How to Apply

How to apply for FAFSA, TAP, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan?

Step 1: FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

To apply for Federal financial aid, from the United States government, a student must file a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

City College of New York Federal School Code - 002688

The FAFSA is used to apply for the following federal financial aid programs:

  1. Federal Pell Grant
  2. Federal Work-Study
  3. William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan
  4. Federal SEOG (Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant)
  5. Federal TEACH grant


  • Students applying for the NY State SEEK program must also file a FAFSA. Also, the FAFSA may be required in order to qualify for certain scholarships.
  • Continuing students can access their federal grant (PELL) and student loan history via National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), by using their FSA ID in order to plan accordingly for the future. 

There are two basic ways to file a FAFSA

1. Submit a FAFSA via the Internet, at

  • This is the easiest and quickest way to submit a FAFSA by using "prior-prior year" income information (two years in the past) Watch video
  • Students and parents must obtain a "FSA ID" in order to complete and electronically sign a FAFSA.
  • Remember to include CCNY's Federal Code 002688 on the FAFSA application.
  • IRS Data Retrieval Tool is preferred to easily import your tax information directly to the FAFSA.
  • In approximately one week, students will receive an email, with a link, to view their FAFSA results, this is called the Student Aid Report (SAR).

2. Students who want to file a paper FAFSA by mail must print the application from Print a FAFSA

    Students will receive a SAR in the mail in approximately three weeks.

Step 2: TAP (Tuition Assistance Program)

To apply for TAP (Tuition Assistance Program), or APTS (Aid for Part-time Study), which is financial aid from New York State, a student must file a separate application.

City College of New York TAP Code - 1411 (Undergraduate students only)

How to apply for TAP

  1. Complete a FAFSA at: and include at least one college located in New York State.
  2. After completing the FAFSA, click on the link provided to be transferred to the NYS HESC website or go to
  3. Include CCNY college code 1411 (undergradaute only) on the TAP application.
  4. Follow the instructions to create or use your HESC PIN to complete your application online.
  5. In approximately ten business days, you will receive an email with instructions on how to check on the status of your TAP application.


  • If you have graduated from a high school outside the United States, you must meet the "Ability to Benefit" requirement by the deadline for each semester. For more details, contact the Evaluation and Testing Office.
  • Effective starting from the 2010-11 academic year, with the exception of veterans, graduate students can no longer receive TAP.
  • Students (and the parents of dependent students) must be legal New York State residents and must have resided in New York State at least twelve (12) continuous months prior to the semester of their award.

All application processing and correction requirements must be completed before a TAP and/or Pell Grant can be used toward their tuition bill. Students with confirmed Federal Pell Grants may receive Pell book advances at the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters.

For more details regarding TAP/APTS, additional types of New York State financial aid and eligibility requirements Click Here or visit New York State Higher Education Services Corporation webpage.

Excelsior Scholarship:

New York State residents should feel free to apply for the Excelsior Scholarship - Learn More


  1. Wait 3-5 business days after submitting a FAFSA to receive your Student Aid Report (SAR) via email.
  2. Remember to include the CCNY Federal School Code (002688) on FAFSA and NY State Code (1411) on the TAP applications.
  3. Follow up and make corrections on your FAFSA and/or TAP applications if you need to. Failure to follow up may result in a delayed disbursement of financial aid funds.
  4. Always review your CUNYfirst “To Do List” to make sure you do not have any unresolved items. View a video about How to View Your To Do List.
  5. If you need to submit documents, we recommend making an appointment online by going to the Financial Aid webpage and requesting one under "Make an Appointment".
  6. Check your CCNY (Citymail) email account often for important financial aid information.

Note: New Students must claim their CUNYfirst and Citymail E-Mail accounts.

How to apply for a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan

For undergraduate students only

  • You must have completed the FAFSA application.
  • As a first time borrower at City College of New York, you must complete the (1) Entrance Counseling session and sign the (2) Master Promissory Note (MPN) online. Read More

You must: 

  1. Login to CUNYfirst at
  2. Select "HR/Campus Solutions" from the left menu.
  3. Navigate to "Self Service" followed by "Student Center".
  4. In the "Finances" section, click the "Direct Loan Processing Form" link.
  • Allow 3-4 weeks for processing. Applications submitted during registration may take up to 6 weeks to be processed.
  • Information on Federal Direct Loans is available on the CCNY Financial Aid loan webpage and at



(CCNY Towers residents should submit a photocopy of their "Housing Lease Agreement" after they have submitted a loan application).

For information regarding amounts as well as other details, please visit Federal Direct Loans.

About Graduate Student Financial Aid


    What tax year does FAFSA use?

    We urge students to apply for federal and New York state financial aid every year.

    Academic YearTax YearSubmit FAFSA as early as
        2018-2019     2016     10/01/17
        2019-2020     2017     10/01/18


    What is a Student Aid Report (SAR)?

    The SAR is a report that summarizes the FAFSA information and indicates a student's Expected Family contribution (EFC). The EFC determines the amount of Federal Pell grant funds a student may qualify for. It is also used to determine eligibility for other "need based" federal programs, such as Work-Study, SEOG, and Subsidized Direct Loans.

    Every SAR includes a "Comments" page. It is important for a student to read this section completely to see if there are any documents that must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office. Required documents should be submitted as soon as possible to avoid processing delays. Documents submitted must be photocopies, since they will become part of a student's permanent file and will not be returned.

    If one of the comments on a student's SAR indicates that they have been selected for "Verification", no federal aid will be disbursed until the process is completed.  Verification forms can be printed from the Financial Aid website.

    Again, it is important to submit documents in a timely fashion so that any necessary corrections to the FAFSA can be made. A delay in submitting documents may cause a delay in the disbursement of financial aid funds. Students who do not receive their SAR as expected should call 800 4-FEDAID (1(800) 433-3243), to check on the status of their FAFSA.

    Did You Know?

    • You must apply for federal and New York state financial aid every year. The City College priority deadline for filing a FAFSA is March 15 each year.

    • Early FAFSA filers are more likely to receive the earliest Federal Work-Study, Federal SEOG, and Federal loan awards. If you apply early, your financial aid award can be posted onto your student account before classes begin.

    • Using the "IRS Data Retrieval Tool" is the preferred way to enter your income information on to your FAFSA.

    • Families will now use "prior-prior year" income information (two years in the past), to complete a FAFSA. Due to this change, for the 2018-19 FAFSA, families will use 2016 income/tax information; for 2019-2020 they will use 2017 income/tax information, etc. Read More