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SUNY GCC - Genesee Community College

How to Apply for Financial Aid at GCC

Apply for Aid

1. Get Your FSA ID.

Your FSA ID will act as your signature on your FAFSA. You can apply for a FSA ID at least 3 days before you file your FAFSA or upon completion of the FAFSA.

2. File Your FAFSA.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be completed online. You’ll need your tax returns and W-2’s. Dependent students will also need their parents’ financial information. Were you contacted about a FAFSA Verification? Learn more about this verification process.

3. Apply for TAP.

Your NYS TAP Application can be completed immediately following the FAFSA. Students are encouraged to select that link to apply for TAP, or through the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website.

Financial Aid FAQs

When will I receive my financial aid?

The Department of Education will pay your Federal aid through GCC. Federal financial aid is disbursed after census point for courses the student has commenced attendance. Students in late start classes will have their aid disbursed in accordance with the census point in that part of term.

Aid is first applied to tuition, fees and other in school charges. If money remains, the Business Office will refund you any excess aid.

Need more information regarding Federal financial aid? Visit the Federal Student Aid website or call the Federal hotline at 1-800-433-3243.

What should I do if my family has special financial circumstances?

Please contact the Financial Aid Office to request an Appeal Form. Once completed, the Financial Aid Office will carefully review your request and determine if an adjustment can be made to your award.

May I use my financial aid to purchase books at the Bookstore or meals at the cafeteria?

Yes, you may use your Financial Aid to purchase books or a meal plan. You will need to authorize your aid for use in the Bookstore and cafeteria. To do this, log on to your myGCC account, select “Student Info” tab, click on the “Financial Aid Information Menu,” then click on “My Award Information,” click on “Authorize Funds for Bookstore Use.” Read through the provided information, select the term and click “submit,” then check both boxes and click “submit.”

Should I apply for outside scholarships and grants?

All students are encouraged to pursue local and national awards for which they may qualify. The Genesee Community Foundation has over 50 available scholarships. Students may also research potential scholarships for free on the internet at

Are there income cutoffs for financial assistance?

No. Many factors such as cost of attendance, family size, number of family members enrolled in college and assets are considered in determining eligibility.

Do I have to apply for aid every year?

Yes! It is necessary to reapply for aid each year by completing the FAFSA since your eligibility may change. We encourage students to complete the FAFSA soon after October 1st. You can file the FAFSA online.

What happens to my aid if I have to withdraw from school?

Federal regulations require that funds be refunded to the Federal government based on the number of days the student was attending classes. In many cases, the student would likely owe a balance to the College and/or federal government.

How will I know when a refund is available?

If you have a refund of excess aid, you will receive an email to your GCC email account. Please remember that your financial aid will first go to pay any tuition, fees and institutional charges on your account. You must be in attendance of your classes to earn your aid. GCC disburses financial aid after census point. Students in late start classes will have their aid disbursed in accordance with the census point of the corresponding part of term.

Federal Financial Aid (including loans) and NYS TAP will disburse at the point that the College has verified you have commenced attendance in the course(s) for which the aid/loans relate. For example, if you are in “late start” classes (Last 12-week classes or Last 7-week classes), your aid will not disburse until such time as your courses have begun. The very earliest that a student can be issued a refund check is Week 6.

Review our Dates & Deadlines page for specific refund dates.

All student refunds will be mailed to the address on file, unless you select to receive it by Direct Deposit or Reloadable Debit Card (students must provide the reloadable debit card). Please follow the steps below to make a selection.

Log into myGCC > Select My Account > Select My Banner Self-Service > Select Manage My Student Account > Select Manage My Refunds > Choose your refund method and enter required information

Remember, in order to keep all your federal financial aid that is being refunded to you, you must attend beyond the 60% point of the semester. Students who do not complete at least 60% of the semester will have a portion of their aid returned to the appropriate aid programs at the end of the semester.

If you have specific questions about the disbursement of financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office directly.

How much can I borrow?

The annual loan limits* are as follows:

Annual Loan Limits
Year Dependent Independent
Freshman (0-23 credits) $5,500 $9,500
Sophomore (24+ credits) $6,500 $10,500

*The amount you receive in a loan will vary based on your financial eligibility. Amounts are subject to change.

Virtual Financial Aid

Need virtual financial aid assistance? Schedule a phone call or Zoom appointment with one of our team about general financial aid questions or their subject areas of expertise. You can also view our Financial Aid tutorials on YouTube.

