Financial Aid Timeline

High-level Overview

  1. Apply for Aid
  2. Complete Verification
  3. Receive Award Letter
  4. Complete Loan Requirements
  5. Check Balance
  6. Get Refund or Pay Remaining Balance
  7. FAFSA Renewal for Next Year

Detailed Timeline

When Action
September (of senior year in high school)

Students and parents (if applicable) should begin to gather documentation for FAFSA and TAP applications. Financial data for two years prior will be required


         - 2021-2022 FAFSA & TAP: 2019 tax data

         - 2022-2023 FAFSA & TAP: 2020 tax data

Dependent students (under age 24) must provide parental information. Those with a special circumstance should stop by the Financial Aid Service Center or call Student Central at 315-498-2000.

Beginning October 1

1. Complete the FAFSA (OCC Federal School code: 002875)

    The FAFSA must be completed EVERY year to be evaluated for federal financial aid. The application becomes available on October 1st for the following fall semester. Students are encouraged to apply early as some aid programs (e.g. work study) have limited funding and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

NOTE: Federal student loans and Pell grants are awarded to all eligible students even if students apply after start of the semester, provided that all eligibility requirements are met and a valid FAFSA is on file prior to the last day of the semester.

*After completion of the FAFSA, click the link "Start Your State Application" for the NYS TAP Application.


2. Complete the NYS TAP Application (OCC School code: 2185)

    The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a grant offered by NYS for NYS residents.

*For a copy of detailed instructions on completing financial aid applications, please contact Student Central.

October on

Financial Aid Verification

New students: upon acceptance students must set up their student OCC email

Note: all correspondence goes to the student's OCC email. It is highly encouraged that students check their student email frequently to avoid missed deadlines and important financial aid notifications.


- Students selected for verification will receive an email from Student Aid Process to their student OCC email.

- If parent information is required, the parent will receive an email and will need to create a verification portal account.

- Students and parents (if applicable) will need to submit requested documentation via the online verification portals.


Examples of verification documents include, but are not limited to:

Signed federal tax returns, signed amended tax returns, household size worksheet, proof of citizenship, IRS letters of non-tax filing (parents and independent students only), identity statement, NSLDS default/overpayment/bankruptcy documentation, proof of high school completion


Note: students must have verification completed before any federal aid can be applied. Early completion of verification is recommended (prior to the start of each academic year).

Deadline: verification must be completed prior to the last day of fall classes for federal aid to process successfully. Aid is not guaranteed after this date.

November on

Search for scholarships! Students should begin their scholarship search well in advance of high school graduation and can begin as early as their junior year of high school. Search for scholarships using Fastweb. It's a free service where students are matched to scholarships relevant to their goals, activities, and interests. 


Institutional Scholarships: OCC is thrilled to offer substantial scholarship opportunities each year through the OCC Foundation. Students who have received scholarships represent all degree programs, diverse backgrounds, and all ages. 

December Fall loan deadline: fall loan requests must be submitted prior to the last day of classes. Entrance counseling and master promissory note must be on file. Loans requested or accepted after the last day of classes may not process successfully. 
January on

FAO Begins Awarding Financial Aid Packages


Review Award Letter

New and returning students will receive a paper and an electronic notification advising that their award package has been created and viewable electronically in Web Advisor. Web Advisor is the college's secure student system where students view/accept financial aid, register for courses, pay their bill, and more.


- Award letters are estimates for the academic year. Actual award amounts are dependent upon student's degree-applicable courses and/or any changes made to courses. Students must also be matriculated into a program of study and registered for courses in order to be packaged with any eligible aid. 

January on

Accept Financial Aid in Web Advisor

Students who are registered for fall semester and packaged with their financial aid awards should refer to their student Web Advisor and review and accept financial aid awards.

- Grants and scholarship funds will automatically be applied to students' billing. Students interested in borrowing federal loans must accept them via Web Advisor.


Complete Loan Requirements: Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Links to complete these requirements can be found under the View My Financial Aid section of Web Advisor under Helpful Links.

Entrance Counseling: reviews a student's rights and responsibilities as a federal loan borrower.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): is the student's legal promise to repay the amount borrowed to the federal government. The MPN only needs to be completed the first year of borrowing. 

