Jul 16, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Aid

SUNY Erie Community College has a comprehensive program of student aid including federal and state subsidized programs, loans, part-time employment, and scholarships. Following is general information regarding Financial Aid as well as specific information regarding each of the potential funding sources.

Contact the Financial Aid Office at any of the three locations: City Campus, 45 Oak, Room O102A, (716) 851-1177; North Campus, Room S-201, (716) 851-1477; South Campus, Room 5206, (716) 851-1677.


General Financial Aid Information

Matriculation: To receive aid, including loans, a student must be matriculated in a degree or certificate program. If a student is not matriculated, no financial aid will be processed, and the student will be liable for all tuition and fees. (NOTE: For an explanation of matriculation, see “General Information on Admissions Policies ” in the Admissions  section of this catalog.)

Academic Eligibility: To continue receiving aid, including loans, a student must be in “good academic standing,” meeting the standards set for a particular aid program. (NOTE: Charts regarding the standards for Title IV Federal Aid Programs and New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) are included in the sections pertaining to these programs.)

Accuracy and Truthfulness: Students applying for financial assistance must present an accurate picture of their financial situation, including asset and income information.

Application Process: Filing of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required for both federal and state aid including student loans. Students file online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. An e-mail message will be sent to the student within five days detailing how to access the FAFSA results (Student Aid Report). If an e-mail address was not provided, the Student Aid Report will be mailed to the student within four weeks of filing. The college will also receive the FAFSA results electronically and notify the student if additional information is needed.  Please click on the link below for additional forms.

Forms needed to process financial aid are available at:  https://www.ecc.edu/aid-forms.

SUNY Erie Federal Title IV school code for all three campuses is 010684.  The NYS code is 2065.

When submitting the FAFSA online, students continue by clicking on the TAP on the Web link or at www.tapweb.org. The TAP grant is for NYS residents attending a New York State school on a full-time basis. Part-time students should complete a New York State Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) application.

APTS applications are available in the Financial Aid Office. There is no application fee to apply for federal or state financial aid. Students must reapply each year.

Deadlines: Apply as soon after October 1 as possible.

Applications for the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Direct Loan Programs will continue to be processed throughout the year as long as the student is still enrolled. If the student totally withdraws from college and then files the FAFSA, no federal grant or loan can be processed. If the student files after the school year has ended, no federal grant or loan can be processed.

The last day to file for the New York State TAP grant is May 1 of the current academic year.

Transfer Students: A student transferring to SUNY Erie mid-year must notify the New York State TAP program of the change in school. This can be accomplished by changing the school code online at www.hesc.org. The TAP school code for all three campuses is 2065.

Financial Need: Eligibility for campus-based aid (FSEOG and Work Study) and the subsidized Stafford Student Loan Program are based on need. Need is defined as the difference between the cost of education and the family’s ability to pay. A family’s ability to pay is based on a number of factors: annual income, assets, household size, number of family members in college, etc. A standard formula, established by law, calculates the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is used in the needs analysis process.

Course or College Withdrawals: Withdrawing from one course or all coursework may affect a student’s federal and state financial aid package for the current or subsequent semester. A pamphlet on “Academic Requirements for Financial Aid” is available in the Financial Aid Office.  In addition, a student who withdraws from all courses or stops attending prior to completing 60 percent of the semester may have to return a portion of awarded federal aid. See section on “Return of Title IV Funds” in the catalog or at www.ecc.edu under Financial Aid link

Student Budget

Below is the estimated cost of attendance at SUNY Erie for a dependent student living at home: (costs are based on full-time, full-year enrollment).

Direct Costs  




$   786


Indirect Costs  



Personal Expenses



Total Allowance $12,296

*Tuition amount subject to change

Independent Student Status Financial Emancipation

For Federal Programs:

In order for a student to exclude parental income from the federal application for aid, the student must meet the definition of “independent student” as defined in the Higher Education Amendments of 1992. A student is automatically independent if he/she:

  • is at least 24 years old by December 31 of the award year;
  • is an orphan or ward of the court;
  • is a graduate or professional student;
  • is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces;
  • is a married student or; or 
  • is a student who has legal dependents other than a spouse.

