Summer Financial Aid
Matriculated students planning to take courses over the summer at SUNY ESF may be eligible for limited amounts and types of financial aid through the following programs:
- Federal Direct Student and Parent Loans
- Private Student Loans
- Federal Pell Grants
Students are highly encouraged to plan summer expenses prior to the end of the spring semester each year. Some students may have remaining unused aid available at that time, but no longer have that eligibility once the semester has ended. Only students meeting the minimum enrollment requirements can be considered for aid once the spring semester has ended.
Academic Year Structure
The summer term at SUNY ESF is the trailer to the academic year. This means that federal loan amounts will be limited to funds remaining within the annual limits for each program that were not used during the preceding fall and spring semesters. Summer courses are offered in what are called modules, or segments which do not span the entire length of the full summer term.
Year Round Pell Grants
Special regulations now allow for Pell-eligible students to receive more than 100% of a scheduled Pell Grant award for a single year if certain criteria have been met. For summer enrollment, these awards can be from either the academic year before or after the summer term, known as a "cross-over" period. When possible, the academic year used for the funds should be based on what is most beneficial for the student. This determination will be made by the Office of Financial Aid based on various criteria and considerations. Please note that a valid FAFSA is required for the school year used. If a student has only completed a FAFSA for one year, only that year can be considered for possible funding.
Students receiving summer Pell Grants should be sure to note in which academic year aid package the grant is awarded. Enrollment requirements are different for the period in which a student is receiving funding in excess of 100% of a scheduled award. In order to receive any Pell Grant funding in excess of 100% of the scheduled award, a student must be enrolled in at least 6 degree-applicable credits (half-time enrollment). If summer Pell is awarded from the preceding school year, a student may not qualify for funding in the following spring if the number of degree-applicable credits is less than 6. It is the student's responsibility to carefully plan their enrollment and notify the Office of Financial Aid if a summer Pell Grant award could cause difficulty with future eligibility within the same school year.
Example 1: A student receives Pell Grant funds from the 2018-2019 school year based on full-time enrollment for both the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters. This would use 100% of the student's scheduled award, 50% for each semester. Pell Grant funds from the 2018-2019 school year could also be awarded for the summer 2019 term as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time in degree-applicable courses (6 credits).
Example 2: A student receives Pell Grant funds from the 2018-2019 school year based on full-time enrollment for the summer 2018 and fall 2018 terms. This would use 100% of the student's scheduled award, 50% for each term. Pell Grant funds from the 2018-2019 school year could also be awarded for the Spring 2019 term as long as the student is enrolled at least half-time in degree-applicable courses (6 credits).
In order to potentially qualify for summer aid, students must meet minimum degree-applicable enrollment requirements as follows:
|Federal Direct Student and Parent Loans||Half-time (typically 6 credits|
|Private Student Loans||Determined by Lender|
|Federal Pell Grant (0-100% usage*)||Less-than-half-time (1-5 credits)|
|Federal Pell Grant (100 - 150% usage*)||Half-time (typically 6 credits)|
*One term of Pell Grant eligibility at full-time enrollment uses 50% of a scheduled award. At lower enrollment levels that percentage is pro-rated: half-time enrollment uses 25% and so forth.
Students seeking financial aid for summer enrollment should complete a Summer Financial Aid Application (available in the Financial Aid Office in Bray Hall) by the listed deadline and must have a valid FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) on file. Please do not e-mail any personal information. Applications should be delivered in-person, mailed, faxed, or uploaded with the document exchange function available from the financial aid section of the MyESF portal (student accounts only).
Notification of Eligibility
Students will be notified of eligibility for federal aid sources with an amended financial aid package. Notifications of amendments are sent electronically to campus e-mail addresses and are viewable through the MyESF student portal (for 2019-2020 aid year awards) and the Self-Service Portal (for 2020-2121 aid year awards). Students who are not eligible for federal aid will be notified either electronically or in writing. Students seeking funds from alternative student loans are responsible for working directly with the lender they have chosen.
Disbursement of Funds
Aid funds will only be disbursed to student accounts once the student has started enough courses in the summer to reach the minimum enrollment requirements.
Withdrawals and Return of Funds
Students who fail to begin each of their scheduled classes during the full summer term may be considered to have withdrawn from the term and could be required to return funds already received. This can occur in the following scenarios:
- After starting summer classes, a student completely ceases attendance prior to the end of those classes.
- Example: a student starts enrollment in two 3-credit courses in the first summer module, but stops attending those classes prior to the scheduled end date.
- After starting and finishing some summer courses, a student drops a later scheduled course while not currently attending any classes.
- Example: a student plans to take two 3-credit courses in the first summer module and one 3-credit course in the last summer module, with a break between the modules. The student completes the first two courses, and then drops the third course during the break.
In order to avoid complications in these scenarios, students are highly encouraged to do the following:
- Make summer course changes only while still attending classes in the first module of planned attendance.
- Avoid scheduling classes if there is any uncertainty that the student will actually enroll in those classes.