Frequently Asked Questions

Apply for FAFSA at
Apply for NYS-TAP at

Questions and answers on this page...

Q. What is the federal school code for the FAFSA and New York State TAP?

A. The NYU school code for the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE is 2785. The NYU school code for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is 002785.  The NYU school code for the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is 0555. back to top

Q. I probably do not qualify for aid. Should I apply?

A. Yes. Many families mistakenly think they do not qualify for aid and prevent themselves from receiving financial aid by failing to apply for it. In addition, there are sources of aid such as unsubsidized Direct and PLUS loans that are available regardless of need. While there is a cost to complete the CSS Financial Aid PROFILE, the FAFSA is free. back to top

Q. Do I need to be admitted to the School of Engineering before I can apply for financial aid?

A. To be considered for any NYU scholarships, you must apply for both admission and financial aid by our deadlines. If you wait until you are admitted, you may only be eligible for Federal assistance and will miss out on consideration for any NYU scholarships or grants.  Do not wait until you are admitted to apply for aid! back to top

Q. Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

A. Yes. If your financial circumstances change, you may get more or less aid. After your first year, you will be able to fill out a "Renewal Application" on the web, which contains preprinted information from the previous year's FAFSA. Note that your eligibility for financial aid may change significantly, especially if you have a different number of family members in college. Renewal of your financial aid package also depends on your making satisfactory academic progress (SAP) toward a degree, such as earning a minimum number of credits and achieving a minimum GPA. Learn more about SAP requirements. back to top

Q. How do I apply for a Pell Grant and other types of need-based aid?

A. Submit a FAFSA. To indicate interest in student employment, student loans, and parent loans, you should check the appropriate boxes. Checking these boxes does not commit you to accepting these types of aid. You will have the opportunity to accept or decline each part of your aid package later. Leaving these boxes unchecked will not increase the amount of grants you receive. back to top

Q. Are my parents responsible for my educational loans?

A. No. Parents are, however, responsible for the Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans. Parents will only be responsible for your educational loans if they co-sign your loan. In general, you and you alone are responsible for repaying your educational loans. You do not need to get your parents to cosign your federal direct student loans, even if you are under age 18, as the "defense of infancy" does not apply to federal direct student loans. back to top

Q. If I take a leave of absence, do I have to start repaying my loans?

A. Not immediately. The subsidized Stafford loan has a grace period of 6 months and the Perkins loan a grace period of 9 months before the student must begin repaying the loan. When you take a leave of absence, you will not have to repay your loan until the grace period is used up. If you use up the grace period, however, when you graduate you will have to begin repaying your loan immediately. It is possible to request an extension to the grace period, but this must be done before the grace period is used up. If your grace period has run out in the middle of your leave of absence, you will have to start making payments on your student loans. back to top

Q. I received an outside scholarship. Should I report it to the financial aid office?

A. Yes. If you are receiving any kind of financial aid from university or government sources, you must report the scholarship to the financial aid office. We will adjust your financial aid package to compensate for any over awards. back to top

Q. Where can I receive information about Federal student financial aid?

A. Please visit or for more information. Or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or 1-800-730-8913 (if hearing impaired) and ask for a free copy of The Student Guide: Financial Aid from the US Department of Education. This toll free hotline is run by the US Department of Education and can answer questions about federal and state student aid programs and applications.

You can also write to:
Federal Student Aid Information Center
PO Box 84
Washington, DC 20044 back to top

Q. Is it legal for a 17-year-old student to sign a promissory note for a student loan, even though the student has not yet reached the age of majority?

A. Normally, a minor cannot be held liable for a contract that they sign. However, in 1992 the Higher Education Act was amended to permit eligible students, defined as per Title IV regulations, to sign promissory notes for their own Federal student loans. As such, student loans represent one of the few exceptions to the so-called "defense of infancy.” All private education loans require a cosigner when the student is under the age of majority, just to be safe. back to top

Q. Where can I get a copy of the FAFSA?

A. The School of Engineering requires the FAFSA to be done electronically on the web. A FAFSA on the Web Worksheet is available to print at to assist with filling out the web version. It is not recommended that students file a paper FAFSA as it takes much longer to process which may prevent a student from receiving first-come-first-serve funds. back to top

Q. When should I apply for aid? Is it better to wait until the income tax forms have been completed?

A. Complete the form as soon as possible after January 1. Do not wait until your taxes are done. Although it is better to do your taxes early, it is ok to use estimates of your income, so long as they are not very far off from the actual values. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later. back to top

Q. I filed my FAFSA over four weeks ago but have not heard anything. What should I do?

A. If you have not received a Student Aid Report (SAR), please visit and in “Step 3,” you will be able to check the status of your FAFSA, make corrections, and or print out a copy of your SAR. Students can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (toll free) or 1-319-337-5665. You must provide them with your Social Security number and date of birth as verification.

