Frequently Asked Questions




What does "EFC" mean?
The information that you provide on your FAFSA will determine your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is an estimate of what the federal government thinks you can afford to pay for educational expenses. It is NOT a guarantee of what your family will actually pay.

How do I qualify as an independent student?
Independence is defined by federal law. A student is automatically considered independent if they:

  • are 24 years old by December 31 of the award year
  • are a veteran of the US Armed Forces or are engaged in active duty
  • are a graduate student (i.e. enrolled in a Masters or Doctoral Program)
  • became an orphan, ward of the court or were placed in foster care after the age of 13
  • are in a legal guardianship
  • are verified as being at risk of being homeless
  • are married at the time the FAFSA is signed
  • have legal dependents other than a spouse that they provide more than half of the support for

Independence cannot be granted to a student who chooses not to speak to their parents or if the parent refuses to provide financial information. Additionally, a student is not automatically independent because they have been "on their own" for several years. On a case by case basis, personnel in the Financial Aid office may review unusual circumstances to determine if unusual circumstances exist and adequate documentation has been provided in order to consider a student independent.

What if my family has special financial circumstances?
In some cases the FAFSA does not accurately depict the family's current financial condition. Sometimes certain unforeseen circumstances occur, such as unemployment or major health issues, that are beyond the family's control. A financial aid counselor can work with you and your family to determine if the information reported on your FAFSA is an accurate indication of the family's ability to contribute toward educational costs. Under certain circumstances the counselor may be able to use their professional judgment to amend certain data. Documentation will be requested.

Does work study get applied to my student bill?
No, work study is paid directly to the student like a paycheck.

Why is my total "cost of attendance" different than my bill?
The cost of attendance is not the same as your bill. It is an estimate of what your overall cost to attend college will be so that your eligibility for grants and loan amounts can be determined. The student bill includes tuition, fees, room and board, but there are other college-related expenses in your cost of attendance that you may incur that are not paid to the school (i.e. books, transportation).

Are books or transportation included in my student bill?
No. Books, transportation and other miscellaneous expenses must be paid for separately. These expenses are included in your cost of attendance (also called your budget). Your cost of attendance is the amount used to calculate the maximum amount of financial aid that you can be awarded.

Will I lose my financial aid if I withdraw from school?
You should consult the financial aid office prior to withdrawing from school to fully understand the consequences to your financial aid for the current term and also to find out if it puts you at risk of losing your eligibility for future terms. If you "unofficially" withdraw (stop attending all your classes without completing the withdrawal forms), your financial aid may be returned and you could be responsible for a significant amount due to the College.

How does failing or withdrawing from a class affect my financial aid?
Dropping a class after the add/drop deadline could affect your current term charges if your enrollment drops below full time (12 credits). Excessive withdrawals after the add/drop deadline and/or excessive F grades can adversely affect your satisfactory academic progress which could jeopardize future aid eligibility.

When will I get my financial aid refund?
Students are eligible to receive financial aid refunds when the total of their grants, loans, scholarships and payments exceed the amount due to the college. Refunds for new students are processed no sooner than 30 days after the start of classes. Returning student refunds may be processed roughly 3 weeks after the start of classes.

Can I use my refund to purchase books before I receive my check?
SUNY Cobleskill offers students early access to their financial aid refunds to purchase books and supplies from the Barnes and Noble bookstore on campus. Students are encouraged to stop by the Student Accounts Office in Knapp Hall and complete a bookstore credit memo form

How do parents apply for a PLUS loan?
Parents (adoptive, biological or step) of eligible students can apply for a PLUS loan online at Another option is to fill out and sign the Parent PLUS Loan application and return it to the Financial Aid office.

Does Cobleskill offer any scholarships?
The SUNY Cobleskill Foundation offers a limited amount of scholarships to new and returning students. A scholarship application is available online between April 1 and May 15. Students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 are eligible to apply. Meeting the scholarship criteria does not guaranty receipt of a scholarship.

Does Cobleskill offer a payment plan?
SUNY Cobleskill offers a monthly payment beginning in July for the Fall semester and January for the Spring semester. 

