Types of Financial Aid


Students accepted to Paul Smith’s College should file a FAFSA no later than March 1st of their enrollment year. However, students may file a FAFSA past the March 1st priority date. In order to complete the FAFSA, an FSA ID must be created by the student and a parent (if dependent for FAFSA purposes). When possible, use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to transfer tax information from the IRS to the FAFSA. For specific information about Federal Financial Aid programs, FSA IDs, or the FAFSA, please visit Federal Student Aid. After the FAFSA is received by Paul Smiths College, all accepted students will receive a detailed financial aid offer via email and get access to thier PSC Financial Aid Portal.


Renewal FAFSAs for the 2021/2022 academic year are available starting October 1, 2020. The Federal school code for Paul Smith’s College is 002795. It is important to submit accurate and complete parent and student information. To improve accuracy, use the IRS Data Retrieval tool to transfer information from the IRS to the FAFSA. Your financial aid such as the Paul Smith’s College Grant, Federal Pell Grant, and Federal SEOG award may change based on changes to your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). If you have any questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.


Financial aid eligibility for federal and institutional grants are based on the information you provide on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The income and asset information you submit is evaluated by a formula called Federal Methodology as set by Congress. This formula assumes that 2019 income is a good predictor of a family’s financial strength during the student’s 2021-2022 academic year.  The Office of Financial Aid at Paul Smith’s College recognizes that many families have changes in income or family situations that cannot be reflected in the 2019 tax return data. For this reason, students can appeal their financial aid eligibility if they have unique financial circumstances. Please read the information on our “Special Circumstances Request Form” found on our Forms webpage for detailed information and application instructions. 


If you’re a resident of New York state and enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, you may be eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards. The TAP application process begins by filing the FAFSA and listing a college or university located in New York State. Students may complete their TAP application on-line at http://www.tapweb.org/totw/.

‎You must include Paul Smith’s school codes or you will not be eligible for TAP. The TAP codes are 2140 for 2-year programs and 6140 for 4-year programs. To remain eligible for TAP you must maintain NYS Satisfactory Academic Progress requirments and remain a resident of New York State (NYS). Please note that NYS TAP award estimates provided on award notifications will be based on the current year formula while the NYS budget is being finalized. Paul Smith’s will not be responsible for making up any difference should one’s actual TAP award be lower than the estimated amount.


Do not forget to submit your application to VSAC (Vermont Student Assistance Corp.) for consideration of a VT State grant. It is your responsibility to contact VSAC to be certain you comply with the VSAC application deadline. Please visit the VSAC Website for more information. 


Graduate students are eligible for financial aid. The first step in the application process is to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Most graduate students are eligible to borrow up to $20,500 per academic year in a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. Credit-qualified graduate students can borrow a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan to pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Private alternative student loans are another option to finance the costs of a graduate education. All students should maximize scholarship opportunities before relying on student loans. Online search engines are a great way to find scholarship opportunities but be sure to also check with employers, professional associations, and local civic groups and businesses.

Watch this video for more information on financial aid for graduate students.

Review Award Offer

Log in to the portal to view aid offered, accept/decline financial aid, check for outstanding requirements, and more.

Info for NY Residents

New York State Residents: “TAP” into Additional Aid"

If you’re a resident of New York state and are or will be an undergraduate student, you MAY be eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) awards. After filing your FAFSA, you will be able to link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA confirmation page. You must include Paul Smith’s school codes or you will not be eligible for TAP. TAP codes 2140 (2 year program) and 6140 (4 year program). To remain eligible for state and/or federal financial aid, you must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

The “Enhanced TAP” program created by New York state in 2017 is not currently available through Paul Smith’s College. We are strongly committed to college affordability and continuously seek favorable funding opportunities for our students and their families. Enhanced TAP in its current form has a number of restrictions that place a significant burden on the students and colleges that participate. We are monitoring the effectiveness of this program in its first year and may participate in the future once more information is known. Please contact our financial aid office if you have questions or would like to discuss the details and your individual financial aid award.