You can also write to:
Federal Student Aid Programs
PO Box 4038
Washington, DC 52243-4038 back to top

Q. How do I sign the FAFSA? And do my parents have to sign it as well?

A. To sign the FAFSA you must use your PIN. A PIN allows you to “sign” your FAFSA and acts as an electronic signature. Without your FAFSA being signed by PIN, it cannot be processed. To apply for a PIN visit Both you and your parent(s) MUST sign the FAFSA for it to be processed. You and your parent(s) cannot have the same PIN. back to top

Q. I forgot my PIN. What do I do?

A. If you have lost or forgotten your PIN, you need to request a duplicate. You can request a duplicate PIN by selecting Request a Duplicate PIN from the list on the left side of the PIN homepage. You must provide your Challenge Answer in order to request a duplicate PIN. Complete your request and select the delivery method for receiving your PIN. You may receive your PIN instantly by viewing it online or requesting a PIN e-mail. Or, you can request that your PIN be mailed to you. back to top

Q. Who is eligible to receive Federal Student Aid?

A. To receive federal student aid, you must meet certain requirements. You must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau)
  • Be registered with Selective Service if you are male and 18 to 25 years of age (go to for more information)
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) Certificate or pass an exam approved by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program at a school that participates in the federal student aid programs
  • Not have a drug conviction for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, loans, or work-study)
  • Not owe a refund on a federal grant or be in default on a federal student loan
  • Demonstrate financial need (except for unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans)

Other requirements may apply. Contact financial aid for more information. back to top

Q. What is an Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) for my Federal Direct Loans, and how would I fill it out?

A. An Electronic Master Promissory Note (E-MPN) is a document saying that you as a student promise to follow the terms and conditions of the loan as well as repay the loan back after your grace period is over. To fill out the E-MPN for the Federal Direct Loans you must go to Once there you must follow the link for “Complete New MNP for Student Loans.” Follow the steps to complete your Promissory note for your Federal Direct Loans. back to top

Q. I have not finished my taxes yet, what should I do?

A. If you are facing a deadline and want to get the application in as soon as possible, you may estimate your tax amounts for now. Once you have completed your tax forms, make the corrections to your file on the Web. back to top

Q. How can I check the status of my student loans?

A. To check on the status of your student loans you can visit the website for National Student Loan Data System. To use the NSLDS Student Access website, you will need to provide your Social Security Number, the first 2 letters of your last name, your date of birth, and your PIN. The site displays information on loan and/or federal grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, and disbursements. back to top

Q. How can I get in touch with someone who can help me with a financial aid question?

A. Please contact the office of financial aid. You can also call the U.S. Board of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). back to top

Q. Should I pay for help to fill out my FAFSA?

A. No, you do not need to. When you apply using FAFSA on the web at, you get online instructions for each question, and you can chat live online with a customer service representative. Another source of free help is our online guide, Completing the FAFSA. Various websites do offer help filing the FAFSA for a fee. These sites are not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the U.S. Department of Education. We urge you not to pay these sites for assistance that we provide for free. back to top

Q. How is my “financial need” determined?

A. When determining the amount of grants and loans awarded to eligible students, the financial aid office uses the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA. The EFC is deducted from your total cost of education (tuition, fees, room and board, books/supplies, and other personal expenses) to arrive at your total financial need:

cost of attendance - expected family contribution (EFC) = total financial need back to top

Q. How many credits must I take to be eligible for financial aid?

A. In general, most financial aid programs require that you be enrolled at least half time to be eligible (half time enrollment is six credits per semester). Some institutional funds may change if the student drops below full-time status, consult with your financial aid counselor before you plan to drop any courses to see how it will affect your aid. back to top

Q. What is “verification,” and why was I selected?

A. Verification is a federally mandated process which requires the financial aid office to confirm the information that aid applicants provide on their FAFSA. Federal and institutional need-based aid cannot be finalized until all required documents are received and eligibility is determined. back to top

Q. My parents are divorced. Whose information do I include on the FAFSA?

A. If your parents are divorced, you should file the FAFSA using the financial information of the parent with whom you are living, or with whom you have most recently lived. This parent will be referred to as the "custodial parent,” even if there is no formal custody agreement, or if your parents have joint custody. If your "custodial" parent is remarried, you must include that stepparent’s information as well. back to top


Q. Can I accept my financial aid online?

A. Yes, you may now accept or decline your awards online.
Save time – accept or decline your awards online through My-Poly. Instead of mailing back your award letter, follow the instructions below for accepting or declining your awards.
Step 1. Log into your account and enter through the self-service area and navigate to the Campus Finances area
Step 2. In the Campus Finances Area select the Accept/Decline Awards link
Step 3. There will be a link to year(s) for which you can accept or decline your awards. Click on the current academic year to be taken to the correct Award Package page.
NOTE: Grants and scholarships cannot be accepted or declined. They are automatically accepted at the time of awarding.
Step 4. Review your awards and click on either the Accept or Decline box for each individual award. When you are done, click on the yellow SUBMIT button.
Once you have declined an award and submitted the decision you cannot go back and accept the award online. If you change your mind you will need to contact the Financial Aid Office.
If you wish to accept only a portion of the loan you will need to do a loan adjustment form and submit it to the Financial Aid Office. The adjustment forms can be found on the School of Engineering's webpage:
Reminder: Student Loans must be accepted before they are processed. If you do not accept them they will not appear on your billing statement as pending aid.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Student Financial Services Office at 718-260-3300.