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How Geneseo Uses Your FAFSA

Several factors are reviewed to determine what financial aid is awarded. Two key elements are financial need and the timeliness of your application. The following information is provided to help you and your family understand how SUNY Geneseo calculated your eligibility.

Using the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

The first step to calculating financial need is the receipt of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Since some aid is available on a first-come, first-serve basis due to funding levels, it is important that the FAFSA is completed as soon as possible after October 1st. A new FAFSA is required to determine financial aid before each academic year.

Upon completion of the FAFSA, students are provided with a Student Aid Report (SAR) that indicates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The SAR reflects all of the income, asset, household size, and other information reported on the FAFSA. More about the EFC is below.

Based on the FAFSA information, the EFC is calculated. According to the U.S. Department of Education:

"The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Also considered are your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year.

Note: Your EFC is not the amount of money your family will have to pay for college nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive. It is a number used by your school to calculate the amount of federal student aid you are eligible to receive."

Changes to the FAFSA that impact the EFC will be reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid. Additional information and/or documentation may be requested.

New York State residents should complete the TAP (Tuition Assistance Program) application through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYHESC), at Once you have decided to attend SUNY Geneseo, make sure our school code is the first school listed on the application, code 0920. You may also want to complete the Excelsior Scholarship application at You only need to apply once for the Excelsior Scholarship.

Estimating the Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance on your financial aid award notice is NOT a bill. The cost of attendance is the total estimate of both direct (billed) and indirect (non-billed) costs for enrollment as a full-time student at SUNY Geneseo. The student billing notice is calculated based on the direct costs only. For billing and payment information, visit the Student Accounts Office website. 

Calculating the Financial Need

Financial need is the difference between Geneseo's total cost of attendance and your EFC. The type and how much financial aid you may be awarded are determined by your financial need. However, other factors, like timeliness of your application, receipt of outside awards ("outside scholarships"), federal/state/campus funding levels, and academic standing also affect your financial aid awards.

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

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