Applying for Financial Aid

Student with backpack on laptop

Applying for financial aid begins by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at New York State residents who expect to be enrolled full-time should also complete the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application.

School Codes

FAFSA: 006788 | TAP: 2260

You can apply for admission to Tompkins Cortland and financial aid at the same time.  You will be notified of your financial aid eligibility after you have been accepted to the college. You must apply for financial aid each academic year of your college career. Our priority filing deadline is March 1st prior to the fall semester of the academic year. Students who meet the March 1st priority filing deadline are considered for Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and work-study; two federal programs with very limited funding.

Financial aid award notifications for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 award year are targeted to be released April 1, 2020 for students who have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA and have met our March 1st priority filing deadline. Any FAFSA received after March 1st will be considered for FSEOG and work-study based on fund availability. All eligible students are considered for Pell Grant, TAP and federal student loans as long as the FAFSA is received prior to the last day of classes for the term the student attends.

Applying for financial aid in three simple steps:

1. Get your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) 

You will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to apply for financial aid and to complete documents required for specific aid programs. Apply for your FSA ID at Parents of dependent students will also need a FSA ID. If you need help applying for your FSA ID the federal government has created a video to assist you.

You and your parents will need your FSA ID year after year. So keep your FSA ID username and password in a safe place.

2. Complete the 2020-2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA if you plan to attend Tompkins Cortland Fall 2020 and/or Spring 2021. The FAFSA is found online at and is required to determine your eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Direct Student Loans, work study, and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) programs.

3. Complete your TAP Application

New York State residents who expect to be enrolled full-time should also complete the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application. Your 2020-2021 FAFSA must be completed before a TAP application can be filed. You can link directly to the TAP application from the confirmation page of your FAFSA. Select the link that says “START YOUR STATE APPLICATION NOW.”

If you do not complete your TAP application from the link on your FAFSA confirmation page, then you must wait 3-4 business days after filing your FAFSA for New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to receive the information from your FAFSA.  Once HESC has received your FAFSA information, you can file your TAP application online at

Learn more about applying for TAP 

You will also need these documents to apply for financial aid

The FAFSA asks for certain information about you and your financial situation. You will need the following documents to complete the FAFSA.

  • Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) for the student and parent, if dependent (Learn more about the FSA ID)
  • Student's social security card
  • Student’s alien registration card, (Permanent Residents only)
  • Student’s 2018 W2 forms, 1099’s and other records of income received during 2018
  • Student’s and spouse, if married, 2018 Federal and NYS Tax Returns
  • Parents’ 2018 Federal and NYS Tax returns
  • Student’s and parents’ records of other untaxed income such as child support, interest income, veteran non-education benefits, military or clergy allowances, etc.
  • Student’s and parents’ information on cash, savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds, and real estate other than your primary place of residence
  • Student’s and parent’s 2018 business or farm records, if applicable

Learn more about the documents needed to complete the FAFSA