If the student does not meet the above criteria but believes he/she should be classified as independent, the student must document these circumstances to the Financial Aid administrator.

For New York State Programs:

The conditions of financial independence are established in New York State law and differ from federal aid programs.

To exclude parental income for NYS programs, a student must:

  • be 35 years of age or older; or 
  • have been honorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces (and not claimed as a dependent by either parent on state or federal income tax returns for the last two years).

If under 35, the student must meet the basic conditions below:

  • did not and will not reside in an apartment, house, or building owned or leased by his/her parents for more than six weeks during the previous, current, or upcoming calendar years;
  • was not and will not be claimed as a dependent by his/her parents on federal or state income tax return during any one of the previous, current, or upcoming calendar years; and 
  • did not and will not receive gifts, loans, or other financial assistance valued in excess of $750 from his/her parents during the previous, current and upcoming years.

If the student meets the above basic conditions but is under age 22, he/she must also meet special conditions. These conditions must be documented on a Financial Independence Supplement Form which will be sent to the student by New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC).

Waiver of Special Conditions:

The student does not have to meet the special conditions if he/she:

  • was married on or before December 31 of the previous calendar year;
  • is enrolled as a graduate student; or 
  • received a TAP award as a financially independent student in the previous academic year.

Federal Aid Programs - Title IV

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)
  • Federal Direct Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized)
  • Federal PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students)


In general, a student is eligible for federal aid if he or she:

  • is enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) for any loan, work-study program, or has earned at least one credit for the PELL Grant Program;
  • is matriculated, that is, accepted into a program through the admissions process;
  • is a U.S. citizen or possess a permanent resident card;
  • demonstrates financial need. Filing a FAFSA form is required to determine need;
  • is making satisfactory progress in his/her course of study;
  • is not in default on a Perkins Loan (NDSL), Federal Stafford Student Loan, or Federal PLUS/SLS Loan; and 
  • does not owe a refund on a Federal PELL Grant or a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG).

*Males must have registered with Selective Service when required.


If selected for verification, the student must submit additional data to the Financial Aid Office to document information stated on FAFSA application. Prior, prior year tax returns, verification worksheet, documentation of social security benefits, child support and proof of independence (if applicable) are some of the items the student may be asked to provide. Verification must be completed before any federal funding will be disbursed. Student has up to 120 days after the last date of enrollment to complete verification requirements.

Forms needed to process financial aid are available at:  https://www.ecc.edu/aid-forms/.

Special Condition Application

When students apply for federal student financial aid, income information from the preceding year (referred to as base year income) is used to calculate eligibility. For the current academic award year, prior year’s income information is used. However, if the family’s income changes drastically for the worse for the prior year’s income due to unemployment, a loss of non-taxable income or benefits, separation or divorce, or death, the student may be eligible to file for a special condition calculation. See the Financial Aid Office for details. (Application only applies to federal aid programs.)

Return of Title IV Funds

(For students who completely withdraw from college or stop attending)

Federal Title IV funds (Pell, SEOG, Stafford and PLUS loans) are based on the premise that a student will remain in school for the entire semester. If a student completely withdraws from college prior to completing at least 60 percent of the semester, the college must calculate the portion of federal aid the student has earned (and, therefore, entitled to retain) until the time that the student withdrew. The portion unearned must be returned to the federal programs - even if grants/loans have been credited to the student’s account.

For example, if you (the student) complete 30 percent of the semester, you earn 30 percent of your approved federal aid that you were scheduled to receive (or the college received on your behalf) for the semester. This means that 70 percent of your scheduled or disbursed aid remains unearned and must be returned to the federal programs or your lender. This may result in you owing money to the college. However, if Stafford loan monies are returned to the lender, it will reduce the amount of loan you are obligated to repay to your lender. See the Financial Aid Office for details.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students receiving financial aid must meet minimum academic requirements within a specified time frame in order to maintain eligibility. These minimum academic requirements are two-fold: Academic Progress and Program Pursuit. Academic Progress requires maintenance of a minimum grade point average (GPA), while Program Pursuit refers to completion of a certain number of the credit hours attempted. The maximum time frame can be no longer than 150 percent of the published length of the degree program. For example, a two-year degree program consisting of 60 credits will require a student to complete the program within 90 credit hours. No federal aid can be processed for credits taken in excess of the 90 hours. Exception: Students working on a second degree will be placed on a new time frame. Students who fail to meet these minimum requirements will be denied aid the following semester. The following outlines the minimum requirements as they relate to SUNY Erie students:

