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Financial Aid FAQs

  • Student loans are considered Financial Aid. Your family’s financial information is used to determine the type of loan you are eligible for.

    • Federal 004788
    • TAP 2254
  • The Department of Education has set guidelines for independence. To be considered independent and not include parents’ income a student must meet at least one of the following conditions:

    • Be at least 24 years old
    • Be married
    • Have a child who receives half of their support from the student
    • Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces for purposes other than training
    • Be an orphan or ward of the court at any time since you turned 13
    • Be working on a masters or doctorate program.
    • Be an emancipated minor as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
    • In legal guardianship as determined by a court in your state of legal residence
    • Determined by your high school or school district as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
    • Determined by the director of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless
    • Determined by the director of a runaway or homeless shelter as an unaccompanied youth who was homeless

    Thus, if a student is living in a separate residence from their parents, it does not make them independent. Therefore parent information must be provided.


  • Herkimer College requires students to file the FAFSA (Free Application of Federal Student Aid) and TAP Application.

  • Once we receive all of the required documents it will take one to two weeks to process your financial aid award notice.

  • There are a couple ways to get IRS Tax Transcripts to the Financial Aid Office:


    The BEST way to verify income is using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool as part of FAFSA on the Web. Using this process, your federal income tax information will be transferred directly to your FAFSA form.

    Go to: http://www.FAFSA.gov , login to the student's FAFSA record

    Select: “Make FAFSA Corrections,” and navigate to the FINANCIAL INFORMATION section of the form.

    From there, follow the instructions to determine if the student and/or parent is eligible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to transfer IRS income tax information into the student's FAFSA. If you need more information about when, or how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, contact the Financial Aid Office. 


    There are two ways you can request an IRS Tax Transcript. Make sure to request the “IRS Tax Return Transcript” and NOT the “IRS Tax Account Transcript”. You will need your social security number, date of birth, and the exact address used when you filed with the IRS.

    1. TELEPHONE: 1-800-829-1040A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5-10 days. THIS CANNOT BE SENT DIRECTLY TO HERKIMER COLLEGE. Please sign the tax transcript and send it to the Financial Aid Office.
    2. IRS FORM 4506T-EZ: A paper transcript will be mailed to the requestor within 5-10 days. Please sign the tax transcript and send it to the Financial Aid Office.
  • It is very difficult to determine aid eligibility by a tax return. Many other factors in addition to income are incorporated in the determination of aid. Examples of some of the factors are: asset information, family members in college, household size and age of parents. Unless the family income is extremely low or extremely high, financial aid is difficult to determine.

  • A student’s loan eligibility can be limited, however there are additional options.

    • Parents may take out a Parent PLUS Loan to pay for their child’s education (see PLUS Loans).
    • Most schools offer monthly payment plans with little or no fee to the parent or student.
    • Students may consider taking out an alternative education loan from an outside lender (for additional information on alternative loans, please see Alternative Financing Options.
    • Students/Parents should always consult with a financial aid counselor to determine alternate ways to pay for college costs. 
  • Yes. At the very least, you will be able to borrow a low-interest federal student loan. In order to receive a federal student loan you must complete the FAFSA.

  • Some financial aid programs have limited resources so filing your financial aid applications early can be advantageous.  Processing financial aid awards can take as long as 4-6 weeks in some cases, so if you are planning on using financial aid to pay your college bill you need to file as early as possible.  Starting with the 2017-2018 academic year, students can file their FAFSA application on October 1, 2016 and can use the prior year’s tax information (2015).  Students will need to complete the FAFSA and TAP applications every year they attend college.

  • Parents are married – both parents information is reported (same sex couples who are married also)

    Parents are unmarried but living in the same household – both parents are reported

    Parent is remarried – the parent and his/her spouse is reported

    Parents are separated or divorced – The custodial parent or the one who supplies the most support is reported

  • Parents and/or students often have a change in income from year to year for many reasons.  If a student feels that the family income reported on the FAFSA does not accurately reflect the family’s current financial situation they can ask for a review of Special Circumstances.  The family will be required to document what occurred and how the family finances changed.  The college will review the documentation and determine if the student is eligible for additional financial aid based on those circumstances.

  • Approximately 30 percent of all FAFSA applicants are selected to complete a process called Verification. Applicants are selected by the Federal Processing Center when a FAFSA is processed or when changes are made to an existing FAFSA. Financial Aid Offices are required to collect and review tax documents, and other supporting documentation to ensure the FAFSA is accurate.

  • Yes, you have to reapply for financial aid each academic year. Herkimer’s academic year runs from the fall to spring. The FAFSA applications are available in early January.

  • If your financial aid award letter includes a work-study award, you are eligible. If your package does not include work-study, you should check with your financial aid office at the beginning of the semester to see what positions may still be available.