Joseph Bailey, Assistant Dean for Enrollment Services/Director of Financial Aid, can help you with Appeals (dependency status and satisfactory academic progress), Excelsior Scholarship, Federal Pell, Federal SEOG, Federal Work Study and verification.

Lisa Papke, Financial Aid Counselor/Loan Certifying Officer, can help you with Student loans, Parent (PLUS) loans, Veterans benefits.

Katie Brown, Financial Aid Counselor/TAP Certifying Officer, can help you with TAP certification and verification.

Alexandria Misiti, Financial Aid Counselor, can help you with General Financial Aid questions, Appeals (Dependency status and Satisfactory Academic Progress), scholarships, College Village (housing) financial aid, and verification.

Part Time Aid

A general misconception is that a student must be full time in order to receive financial assistance. Students may be eligible to receive financial aid based on the following credit hour requirements.

Minimum credits required for financial aid:

  • Federal Pell grant: 1-12 (or more) credits
  • Federal SEOG: 1-12 (or more) credits
  • New York State TAP: 12 or more credits
  • New York State Aid for Part Time Study: 1 -11 credits
  • Federal Direct Loans (Student and Parent): 6 or more credits

Student Outcome Tracking

Students cannot be awarded financial aid for classes that do not count toward their degree or certificate program requirements. If a student is enrolled in courses that do not count toward his or her degree, those courses cannot be used to determine enrollment status and aid eligibility. All registered courses must apply to the student’s program as a general education requirement, a major requirement or elective (whether restricted or free elective) or remedial.

Student Outcome Tracking FAQs

Why is it important to take courses that match my program requirements if I receive Financial Aid?

The Federal and State governments have mandated that all students receiving financial aid must take courses that apply to their programs. Schools will be held accountable to make sure students are taking the proper courses and could lose their ability to offer financial aid to students if they do not comply with this regulation.

What will happen to my financial aid if I choose to take courses that are not within my program?

You will only receive financial aid for courses in your program and your financial aid award package will be reduced to reflect the number of courses you are taking that do apply to your program.

How will I know if I’m not taking the right courses to satisfy the financial aid requirements? How will I be notified?

You will receive an electronic message when you register for courses in Banner Self Service indicating if a course does not meet the financial requirements and an explanation as to why it doesn’t.

What happens if I repeat a course?

Students who repeat courses they have taken previously either at GCC or another institution and received a passing grade may impact both federal and state aid programs (to maintain full-time status for financial aid, a student’s coursework must be at least 12 credits without the repeated class). An exception may be made for state aid if the student did not meet the minimum grade requirement for that class for graduation.

  • Federal Aid, including student loans, will pay for a student to repeat a passed course only once.
  • State aid (TAP) will only pay for a repeated course once, but only if it is required to have a higher grade for graduation in the student’s particular degree program.

If a student’s program does not require them to earn a higher grade for graduation, but the student is being advised to repeat coursework for academic reasons, it may be advisable for the student to be enrolled in at least 12 credits of new coursework — in addition any repeated courses — in order to maintain full time status.

I recently did a Program change and certain courses were excluded from my GPA. Will these courses still affect my financial aid eligibility?

They may. Only courses that are required in your Program are eligible for financial aid. If you received a grade of D or higher in any of your excluded courses they will be viewed as completed requirements and will be used again (when determining financial aid) if there is room in your new Program.

What are prerequisite courses?

These are courses that prepare you to complete a required course successfully. They may or may not be required as part of your program.

I am presently taking non-credit/ remedial courses that are not part of my Major. Will I receive financial aid for these courses?

Yes, the federal and state governments consider these preparatory classes for successful completion of college level courses. However, you must be registered for at least 6 credit- bearing/non-remedial courses.

Will this only affect full time students?

No. Part time students must adhere to the same guidelines.

What do I do if I find out my courses are not going to be paid for by financial aid?

You will need to readjust the courses within your program and take courses that do count for financial aid. Otherwise you will be responsible for payment for all courses that do not meet program requirements.

Can I drop classes once school has begun if I find out that I’m not going to receive financial aid for them?

No. You may not drop classes for financial aid eligibility reasons once school has begun; you will be charged the regular fee if you drop classes according to the college catalog guidelines.

I do not receive any federal or state aid. Does this apply to me?

These regulations only affect students receiving federal (including loans) and state aid. If you pay for courses on your own, you are free to take whatever courses you choose. However, taking courses outside of what is required for your major will prolong your time at Genesee and cost you additional funds. We encourage you to perform a Degree Audit periodically to ensure you are on your way to completing your degree.