Contact Us »

Office of Financial Aid

Paul Smith's College
Phelps Smith Admin Building
Room 103
PO Box 265
Paul Smiths, NY 12970-0265

(518) 327-6248
(800) 421-2605
(518) 327-6055: fax

Hours: M-F, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

What are Gift and Merit Awards?

Gift Aid in the form of scholarships or grants is financial assistance that does not require repayment. This can include state and federal grants, merit-based scholarships, and academic awards. Grants are awarded on a financial need basis and may come from the federal government, your home state government, the college, or a private or nonprofit organization.

Common federal grants and scholarships include:

• Federal Pell Grants
• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
• Military Service Grants
• Paul Smith’s Merit and Need-Based Grants

PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE MERIT AWARDS – Based upon Academic Achievement in High School. The following amounts are current as of the 2021/22 academic year. Merit scholarship amounts are determined annually but once a student is awarded, their merit scholarship amount will remain the same for the entirety of their academic program, as long as they continue to meet satisfactory academic progress requirements. 


First Time College Freshmen

High School average or GPA Scholarship Amount * renewable annually if student maintains a 2.0 GPA
Presidential Scholarship >95/100 average or 3.9/4.0 $19,000
Provost Scholarship 90-94/100 or 3.5 – 3.8/4.0 $18,000
Dean Scholarship 85-89.9/100 or 3.0 – 3.4/4.0 $16,000
Faculty Scholarship 80-84.49/100 or 2.5 – 2.9/4.0 $14,000
Bobcat Scholarship <80 or 2.5 $10,000



Transfer Students

College GPA Scholarship Amount: Renewable annually if student maintains a 2.0 GPA.
Transfer Excellence Scholarship >3.0 Cumulative GPA $13,000
Transfer Achievement Scholarship 2.5 – 2.99 Cumulative GPA $12,000
Transfer Recognition Scholarship 2.0 – 2.49 Cumulative GPA $11,000
Transfer Honor Scholarship <2.0 Cumulative GPA $10,000

PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE NEED BASED GRANTS – Based upon financial need

Paul Smith’s College also offers institutional need based grants. The grant amount is based on Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and institutional guidelines. In the 2019/2020 academic year, Paul Smith’s awarded approximately $3,000,000 in need-based grants.

FEDERAL PELL GRANTS – Based upon financial need

The amount you are awarded is based on a federal formula using information on your FAFSA. Awards range from 0 to $6,195 annually. Some students may be able to receive additional Federal Pell Grant funds for summer enrollment. The amount you are awarded will depend on:

  • Financial Need
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Status as a full-time or part-time student
  • Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

More information can be found on Federal Student Aid’s website.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS (FSEOG) – Since this funding is very limited, FSEOG is usually only awarded to undergraduate students that qualify for maximum Federal Pell Grants. Awards typically range from $100-$2,000 per year. It is recommended that students submit their FAFSA by the March 1st priority application date for the greatest chance of receiving FSEOG.

FEDERAL CHILDREN OF FALL HEROES SCHOLARSHIP – Under this scholarship, a Pell-eligible student whose parent or guardian died in the line of duty while performing as a public safety officer is eligible to receive a maximum Pell Grant for the award year for which the determination of eligibility is made. To qualify for this scholarship, a student must be Pell-eligible and be less than 24 years of age or enrolled at an institution of higher education at the time of his or her parent’s or guardian’s death. In subsequent award years, the student continues to be eligible for the scholarship as long as the student has a Pell-eligible EFC and continues to be an eligible student.

MILITARY SERVICE GRANTS – Based upon military service

Both the federal government and nonprofit organizations offer money for college to veterans, future military personnel, active-duty personnel, or those related to veterans or active-duty personnel.

For information: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/military

What is an Endowed Scholarship?

An Endowed Scholarship begins as a donation or gift to the college. The endowment provides a permanent asset from which the college may provide financial support to students meeting certain established criteria. The endowment becomes a fund that is invested and managed by the college with the goal to grow the value of the fund so that in the future, the value of the award is not diminished by inflation.

Endowed scholarships are awarded annually to qualifying students who meet the fund’s requirements. For example, stipulations for recipients can be based upon academic achievement, GPA, field of study or geographic area of origin.

