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The Financial Aid Award Letter

Upon receipt and review of your FAFSA application, all accepted students are mailed a Financial Aid Award Letter. The award serves multiple purposes:

  1. Lists the aid programs and amounts available to help you pay for your educational expenses at Plattsburgh. The status of each program at the time of award is provided. For example, if the state budget is not determined at the time of your award, your NYS TAP Grant will be listed as an estimated award.
  2. Provides you an estimate of your college invoice/bill. Based on enrollment plans (i.e. fulltime, halftime) and housing plans (i.e. on campus, at home), we list an estimate of the college charges you may incur during the academic year. This can be used as a guide to help you plan for paying for college, but is only an estimate and is subject to change.
  3. Informs your student of how to accept or decline the awards. Step by step instructions are provided to your student to login to Banner Web and accept or decline the award offers.
  4. Notifies you of outstanding requirements. There may be additional documents needed or action required to confirm your financial aid awards. Your award letter will let you know what information is need and how to complete it.

When Financial Aid Is Not Enough

There are many resources available to help you pay for college. First, decide what financial aid awards you want to accept and compare those amounts to your estimated bill/invoice. Remember, the are educational expenses you will incur that will not be part of your college bill (i.e. books, supplies, clothing, telephone, etc.)

We suggest families' plan for approximately $1,200 - $2,500 in additional expenses for on-campus or at home students. Off-campus students incur $2,500 - $8,500 in additional expenses including off-campus rent and food.

Some resources you may want to consider to help pay for college:

  • Personal Resources - You may have savings or investments set aside to help with college costs.
  • Personal Loans - Some families borrow home equity loans or establish personal lines of credit for college expenses. Your financial institutions can advise you on the benefits of using such resources, but we strongly encourage you to consider interest rates, fees and repayment terms as well as alternatives to debt, such as savings, before signing on the dotted line.
  • Parent (PLUS) Loan - The Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program may be an option for a parent or stepparent. More information on PLUS loans follows.
  • College Payment Plans - If you are unable to pay the bill in one lump sum, you may wish to enroll in one of the college payment plans. Visit the Bursar's Office webpage for more information and to download the application.
  • Alternative Student Loans - view more information about alternative student loans.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

PLUS Loans are loans parents with acceptable credit history can take out for their dependent undergraduate children. For a Direct PLUS Loan, The student must meet the general eligibility requirements for federal student aid and the parent must also meet some of these general requirements. For example, they must be citizens or eligible noncitizens and may not be in default or owe a refund to any federal student aid program. The maximum amount you may borrow is listed on your student's financial aid award letter. PLUS loans have a variable interest rate established each year on July 1st. Interest begins to accumulate on the loan at the time the first disbursement is made. Repayment of the PLUS loan begins within 60 days of the loan being fully disbursed, or in-school deferement may be requested. Parents electing to use a Parent Loan (PLUS) must complete the PLUS Request Process and complete and sign an electronic Master Promissory Note (for first time parent borrowers).

Special Circumstances

The Financial Aid Office realizes that families sometimes experience unforeseen circumstances and/or expenses after you file your FAFSA. Some examples of special circumstances are: parental separation or divorce, loss or reduction of income, out-of-pocket medical or dental expenses or extraordinary household expenses. If you have a special circumstance that has occurred that will impact your plans for paying for college, you should contact our office to discuss your situation with a financial aid advisor.

Contact Information

For more information about Financial Aid at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Financial Aid Office
Location: Kehoe Administration Building, Suite 401-410
Phone: (518) 564-2072
Toll-Free Phone: (877) 768-5976
Fax: (518)564-4079

Our mailing address:

Financial Aid Office
SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-12681