Federal Academic Requirements

SUNY Erie Minimum Standards for Receipt of Federal Title IV Funds

Associate Degree Programs

Hours Attempted 9-24 25-47 48-96  
Minimum % of Completion 66% 66% 67%  
Minimum Cumulative G.P.A. 1.50 1.75 2.00  


Certificate Programs

Hours Attempted 9-24 25-45    
Minimum % of Completion 66% 67%    
Minimum Cumulative G.P.A. 1.50 2.00    

Financial Aid Academic Appeals Process

If the student experienced extraordinary circumstances which prohibited academic progress and/or program pursuit, the student may appeal through the Financial Aid office on the campus. Student must submit appropriate written documentation to support reasons for appeal in order to be considered for reinstatement of aid. Students must submit appeals according to published schedules.

Student will be notified if reinstatement of aid has been approved or denied.

Title IV Programs

Federal Pell Grant

The PELL Grant is a federal entitlement program awarded only to undergraduate students. Once a student has a bachelor’s degree, he/she is no longer eligible for PELL. The amount of the award is determined by the federal appropriations available for a given year and the cost of attendance at the college, the expected family contribution (EFC) and student enrollment status. Currently, the maximum award is $5,920 per year.

The student must be in attendance at the time the completed FAFSA is processed by the federal processing center in order to receive payment. If selected for verification, student must submit all required documentation no later than 120 days after the student’s last day of enrollment. Application Form: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

FSEOG is a campus-based grant program awarded to students with exceptional financial need; that is, students with the lowest Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Priority is given to students who receive maximum Pell. Application Form: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Limited funds are available. Apply by May 1 prior to academic year for first consideration.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWS)

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program offers job opportunities to students who demonstrate financial need. Positions as reading tutors to elementary school students are also available. Students in the program are paid $10.40 per hour on campus, $10.90 per hour off-campus, and may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year; 35 hours during summer or break periods depending on need and campus allocation.

Application Form: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Limited funds are available.  Application deadline is May 1, but positions are awarded on a first come, first serve basis by application specifications.

Federal Direct Loan Program

More detailed information on Federal Direct Loan Programs is available at:  https://www.ecc.edu/loans/.

Consists of the following loan programs:

Federal Direct Loan

Students who are registered for at least six credit hours and who are in good academic standing (see the Financial Aid page) may be eligible for a Federal Direct Student Loan. Qualified first-year students may borrow up to $3,500; second-year students up to $4,500. All students at Erie Community College are classified as either first-year or second-year; a second-year student must have completed or have transferred in 24 degree credits.  Additional unsubsidized loans are available to independent students.

Summer is not part of the regular academic year and is treated as a “trailer” term at SUNY Erie. Only aid left over from or not used during the previous fall and spring is available toward the summer term.

Students must file a FAFSA to receive a Federal Direct Loan. The FAFSA determines family contribution. Amount of family contribution figure determines eligibility for either subsidized or unsubsidized Direct Loan. Interest on subsidized loan is paid by federal government while student is enrolled at least half-time and for six months after student leaves school; interest on unsubsidized loan is paid by student. Repayment of principal begins six months after the borrower is no longer at least a half-time student.

Delayed disbursement of funds (30 days after the first day of instruction) is required for all first-time/first-year borrowers for Direct Loan programs at SUNY Erie.

Funds are transferred electronically from Federal Direct Student Loan program to student’s SUNY Erie account in two installments - usually the first disbursement is for the fall semester and the second disbursement is for the spring semester. A Direct Student Loan cannot be certified for a student who is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are available to parents of financially dependent students. Parents who have no adverse credit history may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other aid. PLUS loan funds are transferred electronically from lender to student’s account in two installments. Repayment of principal plus interest begins 60 days after disbursement. Visit www.ecc.edu for more information.

