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New York State Financial Aid Award Information Sheet

In April 2015, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Banking Law § 9-w, requiring that all New York institutions of higher education provide financial aid applicants a uniform financial aid award information sheet when responding to applications. This will allow students and families to easily understand the costs of an education and make informed financial decisions.

Pursuant to New York Banking Law § 9-w and New York Banking Regulation Part 421, every

must use this information sheet whenever such institution responds to an incoming or prospective undergraduate student’s financial award application.

Financial Aid Award Information Sheet for schools responding to an incoming or prospective student’s financial aid application after May 15, 2016

When a school responds to an incoming or prospective undergraduate student’s financial aid application after May 15, 2016, the school must provide the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet included below.

View a sample Financial Aid Award Information Sheet.

Financial Aid Award Information Sheet Resources

Some institutions have already committed to using the U.S. Department of Education’s Financial Aid Shopping Sheet. The New York Financial Aid Award Information Sheet incorporates the federal model as well as additional information required by New York law. New York schools that use the federal Financial Aid Shopping Sheet should incorporate the supplementary page below in responding to applicants in order to comply with New York Banking Law § 9-w.

The HTML includes a “download” button on the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet to allow prospective students to download their aid offer information into a machine readable format (XML). Institutions that are delivering the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet in print form should remove the “download” button.

Schools should adjust the information sheet to reflect the year and degree or certificate the student is seeking.

The information sheet requires schools to estimate the cost for each academic year that the student would need to complete to earn a degree at the institution. Schools should adjust the fields on page 2 to provide estimated cost data for the number of years needed to obtain the degree or certificate.

Institutional Metric Data

The student information on the information sheet is populated using the applicable fields from institutions’ existing data systems.

The data and information necessary to populate the institutional metrics section of the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet — the graduation rate, the loan default rate, and the median borrowing figures — can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education by signing up for their voluntary Shopping Sheet program which provides participants with the annual institutional metric data, or schools may generate this information from other data sources.

For “Graduation Rate,” schools must indicate data for students who began their studies as first-time, full-time degree-or certificate-seeking students and completed their degree or certificate within 150 percent of "normal time." For example, for a four-year school, the graduation rate would be the percentage of students who completed that program within six years or less. In addition, schools may provide this information for part-time students and may also choose to provide data comparing its graduation rate with the graduation rate among institutions that primarily grant the same degree or certificate and graphics illustrating this section.

For “Loan Default Rate,” schools must indicate the percentage of student borrowers who have failed to repay their federal loans within three years of leaving the school. In addition, schools may provide the national loan default rate and graphics illustrating this section.

For “Median Borrowing,” schools must indicate the median amount of Federal student loans borrowed for a students’ study at the institution. In addition, schools may include the estimated monthly repayment amount for such loans.

Below you will find all the resources needed to implement the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet.

Code Packages:

Interim Period Financial Aid Award Information Sheet for schools responding to an incoming or prospective student’s financial aid application before May 15, 2016

Schools responding to an incoming or prospective undergraduate student’s financial aid application before May 15, 2016 should provide such students the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet above or the Interim Period Financial Aid Award Information Sheet below.

Schools should publish the Interim Period Financial Aid Award Information Sheet on its website.

The Interim Period Financial Aid Award Information Sheet must include:

In responding to an incoming or prospective undergraduate student’s financial aid application before May 15, 2016, schools must include in or accompany with the response a clear and conspicuous disclosure stating “Additional Information Including Estimated Cost of Attendance Can be Found On the Web Page Below” and setting forth the URL address of the web page that includes a completed Interim Period Financial Aid Award Information Sheet. For responses to an incoming or prospective student’s financial aid application between January 1, 2016 and February 1, 2016, this disclosure shall be provided by February 1, 2016.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Which students must receive the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A:  When responding to a financial aid award application, New York schools must provide the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet to all incoming or prospective undergraduate students (i.e., all first time enrollees at the school, including students transferring to the school and prospective students applying to the school). Pursuant to a 2016 amendment of New York Banking Law § 9-w, schools are only required to provide the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet to undergraduate students applying for financial aid, however schools may to use the form in responding to a financial aid application of any student.

2.   Is there a required method of delivery for providing the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A:  No. Schools should send the Financial Aid Award Sheet in the same manner as they send a financial aid award or package in response to a financial aid application.

3.  Do schools need to provide the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet to students enrolling in the school before the 2016-17 academic year?

A: No. New York Banking Law § 9-w requires schools to start providing the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet to students applying for financial aid for the 2016-17 academic year.

4.   Do schools need to provide an estimated cost of attendance specific to a student’s major?

A:  No. Schools must provide an estimate of the cost needed to earn a degree or certificate at the institution. Schools should provide a reasonable estimate to obtain the degree or certificate based on what the school knows at the time the student applies for financial aid.  Estimated cost of attendance (“COA”) includes at a minimum tuition and fees; housing and meals; allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and dependent care; and miscellaneous and personal expenses, such as an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, and reasonable costs for eligible study-abroad programs. For students attending less than half-time, the COA includes at a minimum tuition and fees; an allowance for books, supplies, and transportation; and dependent care expenses.

5. Do “loans from your state” mean only New York State student loans?

A: No, if the school has information about any state-sponsored loan program, it should be included in the shopping sheet.

6. Can schools make changes to the language on the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A: Schools can make reasonable changes to the language on the form if necessary to more accurately reflect the student’s financial aid award package or to match changes in the federal Student Shopping Sheet.  However, schools may not remove fields required on the form.  The form includes areas for schools to add customized information.

7. Can schools make changes to the font and color scheme on the Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A: Yes, schools can make changes to the font and color scheme as long as the information required by Banking Law § 9-w is of such size, color, and contrast and is so presented as to be readily noticed, read and understood by the recipient. 

8. Can schools meet their requirements under Banking Law § 9-w by providing students with a link to request a Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A: No, schools must provide the required letter in response to a financial aid application.

9. If a school makes a change to a student’s financial aid award, must they provide a new Financial Aid Award Information Sheet?

A: If a school provided the student a completed Financial Aid Award Information Sheet in response to a financial aid award application, a school should provide an additional Financial Aid Award Information Sheet if the school is fixing an inaccuracy in institutional specific information, such as changing the cost of attendance or the institutional metric data.  Schools may provide an updated Financial Aid Award Information Sheet based on changes in the student’s financial aid award, but are not required to do so.

10. If a student transfers to a new school, does the school only need to provide the estimated cost of attendance for the years needed to earn a degree or certificate at that institution?

A: Yes. For example, if a student in a four year program transfers to a school which will require an additional two years to earn a degree, the school only needs to provide the estimated cost of attendance for the additional two years.

11: If there is a one year program, does a school need to show spaces for the estimated cost of attendance for additional years?

A: No. The online forms are examples, and the HTML and XML files allow schools to customize the form for the degree or certificate the student is seeking, including the appropriate number of years for the estimated cost of attendance.

Updated 02/21/2017

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