Applying for Financial Aid

We Make it Easy!

The online process makes applying for financial aid easier and faster than ever, and our experienced Financial Aid staff will guide and assist you through the entire process. Your advisor will identify the financial aid programs that will help you meet your needs and answer all of your questions. Just call or visit the Financial Aid Office. We're here to help!

Getting Started – Get a PIN Number: The beginning point for all federal financial aid starts with applying for a federal PIN number. The PIN number is your "electronic signature" for completing all of your financial aid documents online. Students (and at least one parent if the student is "dependent") should apply for a PIN number online through the Department of Education website at External Icon as soon as you start planning for college. Once you have decided to pursue a degree at SUNY Upstate Medical University, your PIN number will be needed to complete the next step - completing and signing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Your federal PIN will also be required for signing a Master Promissory Note for Federal Direct, Federal Parent PLUS and Graduate PLUS loans.

NOTE: The FAFSA is available to fill out online beginning January 1. In many cases students (and parents) can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to electronically transfer your Federal Tax Return Information into your FAFSA. The tool is available the first Sunday in February; just click the "link to IRS button" in the online FAFSA application. Learn more about the DRT process External Icon from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Online FAFSA Application: The FAFSA form can be completed quickly and easily on the Department of Education’s website at External Icon; we're certain you'll find the process easy to understand. However, if you are nervous about the application, or just have questions, we are here to help. Our Financial Aid Office staff can assist you with the application, or answer your questions over the phone or by email.

The information that you provide in the FAFSA application will help the University determine if you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, SEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins loans, Federal Direct loans and Federal Student/Parent Loans and for medical students PCL loans.  When completing the FAFSA form, be sure to list SUNY Upstate Medical University as your college choice (Federal School Code #002840) as this will ensure we receive your information in a timely manner.

  • New Students: March 1, 2015
  • Returning Students: March 1, 2015
  • January Admits: November 1, 2015

FAFSA Priority Filing Deadlines

Verification: Approximately one out of every four FAFSA applications will be chosen by the Department of Education for a review process known as verification. If your application is selected, you (and your parent if you are a dependent student) will be asked to provide copies of prior year official IRS tax transcript documentation along with other income and asset information. We will let you know if you were selected for verification and give you a list of necessary documentation.

Verification Deadline:  Unfortunately, we cannot process any financial aid until all of the required documentation is submitted and reviewed.  At times, this process will require us to make changes to your FAFSA data, which can add time to the processing.  Therefore, it is important that you submit any documentation as soon as possible, but no later than fourteen days after we request it.  If you need more time, just stop by and speak with us about it.

Your Financial Aid Award Letter: Upon completion of the application and verification (if required) processes, the Financial Aid Office will prepare a financial aid Award Letter for you based on your eligibility and financial need as determined by your FAFSA form. Your Award Letter will list all of the aid for which you are eligible and will be available on your MyUpstate account.


School and TAP codes

  • FAFSA School code-002840
  • TAP code-0890 (BS students only)

When do I need to file?

  • If you are a current student, or will enter Upstate in the Summer or Fall semesters, file BEFORE MARCH 1st.
  • If you will be entering Upstate in January, file BEFORE November 1st.

What if I have special circumstances? How will you know about them?

Send us an email at explaining your circumstances. Please provide as much documentation as possible. You should do this if any of the following applies to you:

  • Ongoing out-of-pocket medical expenses, day care costs, unexpected loss of income. Please be sure to include specific details.
  • You have a scholarship from an outside organization.

OOPS! I missed the MARCH 1 deadline. Now what?

Don't panic! File your FAFSA as quickly as possible. Applications received after APRIL 1 will be processed in the following order:
Entering students; Continuing students.
See the section below that starts - "When do I find out…"

How about TAP? What do I need to do?

TAP is linked to the FAFSA. When completing your FAFSA electronically, you will be able to link to your online TAP application at the end of the FAFSA session.

HESC determines the eligibility of each applicant, and will notify you of your award. After you file, if you need to make changes in the information you sent to TAP, a change form is available at HESC.

Do I have to do all this? I just want a student loan.

Student loans are financial aid, too. If you want to borrow a federal loan, you need to start by filing the FAFSA.

I'm a Medical Student. Is my parents' income information still needed?

Parents' information is needed if you are applying for the following aid:

  • Institutional Loans and Scholarships from Upstate - includes scholarships and loans, and tuition waivers for economically disadvantaged and EOP/HEOP graduates.
  • Federal Health Professions Primary Care Loans.

When do I find out how much and what kind of aid I'll receive?

Financial Aid Eligibility notifications will be sent out in late March.