Contact the Financial Aid Office
Director of Financial Aid- MaryEllen Chamberlain
Financial Aid Counselor & Loan Manager- Kristina Fountain
Paul Smiths College
Rts 86 & 30, PO Box 265
Paul Smiths NY 12970
518-327-6220 and 518-327-6119
At Paul Smith's College, we are committed to helping students fund their education. The majority of our students (over 90%) who receive financial aid
are assisted with over $8 million dollars of Paul Smith's College merit and/or need-based grants. These funds consist of federal, state, institutional,
student loan programs and campus employment. We participate in many state and federal programs and also provide our own institutional scholarships
To apply for need-based aid, U.S. citizens or permanent residents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after January 1st
for the following academic year. The FAFSA is available at www.fafsa.gov. To receive an early estimate of your financial aid eligibility, use our
online Financial Aid Calculator at www.paulsmiths.edu/calc/.
Apply for Aid
Applying for federal student aid is quicker and easier than ever. You can complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at
www.fafsa.gov. Follow these easy steps to simplify the process of applying for federal student aid.
- Gather the documents needed to apply. For example, you'll need
- Income tax returns (yours and most likely your parents), W-2 forms, and other records of income, and
- Identification documents (social security cards, drivers’ licenses).
- Paul Smiths College code- 002795
- Apply online at FAFSA on the Web. Submit a FAFSA. The FAFSA is used to apply for federal financial aid (grants, work-study, and loans). Also, many colleges, universities, and career schools
use your FAFSA information to award state and college aid. The process is free. Never pay to apply for federal financial aid.
Please be sure that the student and parent(s) use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) within the FAFSA to import the tax information. If you do not use the IRS DRT
this may result in being selected for verification and having to order your Federal 2012 tax transcripts online which could take up to 2 weeks to receive.
You'll need a PIN to "sign" your online FAFSA, make corrections to the application, and more. If you are a dependent student, your parent will need one too. You can get your PIN before you begin or as you complete the FAFSA
— it's up to you. Get a PIN now!
Note: Complete the FAFSA each year, starting on January 1. Be sure you meet application deadlines. For deadlines, visit www.fafsa.ed.gov.
After You Submit Your FAFSA
The U.S. Department of Education will process your FAFSA and the results are sent electronically to the schools you listed on your application, and we send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). Your SAR summarizes all the information
you provided on your FAFSA. It must be correct before you can receive federal aid.
What to do with your SAR
When you get your SAR, review it for accuracy. A complete, correct SAR will contain you’re:
- Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the index number used to determine your federal student aid eligibility, and
- Data Release Number (DRN), a four-digit number assigned to your application by the U.S. Department of Education.
If you need to make corrections to your SAR, you can
- Make them online using your PIN at www.fafsa.gov
- Check with your school; the school might be able to make them for you electronically.
How Financial Aid is Determined
Paul Smiths College believes that students and parents should bear the primary responsibility for meeting college costs to the extent possible,
and that financial aid should supplement a family's own resources. The College expects that parents will contribute from their income and assets
to the extent that they are able according to federal and institutional guidelines, and that the student will share in the cost of education through
working, borrowing, and saving. If a family's resources are not sufficient to cover the student's total budget, the student may receive a financial-aid award to cover the difference.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) results in what we call the expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC is then subtracted from the cost of attendance for the academic year. The resulting figure is called financial need.
COST - EFC = Need
The next step is to use this result to determine a student's eligibility for various financial aid resources. Once the specific types of financial aid are determined, a financial aid award notification is prepared and sent to the student from
the PSC Financial Aid Office. Notifications are sent at different times of the year depending on class level. For example, Excepted Students are usually notified in mid-February and continuing students starting in April.
Your Financial Aid
Make sure the financial aid office at each school you're interested in has all the information needed to determine your eligibility. Follow all directions on any communications from the school or from the U.S. Department of Education, and respond
by any deadlines. If you don't, you might not receive federal student aid.
The Financial Aid Award
If you listed a school on your FAFSA and have been offered admission by that school, the financial aid office at the school will send you an award letter. The award letter includes the types and amounts of financial aid you may receive from federal,
state, and school sources. This combination of aid is your financial aid package.
Your financial aid package may include federal student loans. In the case of loans, keep in mind that whatever amount you borrow must be paid back with interest. While loans can be a good investment in your future, taking out a federal student loan is a serious obligation.
Dependent students must report parental information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Dependent students meet all the following conditions:
- Under the age of 24
- No legal dependents
- Not a veteran of the U.S. armed forces
- Not a graduate student (beyond a bachelor's degree)
- Not a ward of the court or parents are not deceased
An independent student meets at least one of the following criteria and does not report parental information on the FAFSA:
- Age 24 or older
- Has a legal dependent other than a spouse
- An orphan/ward of the court (or were until age 18)
- A veteran of the U.S. armed forces
- Both parents are deceased
- Enrolled in a graduate or professional program (beyond a bachelor's degree)
- Emancipated minor
- In legal guardianship
At any time on or after July 1, 2010, the student was:
- Declared an unaccompanied youth by the student's high school or by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Declared homeless by a Youth Center
Selected students aid recipients receiving any need-based or Federal student financial aid resources will be required to complete a verification process. This is a U.S. Department of Education and Paul Smiths College requirement. In this process, various documents, such as
income tax returns, are compared to the information on the financial aid application. Verification ensures that need-based funds are appropriately allocated. Students will be notified if additional verification documentation is required and will be given a deadline to submit the requested information.
