There are multiple steps in the financial aid application process. Students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after Oct. 1st of each year to apply for aid for the upcoming year. We encourage students to apply by Buffalo State's priority filing deadline date.
The FAFSA can be found on-line at fafsa.gov. To expedite this process, a student and the parent of a dependent student will need to have an FSA ID; apply at fsaid.ed.gov/npas/index.htm. The FSA ID serves as the electronic signature on official financial aid documents.
After submitting the FAFSA, a student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. This form contains the data the student entered on the FAFSA. The Department of Education will send it to the student either by e-mail (3-5 days; if signature page used: 2 weeks) or postal mail (7-10 days; if signature page used: 2 weeks). Students must review the SAR carefully for errors (the form highlights items that may need attention) and follow directions for making corrections. Students are encouraged to submit corrections promptly to avoid long delays in processing of application. Students should retain a copy of the SAR for their records.
Based on financial information provided on the FAFSA, a thorough analysis of the student’s and/or parent’s financial strength, including income, assets, and number of family members in college, will be conducted by the federal processor and the applicants' Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is computed. The EFC is the amount of money a family can reasonably be expected to contribute. Financial Aid is then awarded based on the resulting comparative measure of need.
Financial need is determined by taking the Cost of Attendance (an estimated budget that includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, transportation, and a personal allowance) and subtracting from it the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Students can be funded only up to the amount of the Cost of Attendance.
Approximately 30% of Buffalo State students will be required to complete the review of a student’s financial aid eligibility. This may include the submission of the IRS Tax Return Transcript and other supporting documents. This verification process is required to ensure the accuracy of information provided on the FAFSA. If selected, students and parents will be required to provide the office with the requested documentation before aid will be disbursed to the student.
It is very important for students to respond to all requests for additional documentation in a timely fashion.