Find out how to pay your bill here.

What does "verification" mean?
Approximately 30% of FAFSA filers are selected for verification by the US Department of Education. Verification is the process whereby the information provided in your FAFSA application must be verified. Students selected for verification will be asked to provide specific documentation to the Financial Aid Office in order for their federal aid to be processed. All parents and students are encouraged to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA in order to expedite the verification process. More information about the verification process is available on the Financial Aid website.

How do I get a tax return transcript from the IRS?
Students selected for verification will be required to provide wage and tax documentation to the Financial Aid Office. Using the IRS Data Retrieval tool will eliminate the need to provide any further documentation. Students or parents unable to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool will have to request tax transcripts from or by calling the IRS at 1-800-908-9946. The Financial Aid Office can no longer accept copies of tax returns.

When will my payment be due?

Your payment will be due approximately two weeks prior to the start of each semester. Failure to pay your bill or make satisfactory arrangements with the College (completed financial aid deferral or payment plan application with required down payment) by the due date will result in up to a $50 administrative fee and a $40 late registration fee assessed following the deadline.


Where's my bill?

Students may view their account detail and billing statements/bills via the secure portion of our website (Banner Web). Students access Banner Web with their ID and PIN numbers (then choose Student Services, then Billing and Payments. SUNY Cobleskill uses Electronic bills and emails notification of semester bills to the student's Cobleskill email address and emails to any authorized payers the student has set up through Banner Web. The bill is based on registration in courses: any change to a student's schedule may affect the amount of the bill. Room and meal plan changes may change the billed amount. Any miscellaneous charges added throughout the semester will change the billed amount (charges for such items as parking fines, library fines, judicial educator fees, Wellness Center fees and/or residential hall damage assessments).


Can I pay in installments?

Yes, with a completed application, application fee and down payment. We offer a semester payment plan, set up beginning with July’s payment for fall semester and with December for spring semester; four payments are to be made after your down payment. For enrollment after the July or December start date, a larger down payment is required and the remaining number of payments would decline accordingly. The semester payment plan application is available online. There is also a semester three-payment plan which requires you to complete an application with application fee, and pay at least half of your charges by your semester bill due date. We will defer the balance in two payments, the first due approximately 30 days after the due date of the semester and the second, approximately 60 days after the due date of the semester. If you have questions regarding the payment plan options, please call the Student Accounts Office, 518-255-5539.


What if I change my mind after I have registered for courses?

Prior to the start of the semester, new students should inform the Admissions Office at 518-255-5525. Continuing students should complete the withdrawal process by contacting the Registrar’s Office, Knapp Hall, Lower Level, as soon as possible to avoid/minimize financial liability. Any delay in completing the proper withdrawal may result in additional charges. Never just walk away. You must officially withdraw. You are financially liable as soon as the semester begins. A SUNY refund schedule is in effect to reduce full-time tuition if you withdraw during the first four weeks of the semester. Due to strict federal regulations governing the use and distribution of Title IV financial aid, aid recipients will jeopardize their current eligibility if they fail to complete 60% of the semester. You are advised to consult with a financial aid advisor to discuss your individual case.


Why isn’t my tuition calculated using the resident rates?

Eligibility for in-state tuition is determined by the student’s domicile which must be in New York State for a period of at least one year immediately preceding the time of registration. Your domicile is the fixed and permanent home to which you intend to return whenever absent. Students that have inconsistent residency data, as identified by the Application Services Center are notified by a letter from our Admissions Office with an accompanying Resident Tuition Brochure. Unresolved residency discrepancies will result in a student being charged the out-of-state tuition rate. Your residency status must be proved by submitting a residency application and providing at least three approved types of documents that support your claim. The sole purpose of presence in that state to attend college does not meet your domicile requirement. Individuals who are financially dependent and whose custodial parent(s) lives in a state other than the State of New York are generally not eligible for the resident tuition rate. There are some exceptions to the domicile rule that may apply to military staff and to non-residents who have graduated from a New York high school. Please direct your questions concerning residency to the Director of Student Accounts, 518-255-5539.


My Financial Aid is more than my charges. When will I receive my refund?

Financial aid is applied in a first-in, first-applied order and refunds are not generated until the student’s account is paid in full. Since refunds are not readily available during the first four weeks, it is advisable to have other personal funds to pay for expenses, such as rent if you are living off campus. If your financial aid is all in order and you are expecting a refund, the campus bookstore will be notified so that you can purchase books and supplies. This will be available through the first week of classes each semester and is capped at $650. Bring your schedule and ID to the bookstore or order online. You may also borrow a small amount based on your expected refund from approved aid, through the Financial Aid Office using the Auxiliary Services Office’s short-term advance which is a loan with a minimal fee.


Refund checks are made payable to the student with the exceptions of parent PLUS loans and refunds of credit card payments. Refund checks are mailed to the permanent home address on file, but may be requested held for pickup at the Student Accounts Office.


Note: funds, for refund checks that are un-cashed after one year, are turned over to the State of New York as unclaimed funds. Once turned over, an owner would need to contact the Office of the State Comptroller, Office of Unclaimed Funds 110 State Street Albany, NY 12236; the phone number is 800-221-9311. The college notifies students of un-cashed checks before the year is up, so it is important to keep your address and contact information current with the college’s Registrar, 518-255-5522.


I applied late for my aid. I was selected for verification. What if my financial aid is not approved before my bill is due?

Until you submit the required paperwork to the Financial Aid Office, your financial aid cannot be approved. You may use the Three-payment Plan option and pay at least half your balance by the due date with a completed application and required fee. Once the second payment is due, your financial aid may be approved so you could defer your balance at that time. If you do not pay your payment by the due date, you will be charged a $50 late payment plan fee. Any aid awarded to you after your account is paid in full will be refunded to you once the College receives the funds.


What does it mean to have a “hold” on my account?

If a student has a financial obligation to the College, a “hold” is placed on the student’s records, preventing registration for a new term and the holding of records (including transcripts and diplomas) until all financial obligations have been paid. You can view your hold status via the secured section of our website with student ID and PIN numbers. Holds are posted to students’ accounts prior to the start of course selection for the next academic period. If you owe a past due debt to SUNY Cobleskill, there are state debt collection laws that will affect you. See Section 18 Notification for more information.


Oh no! My check bounced. What happens now?

A $20 dishonored check charge is assessed at the time your payment is removed from your account. You may also be charged a late payment fee in the amount of $50 for a balance due. If this payment was for completion of the semester obligation to receive your schedule you may also be assessed a $40.00 late registration fee. This is in addition to the fee your bank charges you. You may also be restricted to future payments by cashier’s check or money order if it occurs more than once.


Tell me about vehicle registrations and parking fines.

All vehicles parked on campus MUST display some type of permit. If the vehicle does not have a permanent sticker affixed, a temporary permit must be obtained through University Police.


Fines for parking violations are: $15 for the first violation; $20 for the second; $25 for all subsequent violations. All parking violations affecting parking spaces reserved for disabled patrons are $50. Appeals may be made by any person receiving a notice of violation within ten business days from the date of issuance. After the ten day period, the right to appeal expires and all violation charges and/or expenses incurred become automatically due and payable. Appeals may be filed at the University Police Department in Johnson Hall. You must bring the ticket with you to file an appeal. Violations should be paid at the Student Accounts Office within ten (10) business days of issuance.


Information concerning parking may be found at



Where do I go to get information concerning tax credits for tuition and expenses?

SUNY Cobleskill cannot determine if you qualify for tax benefits for financing your education. If you believe you might qualify, you should obtain IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education and review the criteria carefully. To obtain copies, call 1-800-TAX-FORM, or go to on the Internet, or consult your tax advisor. Your annual 1098T Tuition Statement is available for viewing through your BANNER WEB Student Account section by January 31 of each year.


Fee/costs referred to above are as of 2/28/11 and are subject to change.

Contact Us:
SUNY Cobleskill Student
Financial Services
118B Knapp Hall
Cobleskill, NY 12043

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 7:30am - 3:30pm

Financial Aid:
Student Accounts: