Applying for Financial Aid

Federal Student Aid is available on a financial need basis to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Simply complete the application, available at, after January 1 when you and your parent(s)/guardian(s) have completed income tax returns. This means all incoming freshman for the fall semester should complete their FAFSA in January of their senior year of high school.

Applying for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is free, quick and easy to do as long as you’re organized and have the necessary documents at-hand when filling out the application form. You can even get an early estimate of your financial aid eligibility with our Net Price Calculator.

The first step in the FAFSA application process is applying for your Federal Student Aid PIN. Without your PIN, which acts as your electronic signature, you cannot complete the FAFSA application, or access your records online. If a parent or guardian is helping you apply for financial aid, they will need a separate PIN as well. 

Apply for a US Department of Education PIN. You will need your PIN to complete the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and electronically sign your Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling. Your parent and/or guardian must also obtain a Federal PIN.

Visit the US Department of Education site to apply for your PIN:

Your FAFSA results will determine if you are eligible for the following programs:

  • Federal and State Grants
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Student Loans

Tip: Make sure you, your parents or guardian use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) within the FAFSA to import tax information. If you decline to use this tool, you may be selected for verification which means you will have to order your Federal tax transcripts from the previous year online – a request that can take up to two weeks to receive and process.

What happens next?

After you submit your FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education will process your application and you will receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR. This report is then sent to the schools you listed on your application. When you receive your SAR, double check the information for accuracy.

Once your information is reviewed and your eligibility is confirmed, you will receive a financial aid award letter from PSC Financial Aid Office. Potential new students are awarded financial aid on first-come, first-served basis with aid package awards beginning sometime in February, and continuing through August. 

The FAFSA application process should take about an hour to complete. For additional information, please review our Financial Aid Booklet


Paul Smith's College
7833 New York 30
Paul Smiths, NY 12970

(518) 327-6227
(800) 421-2605



© Paul Smith's College 2014