Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter

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Date Printed: 03/9/2024 

Victor E. Knight
1 College Circle
Athletics, NY 14454

Dear Victor:

Based on the information you have provided to the Office of Financial Aid at SUNY Geneseo, here is your estimated financial aid award for the 2024-25 academic year.


$5,545.00 (Actual)

$3,532.00 (Estimated)

$907.00 (Estimated)

$1,000.00 (Actual)


$3,500.00 (Offered)
$2,000.00 (Offered)
Federal Work Study (not deducted from the estimated costs)    

$2,200.00 (Offered)
Based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA),
your is 1347. Your SAI is not the amount that you (or your parents) are required to pay.
Your for the upcoming year are listed below.
Estimated Direct Costs  
Comprehensive & College Fees $1,953.00
Meal Plan Rate $6,139.00
New York State Tuition $7,070.00
On-Campus Room Rate $9,703.00
Total $24,865.00
Estimated Direct Net Costs  
Total Direct Costs $24,865.00
Total Grants and Scholarships $10,984.00

Loans $5,500.00


The "remaining cost" is an estimate of what a family will pay directly to the College for this academic year. In addition, the College estimates a full-time student will pay approximately $3,815 in indirect costs. These costs include books and supplies, personal expenses, transportation, and loan fees. State grants and scholarships are estimated until you apply and the State confirms your eligibility through income verification.

For more information on your financial aid awards, please visit our website at geneseo.edu/financial_aid 

Susan Romano
Executive Director of Financial Aid and Enrollment Management
SUNY Geneseo

office of financial aid contact info

More Information

SUNY Geneseo reviews several factors to determine your financial aid award.

Two key elements are your financial need and the timeliness of your application. Click the expandable section below for more information to help you and your family understand your award letter and how SUNY Geneseo calculated your eligibility.

Understanding the financial aid award process

Using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Geneseo’s first step to calculating financial need is the receipt of your FAFSA. Once you complete the FAFSA and your FAFSA is processed, the U.S. Department of Education will send you a FAFSA Submission Summary that indicates your Student Aid Index (SAI). The Submission Summary reflects income, assets, household size, and other information reported on the FAFSA (more about the SAI below).

Calculating Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between Geneseo’s total cost of attendance and your SAI. The types and amounts of aid awarded are determined by your financial need. We also consider other factors, such as the timeliness of your application, receipt of outside awards (outside scholarships), and federal/state/campus funding levels.

Cost of Attendance Minus Student Aid Index = Financial Need

When financial need is a positive number, it means that you may qualify for need-based aid, such as Federal Direct Subsidized Loans or Federal Work-Study. When the calculation is zero or a negative number, it means you do not qualify for need-based aid.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

These costs represent the average costs charged to full-time students attending Geneseo for one academic year. This is NOT a bill. Your award letter highlights your estimated direct costs. You will receive a bill from the College of your actual direct charges once you are registered for classes. Keep in mind you will have other indirect expenses, such as books, supplies, personal items, and transportation. These costs will vary by student. You will NOT receive a bill from the College for indirect costs.

Student Aid Index

Your Student Aid Index (SAI) is calculated using the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and your IRS tax records. It is an index used to determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive for a given academic year.

Awarding Financial Aid

Once your financial need is calculated, SUNY Geneseo first awards grants and scholarships, then work-study and loans. Your awards may change if your FAFSA information is updated, you receive aid from other resources, or your enrollment or cost of attendance changes.

Grants (Need-Based, Not Repaid)

Federal Pell Grant

This grant is available if you have demonstrated high calculated need. You can receive a Pell Grant for less than full-time enrollment. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

You may receive this award if you demonstrate the highest level of financial need. While the Office of Financial Aid determines the amount, it may be awarded to you only if you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and if funding is available.

NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

This New York State grant is determined by your family’s New York State net taxable income. This will be listed as an estimated award until you file a separate application with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) and are issued an official award notice for SUNY Geneseo.

SUNY Tuition Credit (SUNYTC)

This supplemental grant is automatically awarded to you if you receive the TAP grant. The SUNYTC is also estimated until an actual TAP award is sent to SUNY Geneseo. The amount is calculated based on the actual NYS TAP award.

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

If you are admitted to SUNY Geneseo through the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), which is specifically designed for students who have demonstrated both educational and economic disadvantages, you will be awarded EOP grants.


Excelsior Scholarship

This New York State scholarship helps cover the cost of SUNY tuition. It provides up to $5,500 per academic year, minus any amounts for New York State Tuition Assistance Program, Federal Pell Grant, or other scholarships. The remainder of your tuition charge, if any, will be covered through the Excelsior Tuition Credit paid through SUNY. Excelsior is listed as an estimated award. If your award letter indicates an estimated Excelsior award, you don’t receive it automatically. You must file a separate Excelsior application with New York State and be found eligible by the state in order to receive it. Be sure to review the requirements for Excelsior at www.hesc.ny.gov.

Geneseo Community Scholarship

This first-year student scholarship is based on your core GPA from high school. If you receive this scholarship, it is renewable for up to four years of undergraduate studies, as long as you remain full-time, live on campus, and continue to incur housing charges.