Federal Loans and Federal/State College Grants
Paul Smith's College Grants
Grants are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Amounts are dependent on grants from all sources for which the College establishes a cap.
Merit Scholarship Award
Paul Smith's College is pleased to announce the Merit Scholarship Program for incoming freshmen and transfer students for Fall 2012-2013. This program offers scholarships to new entering freshmen students ranging from $6,000 to $12,000 per year for up to four years. All scholarships are renewable for up
to eight semesters so long as the student is enrolled full time at PSC and maintains the cumulative GPA required for the individual scholarship.
No separate scholarship application is needed to be considered for a Merit Scholarship. You simply need to:
- Apply for admissions
- Complete the application process
- Obtain an acceptance decision
- Presidential Scholarship: $14,000/year
- Provost Scholarship: $12,000/year
- Dean's Scholarship: $11,000/year
- Faculty Scholarship: $9,000/year
- Rising Star: $5,000/year
- Transfer Excellence: $9,000/year
- Transfer Recognition: $6,000/year
In addition, PSC students may qualify for PSC or federal grants and loans. All U.S. students are eligible for a federal student loan (either subsidized or unsubsidized), and parents of dependent students may be eligible to borrow up to the cost of education minus financial aid.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
(New York State Residents Only)
Please be aware that changes in your filing status during 2011 could potentially affect your award for the 2013-2014 academic year. These changes
include parents’ divorce, and/or re-marriage, student and parents’ state of residence, etc. The TAP award estimate is based on the current 2010-2011
formula and is as accurate as the information you provide. Please be aware that the formula for 2011-2012 is subject to change, pending NYS budget
approval, so Paul Smiths is not responsible for the final award determination. Information you report on the FAFSA is automatically sent to NY
Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). HESC will then send you an Express TAP application (ETA) that you must complete and return to the for
grant eligibility determination. The TAP application can also be processed on HESC’s TAP application website at www.tapweb.org/totw. It is
important to complete the TAP application process. For more information on NYS TAP, please visit www.hesc.org. Students must meet the academic
progress requirements set by NYS HESC. These requirements may be found online at www.paulsmiths.edu, Offices of Financial Aid.
To apply for TAP: www.hesc.com
Federal Grants and Loans
Paul Smith's College participates in the following U.S. Department of Education Financial Assistance Programs:
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Stafford Loans
- Federal Parent PLUS Loans
- Federal Work-Study
Federal Pell Grants
Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree. To determine eligibility, the U.S. Department of Education
uses a standard formula to evaluate the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The formula produces an Expected Family
Contribution (EFC) number. The result of the federal application is a Student Aid Report (SAR) which contains the EFC number and indicates Pell Grant
eligibility. Pell Grants for the 2013-2014 award year will range from $605 to $5,645.
Federal Perkins Loans
Federal Perkins Loan Program is available to undergraduate students
- Must complete the Entrance Counseling & the Master Promissory Note – Students will be notified by the Financial Aid Office when to complete online.
- Students must have financial need to borrow from this program.
- 5% interest rate and a 9 month grace period
- Interest is subsidized (government pays interest while student in school and during grace period)
- Repayment begins nine months after student ceases half-time enrollment.
Average annual loan $500 to $1,000
Federal Direct Loans
William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program:
Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans
Paul Smiths College participates in the Federal Direct Student Loan program. The interest rate on a Direct Stafford Loan is usually better than many of the non-Federal
alternative student loans. The interest rate for subsidized Direct Stafford Loans for undergraduate students is currently a fixed rate of 3.4 percent. For each
academic year the interest rate is updated and takes effect as of July 1st. For unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, the current interest rate is a fixed 6.8 percent.
A subsidized Direct Stafford Loan is awarded based on financial need. You will not be charged interest before you begin repayment or during authorized periods of deferment.
The Federal government “subsidizes” the interest during these periods.
An unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan can be awarded regardless of financial need. You will be charged interest from the time the
loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow that interest to accumulate, it will be added to the principal amount of your loan.
For students who are offered and accept a Federal Direct Stafford Loan as part of their financial aid package, the application process is straight
forward. You will be required to fill out a single Master Promissory Note (MPN) and the Entrance Counseling for your Stafford Loan. It is your
responsibility to review all terms and conditions of the loan, as well as to complete the MPN and Entrance Counseling. Once the MPN and Entrance
Counseling is received and processed, and your loan funds are disbursed, the Direct Stafford Loan estimate indicated on your bill will be removed
and become an actual credit (half of the loan will be disbursed each semester). You will be notified within 30 days of the date that the funds
were credited to your account. You have 14 days from the date indicated in the letter to cancel all or a portion of your loan.
Federal Stafford Loan limits for dependent students are as follows:
|FOR DEPENDENT STUDENTS
||Base Limit (includes Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
||Additional Unsubsidized Eligibility
|First Year Student
|Juniors and Seniors
Repayment begins six months after graduation with several payment options. Each year, your Financial Aid Award letter will notify you of your eligibility
of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Repayment on both loan types (subsidized and unsubsidized) is deferred while a borrower is enrolled on at least a
half-time basis. You may choose to pay interest on an unsubsidized loan while in school. To be considered for a Direct Stafford Loan, you must file the
FAFSA form. If your first year award includes a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you should anticipate that Paul Smiths College will usually offer the
maximum allowable Federal Direct Stafford Loan each year. As always, it is your option to accept or decline all or part of this loan.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan:
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan allows parents to borrow up to the cost of attendance (less any other financial aid) each year. The current 2013-2014 interest
rate is a fixed rate of 7.9 percent. For each academic year the interest rate is updated and takes effect as of July 1st. Monthly re-payment begins within
60 days after the final disbursement for each academic year. The standard repayment period is 10 years with no penalties for prepayment. Deferment options
are available. PLUS loan borrowers cannot have an adverse credit history (credit check will be done).
All first-time parent borrowers must complete the online PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN) before PLUS loan funds can disburse. The PLUS Loan MPN can be
completed at www.studentloans.gov. Parents who are approved with an endorser (credit worthy cosigner) must complete a new MPN for each loan application
they submit. Parent borrowers do not need to complete a Federal Loan Entrance Interview. The parent who is borrowing the PLUS loan must sign in using their Federal FAFSA PIN.
Federal Work-Study and College Sponsored Student Employment Programs
The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for students who demonstrate financial need. In addition, the college funds a student employment program which is not based upon financial need.
Students at Paul Smith’s College work for 5 to 10 hours per week earn an average of $2,500 per academic year and are paid the current federal minimum wage on a semi-weekly basis. Eligibility
is determined by the Financial Aid Office. Students begin their job search with the College Student Placement Office where they obtain a Work-Study Authorization Form and a listing of job
opportunities. Students are responsible for contacting potential employers and arranging interviews. The hiring decision is made by the person who listed the position. Since funds and job
opportunities are limited, priority consideration is given to those applicants whose Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information is available in the Financial Aid Office
by the May 1 deadline. Work-Study is first-come, first serve. Work Study is not deducted from your bill. Work-Study money is used for personal expense.
Alternative Student Loans
If a student is still seeking additional loan funding after fully exhausting their Federal loan eligibility, a student may consider borrowing from an “alternative” or private educational loan program.
Alternative Student Loans may be available for families seeking additional financing options.
Alternative Loans are non-Federal loans that are usually in the student’s name, and in most cases, require a qualified co-signer. Paul Smiths College encourages parents to first consider the Federal Direct
PLUS Loan to cover any outstanding educational expenses prior to considering an alternative loan. Generally, a PLUS Loan will provide better interest rates and more flexible repayment options as well as
options for loan cancellation that are not offered by most alternative loan products. However, if a student chooses to borrow through an Alternative Student Loan product, we encourage the student to
thoroughly review each loan product by comparing loan terms, rates, fees, borrower benefits and repayment options. It is important to note that Alternative Student Loan terms and conditions differ
from Federal Educational Loans, and can vary significantly among different alternative loan products.
It is the students’ responsibility to research private alternative lender options. One suggestion would be to do an on-line search. Please note that you have the right and the ability to select the
Alternative Student Loan lender of your choice, and you will not be penalized by the College for choosing any particular lender.
Paul Smiths College Payment Plan
The College offers an interest free payment plan, whereby any direct expenses not covered by financial aid may be spread out over ten equal payments. The 10 month payment plan starts in July and ends
in April. Information on the payment plan and to enroll is on the Paul Smiths website at
Fall charges are billed in July and made payable mid August and the spring charges are billed in December and made payable January. The non-refundable admissions enrollment deposit payment will be
applied to the student account the first semester the student attends Paul Smiths.
Student Health Insurance
All full-time undergraduate students are automatically enrolled in the Paul Smiths College Student Health Insurance Plan. If a student has equivalent comprehensive coverage, a waiver form must be
completed online at www.gallagherkoster.com/paulsmiths.
If you’re financial circumstances change and/or are different from what is recorded on the FAFSA you may complete a Special Circumstance form located on the PSC website under Office of Financial Aid.
The Special Circumstance is reviewed by the Financial Aid staff and a reply is typically made within 7 to 10 days. Note that special circumstance consideration will be for the academic year. If
the changed situation continues after the academic year, additional correspondence from the family is required.
Satisfactory Academic Program (SAP)
Students are required to maintain minimum standards of academic progress to continue eligibility for financial aid resources including Paul Smiths, Federal and state programs. Academic progress is
determined by two criteria: the quality of academic achievement as indicated by the cumulative grade point average and progress toward the degree. More information on SAP can be found on the PSC
website under the Offices of Financial Aid.