*Tip: always accept subsidized loans first, before accepting unsubsidized loans


Sign Up For Direct Deposit via Web Advisor

Students eligible for refunds can have their financial aid refunds directly deposited into their checking or savings account. Direct deposit stays active until the student updates their account in Web Advisor

*If direct deposit is not set up, refunds will be mailed to the student's address on file.

January 15th Deadline to submit a satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal for spring semester (for students who lost aid prior to Spring)
April on

Residential Living at OCC:

Students interested in living on campus should begin applications and pay their housing deposit to secure a room. Students can discuss financing options for on-campus housing with Student Central.

May Spring Loan Deadline: Spring loan requests must be submitted prior to the last day of spring classes. Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note must be on file. Loans requested or accepted after the last day of classes may not process successfully. 
Late Spring - Early Summer

Apply for New York State Excelsior Scholarship

Undergraduate, NYS residents working on their degree can apply for the Excelsior Scholarship, which guarantees free tuition after all other grants and scholarships are considered (full-time attendance required). Additional income and academic requirements apply; refer to HESC for more information and application deadlines.


June 1st Deadline to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal (SAP) for summer semester (for students who lost aid after spring and are attending summer courses).
August 15th Deadline to submit a Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal for fall semester. 

VIEW ACCOUNT ONLINE IN WEB ADVISOR under “Account Activity” to check for any balance due after all aid has been applied.

Payment options for remaining balance include:

1. NelNet Payment Plan: The payment plan allows you to pay the balance due in monthly automatic payments. The plan is interest free and can be set up via the NelNet link in Web Advisor. More information is available at

2. Federal Student Loans: refer to previous section.

3. Parent PLUS Loan: Federal Parent PLUS loans are available to parents of dependent students. To apply, or for more information, visit PLUS applications are accepted beginning June 1 of each academic year.

4. Private Alternative Loans: Private alternative loans are loans in the student’s name. Students can inquire about alternative loans through their banking institution.



BILLING: Students are still responsible to pay their balance by the due date, even if their financial aid award has not processed. Students with a balance after the start of the semester are subject to late fees. Early completion of financial aid applications, verification and loan requirements are encouraged.


CERTIFICATE OF RESIDENCE: students living in New York State, but outside of Onondaga County must contact their county Treasurer or Finance office for information on how to obtain a Certificate of Residence. Students who do not provide OCC a Certificate of Residence will be billed the non-resident (out of county) tuition rate.

The General SUNY Timeline


Aid Type Deadlines
Loans Deadline: Accepting or requesting a new loan and loan requirements must be completed prior to the last day of classes. Loans and loan requests will not process after this date.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeals

Deadline to submit a SAP appeal for fall semester: November 1st

Deadline to submit a SAP appeal for spring semester (Spring start students): April 1st

Deadline to submit a SAP appeal for summer semester: July 1st

  - Students registered in summer courses that begin in July or prior to July 1st should be aware that they are still financially responsible for their balance if the SAP appeal is denied.


Note: appeals submitted after each deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed.

Special Circumstance & Dependency Override

Students can submit a Special Circumstance or Dependency Override up to May 1st of the academic year. 

 - If a student attends only the fall semester, the deadline is December 1st

 - Requests submitted after the deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed


Note: Special Circumstance and Dependency Override requests cannot be processed if they were received after the student is no longer enrolled or if the student submits a request towards the end of the semester and a decision is made after the student is no longer enrolled. To avoid this, early submission of Special Circumstance and Dependency Override requests is highly encouraged. 

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

Deadline for fall/spring students: Second Friday in October

 - Students who submit an APTS application in the fall semester and are also attending part time in spring semester will have their APTS application held for the entire year. Students will not have to submit a new APTS application for spring.

Deadline for spring only students: Second Friday in March

Note: students must ensure the appropriate signatures are provided on the APTS application and request NYS Tax Returns. Incomplete APTS applications with missing signatures or documentation will not be processed.

Federal Aid Verification Students have 90 days after the last day of classes in the term to successfully complete verification. Aid is not guaranteed if verification is completed after the 90 day period has passed.