Students receiving endowed scholarships will be asked to write a thank you letter to the donor that made the scholarship possible.

What are Federal Direct Loans?

Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loans – These are need-based loans. The federal government pays the interest that accrues on the loan while you are enrolled in at least 6 credits and you won’t be charged any interest during your six-month grace period. Graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loan funds.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans – These are non-need based loans, and are available regardless of financial need; interest begins to accrue as soon as you receive your loan. Students may choose to pay the interest that accumulates or have it capitalized – meaning, the interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and additional interest will be based upon the higher amount. Paying the interest as it accumulates will reduce the amount of interest that must be repaid.

Interest Rates and Loan Fees – The fixed interest rate is 3.73% on subsidized and unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students first disbursed between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2021. The interest rate is 5.28% for unsubsidized loans for graduate students.

Federal student loans are subject to an origination fee. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each disbursement of the loan you receive (typically one per semester). This means the money you receive from the loan will be less than the amount you borrow. You’re responsible for paying the entire amount back and not just the amount you receive. The origination fee on Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans is 1.057% for all loans first disbursed between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022. The origination fee for Direct PLUS Loans is 4.228%

Repayment of both types of loans begins six months after graduation or after you fall below 6 credits.

A federal loan servicer will be assigned by the Department of Education and communicate directly with students. Work with your servicer to select a repayment plan. NOTE: A borrower may prepay all or any part of the unpaid balance on the loans at any time without penalty. For more about student loan repayment, click here.

Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The Federal Government offers Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) through the Federal Direct Lending Program, whereby federal funds are borrowed directly from the Department of Education. Funds are available to parents for their dependent, undergraduate students who are matriculated in a degree program and enrolled in at least six (6) credits. Parents of dependent students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other aid through this credit-based loan program each academic year.

Interest Rate/Origination Fee

An interest rate of 6.28% is effective for Federal Parent (PLUS) Loans with a first disbursement after July 1, 2021 and before July 1,2022. Interest begins to accrue upon disbursement or parents may choose to defer payments.

Direct PLUS loan fees are 4.228% for loans disbursed between October 1, 20121 and September 30, 2022. Borrowers are responsible for repaying the entire amount of the loan, not just the amount they receive.

Choose When to Pay Back

1. Begins within 60 days after the last disbursement of the loan for the academic year; OR

2. Parents may choose to defer payments until 6 months after student graduates or falls below 6 credits. Parent borrowers may choose to pay interest monthly, quarterly or choose to have interest capitalized. Contact the Loan Servicer to discuss this repayment option.

Apply for a PLUS 

To apply, complete the Paul Smith’s College Parent PLUS Loan Application available on our forms page. First-time parent borrowers must complete an online electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) at http://studentloans.gov. If a parent is denied the Parent PLUS Loan based on credit, the student may be eligible to borrow additional Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans.

Private Alternative Loans

A private alternative loan is a student loan borrowed from a bank, credit union, state lending agency, or other private lender. We encourage you to compare lender discounts and other borrower benefits when applying for an alternative education loan. You have the right to select any lender you wish to use for an alternative loan. It is the responsibility of the student to thoroughly evaluate each lender before choosing the one that is right for you.

Please use ELM Select to compare lenders

What to Consider When Selecting a Lender

Students are encouraged to research the interest rates, credit check requirements, conditions, terms, and repayment of alternative loans when selecting a lender. Below are some questions to ask when comparing lenders.

  • What is the interest rate?
  • Is the rate fixed (rate does not change) or variable (rate changes)?
  • Are there any fees associated with the application, origination, or early repayment of the loan?
  • Can principal and interest payments be deferred while I am enrolled in school?
  • Am I required to have a co-signer?
  • Will a co-signer help lower my interest rate?
  • Is there an option for my co-signer to be released from the loan after a specified time period?
  • Do I have to be enrolled in a minimum number of credit hours to receive the loan?
  • How long do I have to repay the loan?
  • Can I use the loan to cover a prior balance? If yes, how long after that semester is over can I apply?
  • Are there any other benefits/incentives offered with the loan?