Frequently Asked Questions
Financial Aid Basics
How and when do I apply for financial aid?
You must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA becomes available for completion on October 1st of the prior year. The University filing deadline is February 15th. Stony Brook's federal school code is 002838.
What is EFC and how is it calculated?
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the amount that the student's family is expected to contribute towards the Cost of Attendance. The U.S. Department of Education uses Federal Methodology (FM) to calculate your financial aid eligibility.
FM takes into account:
FM takes into account:
- Your family income (including student's if dependent)
- Taxes paid
- The # of family members
- The # of brothers and sisters in college
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 consists of two parts, direct costs and indirect costs.
- Direct Costs are paid to the University and includes tuition, university fees, an average room and meal costs (if living on campus).
- Indirect Costs are estimated additional educational expenses that you may incur during the enrollment period such as average loan fees, a living allowance for room and meals (if living off-campus), transportation costs, and an allowance for personal expenses. These costs are not paid directly to the University. Additional educational expense allowances (such as childcare expenses) may be added to the standard budget upon receipt of request and supporting documentation.
How do I find out about scholarships?
How do I know when I can view my Financial Aid Award package?
A SOLAR To Do List item will be assigned. Directions will be provided in the To Do List item detail. In addition, you will be notified via e-mail.
What is the difference between a Federal Direct Subsidized loan and a Federal Direct Unsubsidized loan?
- Subsidized loan - Interest is paid for by the federal government while the student is enrolled in school. Students must qualify for need-based aid in order to be eligible for this loan.
- Unsubsidized loan - Student is responsible for interest during the life of the loan, even while enrolled in school. Student can elect to pay the interest while in school or they may choose to allow the interest to accrue (accumulate) and capitalize (add to the principal amount of the loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount of loan when in repayment.
My TAP award has not been received, how do I check the status of my application?
You should go the HESC website (www.hesc.ny.gov) or call New York State Higher Education Services at 1 (888) 697-4372.
Summer Financial Aid
How can I get financial aid for the summer?
Students who have submitted a valid FAFSA and who have also enrolled for summer classes will automatically be awarded a summer financial aid award package. Please see Summer Financial Aid for more details.
What Do I Need "To-Do" Now
I've accepted my financial aid awards on-line, what is the next step?
Visit our “ Understanding the Process ” page for a helpful diagram.
Where do I complete my Direct Stafford Master Promissory Note?
The Master Promissory note for Stafford loans can be completed electronically at www.studentloans.gov .
How does my parent apply for a PLUS loan?
We recommend that you wait until all of your term charges have been posted prior to applying for a Parent Plus Loan. This will allow you to make a more informed decision. Visit our parent web page for Parent Loan process.
How do I go about establishing New York State Residency?
All requests to establish residency are handled by Student Accounts. You can read about residency requirements and download the residency questionnaire at: www.stonybrook.edu/bursar
How will I know when my financial aid awards will disburse?
- Log into the Solar System.
- Click Financial Aid, which can be found in the Student Financial Services section.
- Click View & Accept Decline FinAid.
- Click the appropriate Aid Year.
- Scroll to the term in question.
- Click View Scheduled Disbursements.
- Note: Scheduled disbursements display the earliest date an award can disburse. If the scheduled disbursement date has passed, and your aid has failed to disburse there is something unfinished that needs to be addressed. Please check to see if you have any To Do List items.
Why hasn't my student loan disbursed ?
Listed below are the common reasons that would impact loan disbursement.
- You have not accepted the loan on the Solar System.
- You have not taken care of required To Do List items. Log into the Solar System to view your To Do List items.
- You have not signed your Master Promissory Note (MPN).
- You have not completed Entrance Counseling.
- You are not enrolled and attending at least 6 credits.
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 at least half time (6 credits) in order for any loan disbursement to occur.
How do I get my refund check?
The Bursar's Office offers a convenient program for processing student refunds. Through direct deposit, they will deposit any student refund into the financial institution of your choice. Electronic deposits are secure, fast and convenient and you can avoid waiting to receive your refund check at the counter or in the mail. Enrollment is done via the SOLAR system . To enroll, log into SOLAR > Student Financial Services > Account Information/Payment > Direct Deposit > Add Account > Complete the Panel > Save. At any point during the term you may edit or delete this direct deposit refund option. Refund checks are printed weekly. Refunds through direct deposit are processed daily.
Federal Work Study
I've been awarded federal work-study, where do I go to find employment?
A great way to find a job is by attending the annual job expo. This event occurs the first or second Wednesday of the fall term. A complete listing of all on-campus jobs is available on the Career Center Website http://www.career.sunysb.edu/ .
How are Federal Work-Study funds awarded?
Federal Work-Study is a form of need based aid. In order to be considered for this program you must file your FAFSA by the University priority filing date of February 15th. Since there is a limited amount of funding available, students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as early as possible. Be sure to indicate on your FAFSA that you are interested in Federal Work Study.
I've borrowed the maximum in federal student loans but need more money!
You should speak with a Financial Aid Advisor to discuss options.
What if I have had a change in circumstances after I completed my FAFSA, or I have additional educational expenses that are not listed on my Cost of Attendance?
I am currently considered a dependent student when applying for federal student aid, but due to extenuating circumstances, I feel that I should be considered independent. How do I go about requesting a dependency override?
- File your FAFSA.
- Carefully review and follow the directions in the Dependency Status section of the FAFSA.
- Continue to log into SOLAR to monitor your To Do List. We will let you know specifically what documentation you will need to submit.
- DO NOT submit documentation (including personal letters of explanation) until we ask for it.
How can I find out about financial aid for a Study Abroad program I am considering?
Visit the Financial Aid Study Abroad web page for detailed information.
Would a student with an immigration status of Deferred Action be eligible for federal or state financial aid?
Students with a status of deferred action are not eligible to receive federal or state aid. However, they will be considered for University merit based scholarships upon admission to Stony Brook. To read more about deferred action please visit our Visa and Immigration Services page.