Application Form: PLUS application available at participating banks.

NOTE: Before investigating the PLUS program, students should first apply for a Direct Student Loan.

Private Alternative Education Loans

Alternative loan programs are for students who need educational loans over and above the amounts they are eligible to borrow through the Federal Direct Loan Program and/or the Federal PLUS Loan program. The terms and conditions of alternative loans vary from lender to lender. Most lenders will require co-signers. See Financial Aid Office for information.

Rights and Responsibilities for Borrowers

Promissory Note

  • You must sign a Master Promissory Note for your initial loan before you can receive any guaranteed education loan funds. This is your promise to repay the loan.
  • You do not have to sign a promissory note for subsequent loans with the same lender.
  • You must comply with the provisions of any promissory note or other agreements you sign.
  • Read and keep the Rights and Responsibilities portion of your loan application and a copy of the completed and signed promissory note.
  • The lending institution must return the original promissory note to you when you pay the loan in full.

Changing Conditions

Notify the Direct Loan Service Center (1-800-848-0979) immediately if you do any of the following:

  • fail to enroll for the period for which the loan was intended;
  • leave school for any reason;
  • attend less than half-time;
  • transfer from one school to another;
  • graduate; or 
  • change name and address.

Repayment Terms

  • When you get a loan, the terms of repayment are explained. It is your responsibility to understand these terms and follow them.
  • You are responsible for repayment of all loans, including interest and any fees, even if you do not finish school.
  • Exit counseling is required when you leave school.  This is done online at www.studentloans.gov. This will explain loan repayment terms to you.
  • You should contact your lender to discuss a repayment schedule with them.
  • You have a right to repay part or the entire loan ahead of schedule without penalty.
  • Under certain conditions, you may be able to defer repayment of your loan. When you apply for a loan, ask the lending institution to explain what these conditions are. If you receive a deferment, you must notify the lender when the deferment condition no longer exists.
  • If you are financially unable to make payments, you have a right to ask the lender to allow any of the following: a short period during which you make no payments of principal, an extension of time to make payments, or an opportunity to make smaller payments than originally scheduled. However, the lender is not required to approve your request.

Failure to Repay Your Loan

  • If you fail to meet your loan repayment terms, you are delinquent. If you continue to be delinquent, you are in default and the entire balance becomes due.
  • The lender will give you written notice of your failure to repay before declaring your loan in default. The notice will be sent to the address which you have provided.
  • You should keep in close contact with your lender if you are having financial problems. They will work with you in maintaining your credit standing.
  • Federal bankruptcy law does not absolve you from non-dischargeable debt (student loans). 

New York State Financial Aid Programs

New York State has several programs designed to help eligible state residents secure the funds to finance their post-secondary education. Eligibility requirements for individual programs vary. Therefore, it is essential that all students familiarize themselves with the eligibility criteria for each program. Among the state-funded programs are:

  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) 
  • Excelsior Scholarship
  • Part-Time TAP
  • Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)
  • Aid to Part-Time Students (APTS)
  • Veteran Tuition Awards (VTA)
  • Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

State Academic Requirements

The following charts outlines the minimum academic requirements for receipt of all New York State Aid:
(Note: All students receiving TAP must be full-time and matriculated)

Chart 1: Programs including the NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP):

Includes any student that received their first New York State Tuition Assistance payment (TAP) previous to the Fall of 2010 or:

  • whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the college and approved by the State Education Department (SED);
  • who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial courses, as approved by SED, in the first term they received a TAP award; or
  • who is or was enrolled in an opportunity program (EOP).

Chart 1 - Minimum Academic Standards for all New York State Programs (Previous to Fall 2010)

Before being certified
for this payment


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th* 8th*

A student must have
accrued at least
this many credits

0 3 9 18 30 45 60 75
with at least this
grade point average
0 .5 .75 1.3 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

* Applicable to students in a four-year degree program

Chart 2 applies to any non-remedial student who received or will receive their first New York State financial aid payment (TAP) in the Fall of 2010 or thereafter.

Chart 2 - Minimum Academic Standards for all New York State Programs (Fall 2010 or thereafter)

Before being certified
for this payment


1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th* 8th*

A student must have
accrued at least
this many credits

0 6 15 27 39 51 60 75
with at least this
grade point average
0 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

* Applicable to students in a four-year degree program

Pursuit of Program

Program pursuit must be determined independently from satisfactory academic progress. To satisfy pursuit of program, a student must earn a passing or failing grade in a percentage of the minimum course load in each term an award is received. The minimum full-time course load is 12 credits. The percentage increases from 50 percent of the minimum full-time course load (6 credits) in each term of the first year an award is received to 75 percent of the minimum full-time course load (9 credits) in each term of study in the second year to 100 percent of the minimum full-time course load (12 credits) in each term thereafter.

Repeating a Course

If a student repeats a course for which previous credit has been earned with a D- grade or better, it is not counted as part of a full-time load for TAP purposes or as part of the required part-time load for APTS unless a higher grade is required by the student’s curriculum.

Loss of State Aid (TAP/APTS)

Decertification: Students failing to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress or Program Pursuit requirements will not be eligible for TAP/APTS the following semester. For example, students who do not meet the standards in the fall semester will be decertified for the spring semester.

Waiver Option (TAP/APTS): When there are extraordinary circumstances, students who do not meet state standards may apply for a one-time waiver during undergraduate study. Granting of a waiver is not automatic and is subject to review by the TAP certifying officer and/or a committee. Waiver applications and further information are available in the Registrar’s Office.

Regaining Eligibility (TAP/APTS): There are four ways in which a student may regain eligibility. The student may:

  • make up the deficiencies without benefit of state support. For example, if a student was at the 75 percent pursuit level and received a grade in six semester hours (3 credits short of the minimum), the student can take and complete a 3-credit course at his/her own expense;
  • apply for and be granted a waiver;
  • be readmitted to the institution after an absence of at least one calendar year for TAP, six months for APTS; or 
  • transfer to another institution and meet the new institution’s admissions requirements.

New York State Aid Program Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a New York State funded, non-competitive, financial aid grant for state residents attending an approved post-secondary institution in New York as a full-time, matriculated student and meeting the minimum standards of Program Pursuit and Satisfactory Academic Progress.

Note: Full-time is defined as carrying 12 credit hours or more of degree-bearing and non-degree (remedial) course work. Of the 12 required hours, six must be degree credits in the first semester of TAP; at least six degree credits per semester thereafter.

TAP awards are based on a family’s net taxable New York State income from the previous year and range from $500 to full tuition per year. Students are entitled to TAP payments for up to three years in an approved associate degree or certificate program. A student uses six points for each TAP payments. Once the maximum of 36 points (six payments) is reached, the student will receive no further TAP payments at SUNY Erie.

(Exception: EOP students will continue to receive up to five years of TAP while pursuing a two-year degree.)

Additional TAP eligibility requirements can be found here.

While the three-year limit applies to students enrolled in a two-year program, a student may be eligible to receive an additional year of TAP at a four-year institution.

Application Form: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the NYS TAP Application. The TAP application must be postmarked by May 1 of the current academic year.

New York State Excelsior Scholarship

New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship is for New York residents making up to $100,000 annually, $110,000 in 2018, and $125,000 in 2019. After Pell, TAP, and other scholarships are applied to tuition, the Excelsior Scholarship will cover what is needed to pay tuition. (Fees are not covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.)

Part-Time TAP

To be eligible for part-time TAP:

  • students need to have earned 12 credits or more in each of the two consecutive semesters;
  • students must be a first time freshman in the 2006-2007 academic year or thereafter; and 
  • students must maintain a minimum of a “C” average.

Once certification is submitted, NYSHESC will calculate the Part-Time TAP award based on the reported credits. The schedule below reflects the percentage of the full-time award and the undergraduate TAP points accrued based on the PT-TAP credits reported on the roster.

PT TAP Credits and Points Accrued

PT TAP Credit Hours Percent of Full Award Points Accrued
6 50% 3.0
7 58.34% 3.5
8 66.67% 4.0
9 75% 4.5
10 83.84% 5.0
11 91.67% 5.5

Supplemental Tuition Assistance Program (STAP)

STAP is offered to full-time undergraduates who are educationally disadvantaged and require remedial courses.

STAP is available to students who are enrolled in a remedial program in the summer term immediately preceding and/or immediately following the initial year of matriculated study.

Students who meet the eligibility criteria for a STAP award for the summer term are eligible for an award of up to one quarter of what the student would receive as an annual Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. For less than full-time study, but at least half-time study, a student would be eligible for one-eighth of the Annual TAP award. Students may receive up to two such awards: one for a summer term preceding the first year of matriculated study, and/or one for a summer term immediately following the first year of matriculated study.

Students enrolled in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) are not eligible for the STAP program.  However, they may receive up to five years of TAP which is an exception to the three-year limit.

Application Form: Same as TAP applicants, www.hesc.org.

Part-Time TAP for Students with Disabilities

Students who are disabled, as defined by the 1990 Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), do not have to be in full-time attendance to be eligible for Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) payments. Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) calculates a full-time TAP award for any eligible student who applies. Once the school notifies HESC that a  student with disabilities is attending less than full-time, a new partial TAP award certificate is issued to the student. Whether attending full-time or part-time, a student must carry at least three degree credits the first semester and meet minimum state academic standards as he/she progresses.

Application Form: Same as TAP applicants plus ADA certification, www.hesc.org.

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) grants are available to New York State residents (U.S. citizens, permanent aliens, or refugees) enrolled in at least 3 credit hours but less than 12. At least three credit hours must be toward a degree. The student must meet the income guideline to be eligible for the program.

The good academic standing requirements that apply to students receiving a TAP full-time award also apply to recipients of an APTS award. Both TAP and APTS points count toward a student’s 48 point total undergraduate eligibility.

Regarding Program Pursuit, APTS requires a 50 percent completion of the required minimum half-time course load the first year, 75 percent completion the second year and 100 percent completion thereafter.

Application Form: APTS application available in the Financial Aid Office or at www.ecc.edu. Funds are limited. Note deadline on APTS application.

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA)

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated in an approved program at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

NOTE: Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. Those students who are attending an approved undergraduate or graduate program may apply for payment for the current academic year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then linking to the TAP on the Web application.

  • For full-time study, a recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for New York State residents or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. (Full-time study is defined as twelve or more credits per semester or the equivalent in an approved program at a degree-granting institution or twenty-four or more hours per week in a vocational training program.)
  • For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour. (Part-time study is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester or the equivalent in an approved program at a degree-granting institution or six to twenty-three hours per week in a vocational training program.)

If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. Thus, the TAP award may be reduced accordingly. NOTE: Tuition payments received by a veteran under the Chapter 33 Program and Yellow Ribbon component will be considered duplicative of any VTA award students may have received.

Eligible Veterans

New York State residents discharged under other than dishonorable conditions from the U.S. Armed Forces and are:

  • Vietnam veterans who served in Indochina between 2/28/1961 and 5/7/1975;
  • Persian Gulf veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after 8/2/1990; or
  • Afghanistan veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after 9/11/2001.

Application Process

  • Students must establish eligibility before September 1 of the award year by completing a NYS Tuition Award Supplement application online at HESC.org. Questions regarding eligible service or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.
  • Students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year.
  • Full-time students must complete the Express Tap Application (ETA).

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), funded and administered by the Office of Opportunity Programs, is an academic support services program for under prepared and financially disadvantaged students who are capable of collegiate study, but need additional assistance to achieve their educational goals. The program provides academic advising, counseling, tutoring and financial assistance to students who meet the educational and financial requirements as determined by program staff and the New York State Education Department. Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • be a New York State Resident;
  • be a first time college students (see applicable deadlines);
  • meet one or more of the academic criteria established by the college (See the application here); and 
  • fall within the defined income guidelines as established by NYS Dept. of Education at the time of entrance to the college.

Income Guidelines for EOP Eligibility

Income Guidelines for EOP Eligibility can be found here.

Application forms are available on SUNY Erie’s Financial Aid website or by clicking here.

Application Form: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and EOP application. Limited Funds. Apply by May 1 prior to academic year for first consideration.

Other NYS Scholarships/Awards

  • Child of Veterans Awards ($450/yr.)
  • Child of Deceased Police Officers, Firefighters and Corrections Officers ($450/yr.)
  • Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Police Officers and Firefighters Award: (full tuition and non-tuition costs).
  • Volunteer Recruitment Service Scholarship for volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel (up to full tuition). Applications available at volunteer fire or ambulance companies/organizations.
  • World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America and rescue and recovery efforts: (full tuition and non-tuition costs).

Application Process: Write to: NYSHESC Student Information, Albany, New York 12255 or visit www.hesc.org.

Other Funding Sources

NYS Aid to Native Americans

NYS Aid to Native Americans is an entitlement program. There is neither a qualifying examination nor a limited number of awards.

Application Procedures: Application forms may be obtained from the Native American Education Unit, New York State Education Department, Albany, NY 12230. The completed application form should be forwarded by the applicant to the Native American Educational Unit on or before July 15 for the fall semester; December 31 for the spring semester and May 20 for the summer session, of the academic year of proposed enrollment, along with the following materials:

  • official transcript of high school record or copy of General Equivalency diploma;
  • letter(s) of recommendation from one or more leaders in the community attesting to personality and character;
  • personal letter, setting forth clearly and in detail educational plans and desires;
  • signatures of the parents of minor applicants, approving education plans;
  • official tribal certification form; and 
  • copy of acceptance letter from college attending.

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: The applicant must be: (1) on an official tribal roll of a New York State tribe or the child of an enrolled member of a New York State tribe and a resident of New York State; (2) maintaining good academic standing in accordance with Commissioner’s Regulations and (3) enrolled in an approved New York State post-secondary program.

Award Schedule: The award is $2,000 per year for a maximum of four years of full-time study (five years where a fifth year is required for completion of degree requirements). Eligible students also may receive student aid for less than four years of study and for part-time study. The part-time award is $85 per credit hour.

Responsibilities of Recipients: Students are responsible for notifying the Native American Education Unit in writing of any change in student status, program, or institutional enrollment. Students must also submit semester grades, at the end of each semester, showing satisfactory progress toward completion of degree or certification requirements.

United States Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Aid to Native Americans

Application Procedures: Application forms may be obtained from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office. An application is necessary for each year of study. An official needs analysis statement from the college Financial Aid Office is also required each year. Each first-time applicant must obtain tribal enrollment certification from the bureau agency which records enrollment for a tribe.

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: To be eligible, the applicant must: (1) be at least one-fourth American Indian, Eskimo or Aleut; (2) be an enrolled member of a tribe, band, or group recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; (3) be enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in an approved college or university pursuing at least a two-year degree and (4) have financial need.

Responsibilities of Recipients: For grants to be awarded in successive years, the student must make satisfactory progress toward a degree and show financial need.


Students are encouraged to investigate other grants available through the New York State Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID), Veterans Administration, Training Readjustment Act, Social Security Administration, private clubs, charitable organizations and foundations. The Financial Aid Office and counselors can be of assistance in this area.

Foundation of Erie Community College, Inc.

The Foundation of Erie Community College, Inc. is located at 121 Ellicott Street, Buffalo.  Foundation Scholarship booklets are available in mid-October in the Financial Aid and Admission Offices. Scholarship applications are due in early February, and scholarships are awarded in May for the fall and spring semesters of the following academic year. See additional scholarship information in the Foundation section of this catalog.

Emergency Short-Term Loans

Industrial, professional and student organizations have made short-term, interest-free loans for school-related expenses available to students at the three campuses. The potential borrowers must: 1) prove they have extraordinary circumstances that make such a loan a necessity; 2) have on file a SEOG or Pell Grant award and 3) apply for the loan through the Financial Aid Office.