Yes. You must complete the FAFSA each year. If you receive a grant or scholarship from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), a TAP application must be completed every academic year you wish to receive financial aid. A student applying for aid using FAFSA-on-the-Web will be able to link to the TAP-on-the-Web (TOTW) application through the FAFSA Confirmation page if they indicated they are a New York resident and listed at least one New York State school.  This process will be fast, since your FAFSA information will carry over to the TAP application.  If you exited the FAFSA before completing the TAP application, and you filled in your New York State address and a New York State school on the FAFSA, HESC will then send you an email or postcard with directions to complete the TAP application online. 


The online FAFSA has space for up to 10 schools. If you need to send it to more than 10 schools, wait until the FAFSA is processed and ready for updates. You can usually update the FAFSA within three to five days after you submit it. To make corrections, go to and log in with your FSA ID. Choose 'Make FAFSA Corrections,' and navigate directly to the 'School Selection' tab to edit your school list. You will need to delete some of the original colleges you listed before you can add new ones. Any schools you listed on a previous submission of the FAFSA will still have a copy of your form available to them.   

NOTE: If you make other corrections to your FAFSA later, the FAFSA processor will send the updated information to the 10 schools listed at the time the corrections are made. If you want the other colleges to receive your updated FAFSA, look for the Data Release Number (DRN) on the confirmation page and give that number to the financial aid office of the college that is not listed; they can get your updated information electronically. 


Young men age 18 through 25 are required to register with the U.S. Selective Service in order to receive federal student aid, including Pell Grants, Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Stafford Loans. If you haven't registered, you can do it on the FAFSA. By checking the "Register Me" box, you give the U.S. Department of Education permission to submit your information to Selective Service. Get more information about the U.S. Selective Service at



Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are one of the following: 

  • U.S. permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as an Alien Registration Receipt Card or "Green Card") 
  • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C) 
  • Other eligible noncitizen with an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Indefinite Parole," "Humanitarian Parole," or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant." 
  • Citizen of the Republic of Palau (PW), the Republic of the Marshall Islands (MH), or the Federated States of Micronesia (FM). 

You can receive federal student aid if you are an eligible noncitizen. You must enter your eight or nine-digit Alien Registration Number (ARN) on the FAFSA. 

Federal Regulations define an eligible non-citizen as someone "able to provide evidence from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that he or she is in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident." In other words, regulations require that the Department of Education rely upon the determination made by DHS. When a student files a FAFSA, an automatic check is run with DHS to determine whether they are a citizen or an eligible noncitizen. If the data match indicates that the student's information did not match with DHS, the college is then required to request documentation from the student to show his or her eligible status. Remember, a DHS-provided status can be revoked; therefore, the results of a non-match must be appropriately resolved. 


Undocumented students and students in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are not considered "eligible noncitizens" for purposes of the FAFSA and will not qualify for any federal student aid programs. These students should speak to the financial aid office at their prospective college to discuss options for financial assistance and the application process. 


If you are a single parent who provides more than half of the financial support to your child, then you can be recognized as an independent student on the FAFSA. If you are younger than 24 years old and your parent is providing the majority of financial support to both you and your child, then you are still considered a dependent student, and you will need to provide your parent's information on the FAFSA. 

If your grandmother is your court-appointed legal guardian, then you qualify to file as an independent student. If your grandmother does not have court documentation to meet the requirement of legal guardianship and you are unable to get financial information from your father, complete the student portion of the FAFSA and indicate you are unable to provide parent information on the 'Dependent Status Summary' section. The following pages of the FAFSA will let you notify your schools that you may have a special circumstance they need to review. Then, FAFSA will allow you to skip the parent information and financial sections and you can sign the FAFSA and submit it. Although your application will be incomplete, the colleges listed will still receive your data. You should contact the financial aid offices at your selected colleges for further instructions. A grandparent, or anyone else,  who is the student's court-appointed legal guardian is not considered a parent on the FAFSA. 

As a youth-in-care or a former youth-in-care, you qualify to apply as an independent student. This status may apply to you if you are an orphan (both parents deceased), a ward of the court, or in foster care on or after your 13th birthday, even if you have subsequently been adopted or 'aged out' of the system. This may also apply to youth in kinship guardianship. If you are considered independent, your custodial parents' financial information is not required on the FAFSA. The U.S. Department of Education's webpage has a complete list of the criteria that determine dependency. On your FAFSA, be sure to answer YES to the appropriate Dependency Status question so you can receive all the aid for which you're eligible. You may need to show proof of your independent status at the college financial aid office; if so, ask your caseworker for a letter stating your status as a youth in foster care on agency letterhead. 

On the 'Dependency Status Summary' section, the FAFSA will ask whether the student is able to provide parent information; if the student indicates "no," then the FAFSA will allow the student to indicate they have a special circumstance and submit their application without parent information. However, the student will need to get in touch with the college financial aid office to discuss the situation to determine if their special circumstance qualifies them to file as an independent student. 

Have other dependency questions? Review the U.S. Department of Education's website: Determining FAFSA Dependency

Yes, you must indicate your marital status as of the day you are completing the FAFSA and include your spouse's income, even if you did not file taxes together in the tax year you are required to report. 



Financial / Tax Related 

You'll find your pension amount on your W-2 form, box 12a-12d - codes D, E, F, G, H and S if applicable. Don't include amounts reported in code DD (employer contributions toward employee health benefits).


UTMA and UGMA (Uniform Gifts to Minors Act) accounts, also known as custodial bank accounts, are considered assets of the student on the FAFSA, regardless of the student's dependency status. If you are a parent, do not include UTMA and UGMA accounts as a parent asset if you are the custodian, but not the owner; these are to be reported as student assets. 

If your parent did not earn any wages, salaries, or tips from work in the tax year the question is referring to, then you may enter "0" for the total amount of earnings from work. The disability income should be reported on the FAFSA in the question about your parent's untaxed income. If you skip the rest of the FAFSA questions without reporting your parent's untaxed income, then you should be prepared to provide documentation showing your parent's disability income to the financial aid office when they request information about your parent's finances. 


The value of all 529 plans needs to be reported as an asset of the parent. The SAI formula will then take into account how many people the parent is supporting in his/her household and will understand that the parent cannot spend all assets on just one child.

The income questions on the FAFSA must be completed as they relate to what is being reported on the Federal Income Tax Return, W2 Form, or other income documents. Therefore, if a question on the FAFSA asks what the AGI is, the parents must fill in the amount of the AGI listed on their tax form, regardless of any special circumstance. If an applicant feels their FAFSA information presents an inaccurate picture of their family's financial situation, they should report this to the financial aid offices at the colleges they are applying to. The financial aid administrator will make a determination if the circumstance warrants an adjustment to the FAFSA and, if so, will provide instructions about required documentation. 


You can apply for TAP and make a school code change once you decide what school you will attend. 

You have several ways to change the school on the TAP application: 

  • Visit the Student Account Page on the HESC Home Page. This will bring you to the HESC Account Access page, where you can select the link to change your college code.
  • Ask the financial aid office at the college you will attend to change the school code online at HESC.