Multicultural Fellow Scholarship

The Multicultural Fellows Scholars program recruits and strives to retain high-achieving students from historically disenfranchised backgrounds. Specifically, the program supports students from low-income communities who have been excluded from higher education opportunities. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years of undergraduate studies as long as you remain full-time and live on campus.

First Generation Scholarship

This scholarship provides a one-time $1000 award for new first-year students who are the first in their family to complete a 4-year degree.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Scholarship

This scholarship provides a one-time $1000 award for new first-year students who have completed an IB program.

Out-of-State Tuition Match

This scholarship is awarded to new first-year students coming from California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Vermont to make the out-of-state tuition rate comparable to tuition at their state flagship institutions. Amounts vary by state.

Geneseo Transfer Scholarship

The Geneseo Transfer Scholarship is awarded to new transfer students based on core GPA from college. It is renewable for up to two years of undergraduate studies as long as you remain full-time.

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Scholarship for Transfers

This $1,500 scholarship is awarded to new transfers who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at the time of admission. It is renewable for up to two years of undergraduate studies as long as you remain full-time.

Loans (Must Be Repaid)

Federal Direct Loans

If you submit a FAFSA, you will be offered a Federal Direct Student Loan. The loan amount(s) in your award letter indicate the maximum amount for which you are eligible. The interest rate for Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans will be set on July 1. Interest rates are fixed for the year, in accordance with the US 10-year Treasury Note. Funds are borrowed directly from the US Department of Education. The Department of Education charges a small* origination fee (1.057%). Repayment begins six months after you cease being at least a half-time student. We will notify you with additional information on how to accept your loan offer and with instructions on how to complete the application process after May 15.

*Direct Loan interest rates and origination fees may change without notice due to federal legislation.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

This is a need-based student loan. Interest does not accrue while you are attending school at least half-time (six credits or more).

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

This is not a need-based student loan. Interest accrues while you are attending school and during repayment.

Work (College Work-Study Job)

Federal Work Study

This program allows you to work on a part-time basis to earn money to pay for indirect costs. If you are awarded Federal Work Study, you will receive instructions for job placement in early summer. Jobs will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Earnings are not paid to the student’s bill but received in a paycheck/direct deposit to their bank account. If you are awarded and accept a Federal Work Study position, you will work approximately five hours per week, usually in an on-campus job. You will be paid every two weeks.

If you are not awarded work study but still wish to seek part-time employment, Geneseo’s Student Employment Services, located in MacVittie College Union, Room 343, will assist you in locating either on-campus or off-campus employment.

Options for Covering Your Remaining Costs

There are many resources available to assist you in financing your Geneseo education. Overall, the Federal Direct Student Loan that is included as part of your financial aid award letter offers the best repayment terms, deferment options, and borrower benefits.

If you still have a remaining cost on your award letter, this is the estimated amount you will need to cover for your first year at Geneseo, if you choose to accept all of your financial aid. You may pay the balance in full when you receive your actual bill, or you may consider one or more of the options below.

Geneseo Payment Plan

SUNY Geneseo allows you to spread out your balance (interest-free) up to four months each semester for a small fee. This helps to budget payment of your educational expenses and limit your debt. More information and instructions on how to sign up for a payment plan will be sent with your bill.

College Savings Program

If you have invested in a 529 College Savings Program, you may want to use all or a portion of your account to cover your remaining costs. After you are billed, you will need to contact your account administrator to request payment be issued to SUNY Geneseo. The Federal School Code for SUNY Geneseo is 002845, and the campus code is 00.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) 

Federal Direct PLUS loans are available to parents who wish to assist their dependent undergraduate child with their remaining costs. Interest rates are fixed for the year, in accordance with the US 10-year Treasury Note. Funds are borrowed directly from the US Department of Education. The Department of Education charges a 4.228%* origination fee. For example, a $13,000 loan pays to your account as $12,449. Parents have the option of making monthly payments immediately or deferring payments while the student is enrolled. The Direct PLUS loan requires a credit check and a separate application, which is available on www.studentaid.gov after June 1. 

Private Student Loans

As an alternative to the Federal PLUS loan, you may apply for a private education loan. Private student loans are offered by some banks and lending institutions and should only be considered if you need additional funds beyond the federal and state financial aid programs. Please go to elmselect.com for a list of lenders previously used by Geneseo students. Each lender may be different; however, some commonalities include:  

  • Loans are in the student’s name, with an eligible co-signer (a credit check is done).
  • Lenders offer the option of a variable or fixed interest rate.
  • Interest rates and loan fees may vary based on creditworthiness.
  • Interest accrues on the loan while the student is in college.

Private student loans should be chosen carefully. Since they are not federal student loans, terms and conditions can vary widely. These loans will only be added to your financial aid package once you apply and are approved by the lender. More information about loans will be sent after May 15.

When compared to private loans, the Federal PLUS loan is typically the most cost-effective choice for families, offering federal protection and more repayment options.

Have more questions? We're here to help. You can find us at financialaid@geneseo.edu or 585-245-5731.