Frequently Asked Questions about Cost and Aid

Costs, aid, scholarships, work-study, and loans can be overwhelming. Listed below are some frequently asked questions to make the process easier.

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  1. Are financial aid awards taxable?
  2. Do I need to file for financial aid every year?
  3. If I receive my Student Aid Report (SAR) and it says I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?
  4. What if there is a change in my family situation or I have special circumstances?
  5. Should I send Syracuse University my income tax returns?
  6. What types of financial aid must be repaid and what types do not have to be repaid?
  7. Does my financial aid package change each year?
  8. How do I know if I am eligible for the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?
  9. Is financial aid available for summer study?
  10. How will moving off campus affect my financial aid?
  11. Is financial aid available for study with Syracuse Abroad?
  12. If I take a leave of absence, will my financial aid be fully reinstated when I return to Syracuse University?
  13. Where else might I find answers to my question?
  14. As an entering student, how do I apply for an academic scholarship at Syracuse University?
  15. I received a scholarship from my high school for my freshman year. Will my financial aid be adjusted?
  16. When is the best time to start looking for scholarships?
  17. What about the scholarship search services that I keep reading about?
  18. If I am an eligible employee, is my dependent guaranteed tuition exchange scholarship?
  19. What does the tuition exchange scholarship cover?
  20. I received a work-study award. How does that work?
  21. Will my Federal Work-Study award be credited to my student financial account?
  22. Can I still work on campus if I do not have a Federal Work-Study award?
  23. Do I have to use my Federal Work-Study award?
  24. How do I apply for the Federal Direct Loan?
  25. My award lists a Federal Perkins Loan. What paperwork do I need to file to receive this loan?
  26. What is the difference between a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan and an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan?

Are financial aid awards taxable?Link

Depending upon your financial aid and your specific circumstances, you may or may not have a tax liability. Please see IRS Publication 970.

Do I need to file for financial aid every year?Link

Yes. You will need to file a FAFSA. Undergraduate students who wish to apply for a Syracuse University Grant must also file a College Scholarship Service Financial Aid PROFILE every year. Read more about renewing financial aid.

If I receive my Student Aid Report (SAR) and it says I am selected for verification, what do I need to do?Link

Check your MySlice Financial Aid To Do list for details on any documents our office requires.

What if there is a change in my family situation or I have special circumstances?Link

Students (or families) who experience a change in their family circumstance are encouraged to contact our office and speak with a financial aid counselor.

Should I send Syracuse University my income tax returns?Link

Do not submit documents to Syracuse unless they have been requested. Check your MySlice Financial Aid To Do List for any required items.

What types of financial aid must be repaid and what types do not have to be repaid?Link

Scholarships and grants are gift aid and do not have to be repaid. Loans must be repaid, with interest.

Does my financial aid package change each year?Link

Award amounts may change from year to year for many reasons. Calculated family contributions (including a reduction in the number of family members attending college), costs, funding levels, and maximum award amounts can change and affect your aid package. Your eligibility for federal loan(s) will increase as you advance from freshman to senior levels. Read more on renewing financial aid.

How do I know if I am eligible for the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?Link

TAP is administered by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). New York State residents who complete the FAFSA online will be prompted to complete a TAP application on the HESC website. Once these two forms are completed, students will be notified of their TAP eligibility directly from HESC. Calculate your own TAP award.

Is financial aid available for summer study?Link

Students may be eligible for federal financial aid for summer study. View details regarding your eligibility or contact your financial aid counselor.

How will moving off campus affect my financial aid?Link

As long as you are not living at home with your parent(s), you receive the same amount of financial aid whether you live in a residence hall or in an off-campus apartment. Any financial aid in excess of your bursar bill can be refunded to you to meet off-campus expenses such as rent or food. Students living at home with their parent(s) are considered commuters and have a lower cost of attendance, as they do not incur room expenses.

Is financial aid available for study with Syracuse Abroad?Link

There is additional funding for students wishing to study abroad. Contact your financial aid counselor to discuss details about studying abroad. Learn more about about Syracuse Abroad's grants, scholarships, tuition, and fees.

If I take a leave of absence, will my financial aid be fully reinstated when I return to Syracuse University?Link

Your financial aid counselor must review the circumstances regarding your leave of absence and return. In many cases, financial aid awards may be fully reinstated as long as the proper forms are filed and submitted to Syracuse.

Where else might I find answers to my question?Link

You may also find answers to common questions by viewing our policies page.

As an entering student, how do I apply for an academic scholarship at Syracuse University?Link

Syracuse University offers merit scholarships to entering freshmen and transfer students based on the student’s admission application.

I received a scholarship from my high school for my freshman year. Will my financial aid be adjusted?Link

Generally outside scholarships will be used to meet the student’s remaining need. If a student does not have remaining need, it may be necessary to adjust the self-help (e.g. student loans and Federal Work-Study) portion of the financial aid award. It is best to contact your financial aid counselor or the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship Programs with specific questions.

When is the best time to start looking for scholarships?Link

The sooner the better. Searching for scholarships does take time, so it’s a good idea to start early and search often. Eligibility requirements vary as do the deadline dates so don’t limit yourself or be discouraged if the results are not exactly as you expect right away.

What about the scholarship search services that I keep reading about? Link

Beware of any scholarship search service that guarantees results, especially for a fee. Use caution with unsolicited offers of assistance and read all the fine print carefully.

If I am an eligible employee, is my dependent guaranteed tuition exchange scholarship?Link

No. Your benefit allows your dependent the opportunity to apply for the scholarship. The number of scholarships offered and the criteria used for the selection of recipients are solely up to each member institution.

What does the tuition exchange scholarship cover?Link

The actual dollar value is determined by the tuition charged by the host college. Most scholarships cover full tuition. However, any school that charges more than the minimum set by The Tuition Exchange may opt to award the minimum amount. Student fees, course fees, course overloads, and room and board are not covered. Check with the host college you are applying to for information on what it will cover.

I received a work-study award. How does that work?Link

The FWS award allows you to obtain a Federal Work-Study job and earn up to the amount of your award. The FWS award is not credited to your student financial account. You are paid weekly for the hours that you work. View all of the available positions, both FWS and non-FWS. Students are responsible for finding their own job on campus.

Will my Federal Work-Study award be credited to my student financial account?Link

No. The FWS award allows you to receive money for a job you work on- or off-campus. You receive a paycheck weekly for the hours that you work.

Can I still work on campus if I do not have a Federal Work-Study award?Link

Yes. Many offices will hire you on a non-work-study basis. View all of the available positions, both FWS and non-FWS.

Do I have to use my Federal Work-Study award?Link

It is not mandatory for a student to obtain work-study employment. If you have savings from a summer job or expect financial help from your family, it may be possible for you to meet all educational expenses without utilizing your work-study award. However, work-study earnings are intended to help you pay for books, supplies, and personal expenses during the academic year. Work-study earnings also have the advantage of being excluded when applying for financial aid in subsequent years.

How do I apply for the Federal Direct Loan?Link

When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) you are applying for a Federal Direct Loan that will be part of your financial aid award. After completing the FAFSA, you will also need to complete a Federal Master Promissory Note (MPN) and an Entrance Counseling Session, which can be found on your MySlice Financial Aid To-Do List.

My award lists a Federal Perkins Loan. What paperwork do I need to file to receive this loan?Link

You will need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for the loan, which can be found on your MySlice Financial Aid To-Do List.

What is the difference between a Subsidized Federal Direct Loan and an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan?Link

The government pays your interest on a subsidized loan while you are enrolled in college. The government does not pay your interest on an unsubsidized loan. You will either need to make interest payments while you are in school or defer your interest payments to begin after leaving/graduating from college. Read more about the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan.