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Financial Aid


Financial aid is available to all students who are enrolled in an eligible program at SUNY Niagara and meet the basic eligibility requirements. The term “financial aid” includes both grant programs and loan programs. Grant aid is awarded based upon financial need, but some student loan programs are available to all eligible students regardless of the student’s financial situation

Reminder: Timely Follow-Up

Financial aid is a multi-step process that is repeated each academic year. The SUNY Niagara Financial Aid Office will handle most of the paperwork and processing necessary to help you get your financial aid, but we need your help. First, remember to fill out your FAFSA application early each and every year. Generally, your FAFSA should be completed by April 1 prior to the academic year for which you are seeking aid. Also, when asked for information or documentation, you should provide all information requested as soon as possible. A delay in providing information may result in a delay in receiving awards. Pay attention to any mail or email you receive from SUNY Niagara and make sure you handle any requests promptly. If you take care of your part, we’ll make sure your financial aid gets processed timely and is available for you when you need it.

SUNY Niagara Maximum Credit Hour Policy

Federal financial aid regulations limit a student’s receipt of financial aid to one-and-one-half times the length of the student’s current educational program. Hence, a student cannot receive any further financial aid after having attempted more than 150% of required credits in his/her program (typically 95 credit hours for an Associate’s Degree or 45 credits for a certificate). The affected Federal financial aid programs are Federal Pell Grants, Federal Stafford Loans (student loans), Federal PLUS (parent loans),  Federal SEOG, and Federal College Work Study. This policy measures all attempted credit hours at SUNY Niagara, whether the student received financial aid for those credits or not, and regardless of whether a student is pursuing a second degree or certificate at SUNY Niagara.

Each semester (fall and spring), the Financial Aid Office will issue warning letters to students that have exceeded the 100% of the normal program length (measured in credit hours) in their program of study. This warning letter is designed to encourage the student to seek out guidance from their academic advisor to ensure program completion within the maximum 150% time frame.

You are allowed to receive federal aid for 150% of your program length at the institution from which you are seeking the degree per federal regulations.


  • If you are seeking a degree of 62 credit hours, you may receive aid for 95 attempted hours since this is 150% of the 62 credit hours required to earn the degree.
  • If you are seeking a certificate of 30 credit hours, you may receive aid for 45 attempted hours since this is 150% of the 30 hours required to earn the degree.

All attempted credit hours are counted towards the 150% including repeat classes, remedial classes, pass/fail classes, withdrawals, incompletes, and transfer hours regardless of whether or not you received financial aid for the hours.

Students who enroll in late start or mod classes are required to enroll in at least one 15 week class at the beginning of each semester in order to be eligible for both state and federal aid programs.

Lifetime Pell Eligibility Used

New federal government legislation limits the number of PELL payments (federal grant funding) a student can receive. The Pell life time limit has been reduced from 18 full time payments (9 years) to 12 full time payments (6 years). This legislation is effective immediately. All received PELL payments (both current and previous institutions) will be tracked retroactively.

Once SUNY Niagara is notified, via a government report, we must remove or prorate the student’s Pell immediately. There is no exception or appeal to this policy.

The government will contact each student via email if they are close to losing, or have lost, their eligibility.

Charging Books/Supplies Against Financial Aid

If your financial aid application and all requests for information have been submitted in a timely manner, and you have remaining aid eligibility above your tuition and fees, you can charge books and supplies in the College Bookstore (up to the amount of your excess financial aid). You will need to show the bookstore personnel a copy of your schedule and your College ID card (provided at Advisement/ Registration).

Charges against aid in the College Bookstore are a privilege allowed to students who take care of their financial aid applications in a timely fashion (see “Timely Follow Up”, above). Generally speaking, FAFSA applications filed after June 1 are sixty days late and will likely jeopardize the student’s charging privilege.


Financial Aid Office
Fax: 716-614-6820
Location: Enrollment Center (Notar Admin Bldg)
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:00pm*

*New and current financial aid advisors receive training from the follow professional financial aid organizations in an effort to train new financial aid advisors and keep updated on both federal and state financial aid regulations: