APPLYING FOR FIRST-YEAR STUDENT FINANCIAL AID
Hobart and William Smith Colleges is committed to a policy of admitting students on the basis of overall potential and to working with our students and families to ensure they are able to reach their educational goals.
HWS requires all students who wish to apply for financial aid to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, prospective students who wish to apply for institutional need-based grant aid must file the CSS PROFILE application. Applications must be submitted by the deadlines indicated:
Step 1: CSS Financial Aid Profile
Complete the CSS/Financial Aid Profile using estimated/actual 2018 income and tax information by November 15 for Early Decision I candidates; January 15 for Early Decision II candidates; and February 1 for all other applicants. The Hobart and William Smith college code is 2294.
If parents are divorced, separated, or were never married, your noncustodial parent will need to complete a separate CSS Profile. Each parent will access their CSS Profile with different College Board log-in credentials.
College Board recommends that the student and the custodial parent start the CSS Profile application first. Although the noncustodial parent can start the application at any time, the noncustodial parent will not be able to complete the application until the student selects a college that requires the CSS Profile from the noncustodial parent.
To keep financial information private, the student and parents should not share their College Board account passwords with each other.
Step 2: FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
Applicants seeking federal financial aid need to complete the FAFSA. The FAFSA can be found at www.fafsa.gov and is available October 1. The preferred deadline for completion of the FAFSA is February 1, and our school code is 002731. In order to complete the FAFSA, the student and one parent must have an FSA ID number which will serve as your electronic signature. Apply for your FSA ID online.
Is the Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) available October 1, to file the 2020-2021 FAFSA? Yes. On October 1, students and parents will be able to fill out their FAFSAs for the 2020-2021 academic year with the help of the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).
What should parents know before filing their FAFSA?
The FAFSA asks for income and tax information from two tax years prior. That means on the 2020–2021 FAFSA, students and their parents will report their 2018 income and tax information, rather than their 2019 income and tax information. This is great news because it means that students and parents don’t need to wait until their tax returns from the 2019 year are filed before applying—they can apply as early as October 1, which will give them more time to consider their options for paying for college.
In order to better protect financial aid applicants’ information, starting this year the Department of Education has announced the DRT will “limit the information that displays to the applicant in order to enhance the security and privacy of sensitive personal data transferred to the FAFSA from the IRS.” Sensitive data, such as adjusted gross income, will not be displayed to the applicants.
NASFAA has created a handy checklist of information and forms students and parents will want to have on-hand to help streamline the process of filling out the 2020-2021 FAFSA.
Mistakes can delay a student’s application and limit the amount of aid they may be eligible to receive. To avoid errors, parents and students should carefully read all the questions on the FAFSA. On NASFAA’s website, parents and students can review our list of the most common FAFSA errors so they know what to be on the lookout for.
The FSA ID, made up of a username and password, is used to confirm an applicant’s identity when they are accessing their financial aid information and electronically signing their federal student aid documents. While you are not required to have an FSA ID to complete and submit a FAFSA on the Web application, it is the fastest way to sign your application and have it processed. It is also the only way to access or correct your information online, or to pre-fill a FAFSA on the Web application with information from your previous year’s FAFSA. Parents and students who don’t already have an FSA ID can create one now online.
New York State (NYS) TAP Application
NYS residents with a New York State net taxable family income of $80,000 or less may qualify for a Tuition Assistance Program grant ranging from $500 – $$5,165. All NYS residents listing a NYS school on the FAFSA have two ways to apply for TAP.
1. If you file your FAFSA on the web you will be prompted to complete your TAP application online at the same time. We encourage you to do so to expedite the entire application process. OR
2. If you file the FAFSA electronically and forget to complete the TAP portion, you must go online at a later date to complete your application.
An estimate of your TAP eligibility will be included in the offer of financial assistance from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. NYS HESC will send a copy of the award certificate via email, if an email address is provided, once the NYS budget is passed for the following year.
If you have any questions regarding the financial aid process, please contact the Office of Financial Aid at:
Phone: (315) 781-3315
Fax: (315) 781-4048
DATES AND DEADLINES
- CSS/Financial Aid Profile and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online registration begins
- Scholarship application due for Early Decision 1 candidates
- Early Decision I applications due
- CSS/Financial Aid Profile and FAFSA for Early Decision I applicants due
- Admission decision available online for Early Decision I applicants
- Financial aid award available online for Early Decision I admitted students
- CSS/Financial Aid Profile and FAFSA for Early Decision II applicants due
- Early Decision I admitted students enrollment deadline
- Early Decision II applications due (Students who have applied under the Regular Decision plan, and whose applications are complete, can change their application status to EDII until February 15)
- Scholarship application due for Early Decision II candidates
- Regular Decision applications due
- CSS/Financial Aid Profile and FAFSA for Regular Decision applicants due
- Scholarship application due for Regular Decision candidates
- Admission decision available online for Early Decision II applicants
- Financial aid award available online for Early Decision II
- Early Decision II admitted students enrollment deadline
- Admission decision available online for Regular Decision applicants
- Financial aid award available online for Regular Decision admitted students
- Regular Decision admitted students enrollment deadline