How to Apply for Financial Aid

Financial Aid Basics

Did you know that 80% of first-time students receive some form of financial aid at JCC? But many students never find out that they are eligible to receive federal and state grants, scholarships, low cost federal student loans or a work study job. We encourage all students considering enrollment at JCC to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so that their eligibility for funds to help pay for college can be determined.  Information about the kinds and amounts of financial aid you can receive will help you with your decisions about attending JCC. This may be new for your family, but it's not hard to apply for financial aid. Read our instructions for applying for aid at JCC and FAFSA Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid.

To apply for financial aid fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), also available in Español. The FAFSA determines your eligibility for many different types of aid. All students are encouraged to file the FAFSA by JCC's priority dates and respond to correspondence from the financial aid office in a timely manner to ensure aid is available in time to pay for the semester student expenses.

  • If you plan to attending the 2015-16 academic year starting in August 2015, file the 15-16 FAFSA now:
    • First-time students who file their FAFSA by March 1st receive priority consideration for freshman scholarships.
    • All other students should file their FAFSA by May 1st after filing required federal tax returns with the IRS. Be sure to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool when available while filing your FAFSA.

Apply as soon as you can and apply each year!

1. Get a Federal Pin (Personal Identification Number) from the Department of Education. The federal Pin serves as your electronic signature and holds the same legal status as written signatures. Your federal PIN should not be confused with your JCC "J number." If you applied last year, you should already have a PIN. If you do not have a PIN or have lost or forgotten your PIN, you can request one online at Parents of dependent students also need a PIN to provide their electronic signature on the FAFSA and can request a PIN at the same website.

Important: Do not disclose or share your PIN with anyone. Keep your PIN in a safe place to use again next year.

2. Complete the FAFSA online at or in Español.  Use JCC School code 002869 so that we receive your FAFSA results.

3. Submit your FAFSA so your FAFSA information is sent here. After submitting your FAFSA, print the confirmation page for your records.

4. Follow the link at the end of the FAFSA site to submit your NYS TAP or Pennsylvania PHEAA grant applications. NYS residents anticipating enrollment as a part-time student should complete the Aid for Part Time Study (APTS) application and submit to the JCC financial aid office by the school's established deadline.

Apply for Admissions

Financial aid helps students pay for their college degree. Therefore, you must be formally accepted or matriculated by the college to study an approved degree or certificate program to receive financial aid. Apply for admission to JCC if you have not already done so.  Note:students enrolled in the one-year certificate Individual Studies, Special Studies or General Studies programs are not eligible for federal Title-IV aid.  All other degree and certificate programs are approved for federal and state financial aid.

Student Aid Report

 The federal government will issue you a Student Aid Report (SAR) after your FAFSA is processed. It shows your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) determined by your FAFSA analysis. This information is also sent directly to JCC (provided you entered our school code 002869 on your FAFSA). You will receive your SAR in one of two ways:

  • If you provided an email address on your application, you will receive an email within several days that contains a link for you to access your SAR on the Web.
  • If you did not provide an email address on your FAFSA, you will receive a paper SAR in the mail within a few weeks

Important: Be sure to review and make any changes or corrections to your SAR. However, if you have been asked to submit documentation to JCC's Financial Aid Office or you receive a Financial Aid Award Notification from JCC, contact the financial aid office before making changes!


We will contact you if your application is selected for a process called Verification. Submit all requested documentation so that we can confirm to the Department of Education that your FAFSA is correct and accurate.

Special Circumstances

If you or your family have unusual circumstances (e.g., loss of employment or income, marital separation, death in the family); or you believe that an exception should be made to your dependency status that requires parental information, please contact the financial aid office at: (716) 338-1009 to speak with a financial aid advisor.

Financial Aid Award Notification

After your application has been reviewed, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Notice that describes the amount and kind of financial aid you may receive at JCC, along with any additional instructions needed to receive those funds.


You need to be enrolled in coursework necessary for your degree or certificate program and be in good academic standing to qualify for most financial aid. You must meet all other eligibility criteria, including attending and participating in your courses before your aid is disbursed to your JCC student account.

Enrollment in a program of study abroad approved for credit may be considered as JCC enrollment  for purposes of applying for federal, state and institutional student financial aid.

Maintaining Your Eligibility

Your eligibility to receive federal and state financial aid requires you to meet both financial and academic qualifications. Your financial eligibility is determined by your completion of the FAFSA and state aid applications each academic year. We recommend you file your renewal FAFSA online at every year by March 1st for the following academic year.

Federal Title IV financial aid is awarded on the premise that the student will complete the semester for which he/she is receiving assistance, and will make progress toward earning a college degree. A student who withdraws from the college prior to completion of at least 60% of the semester has not earned eligibility for 100% of his/her aid. The federal government requires the return of the pro-rated share of original awards that the student has not earned.

In addition, the federal and state agencies that provide financial aid require you to make academic progress each semester to qualify for continued assistance. We encourage you to check with your campus financial aid office prior to withdrawing from classes, as your course completion may have an impact on your eligibility to receive current funds, as well as those for future semesters.