.

If you or your parents' financial circumstances have changed since the FAFSA was completed, contact your Financial Aid Office to see if you should complete a re-evaluation form.

What is the Cost of Attendance (COA)?
The Cost of Attendance, also referred to as a financial aid budget, is an estimate of your educational expenses for the period of enrollment. This budget is consists of two parts, direct costs and indirect costs.

Direct Costs are paid to the University and include tuition, university fees, and average room and meal costs (if living on campus).

Indirect Costs are estimated additional educational expenses that you may incur during the enrollment period. These costs are not paid directly to the University and include budget category items such as books and supplies, transportation, personal expense allowance, average loan fees, and a living allowance for room and meals (if living off-campus).

Additional educational expense allowances (such as childcare expenses) may be added to the standard budget upon receipt of request and supporting documentation.
My program begins in the summer, can I get financial aid?

In addition to filing the FAFSA, you must be enrolled for at least 6 credits. Please see Summer Financial Aid.


My financial aid has not come in yet and I was depending on the money to buy books, what should I do now?
You can open a Bookstore Campus Account. The amount selected is charged to your account and can be deferred against anticipated financial aid.
Where do I complete my Master Promissory Note?
To complete your promissory note for any 2015/2016 loans, the Master Promissory note can be completed electronically
I've been awarded federal work-study, where do I go to find employment?
Job listings are available on
When do I receive my loans?
Loan funds are disbursed to the University in two disbursements, one for the fall and one for the spring semester at the beginning of each term. The scheduled disbursement date for all summer Federal Direct loans begins JULY 1. You must be enrolled AND ATTENDING at least half time (6 credits) in order for any loan disbursement to occur.
How do I get my refund check?

There are three options: you can enroll for direct deposit on SOLAR; you can pick up your refund check at the Bursars Office in the Administration Building; or you can receive your check by mail upon request to the Bursars Office (631)-632-9315.  Refunds through direct deposit are processed daily while paper refund checks are printed bi-weekly.  Electronic deposits are secure and you can cancel participation at any time.  

My TAP award has not been received, how do I check the status of my application?
You should go the HESC website ( or call New York State Higher Education Services at 1 (888) 697-4372.
I've borrowed the maximum in federal student loans but need more money!
You should speak with a Financial Aid Advisor. Telephone: (631) 444-2111
I've accepted my financial aid awards on-line, what is the next step?
Access your SOLAR account on a regular basis--you will find important information about your financial aid and University account. It is also the way we will communicate with you if anything is needed. You may receive messages regarding your application or your awards. Any missing items from your application will appear under “My To Do List Items.” Once we review your aid application, your award offers will be posted and will be ready for you to review and accept/decline by clicking “My Financial Aid Awards.” Your account information, any anticipated financial aid, and check refunds waiting for you will be displayed by clicking “Account Summary/What do I owe?”
What if I have had a change in circumstances after I complete my FAFSA, or I have additional educational expenses that are not listed on my Cost of Attendance (COA)?
Contact the financial aid office. Telephone: (631) 444-2111


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