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Potsdam Prepared: COVID-19 Updates

New Students

1. Obtain a PIN

Apply for a US Department of Education PIN. You will need your PIN to complete the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and electronically sign your Master Promissory Note. You can also use your PIN to access information about federal loans and grants you have received or process changes to the information you provided on your FAFSA.

Visit the US Department of Education site to apply for your PIN:

2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Before you begin you will want to have your tax information or estimates from last year, and you may want to print the FAFSA On the Web Worksheet to assist you. You will also want to have your PIN available so that you can sign your application upon completion. New applicants, please be sure to select the red link to the TAP application if you plan to apply for the New York State TAP grant. All students must apply each year for Federal aid by completing the FAFSA application. Continuing students may decide to complete the Renewal FAFSA on line (Starting with 2008-2009, the Renewal FAFSA is no longer an option. Instead, the FAFSA on line will include pre-filled information from the prior year's application). All filers will need the SUNY Potsdam Federal Code (002850) and the SUNY Potsdam TAP Code (0945 for undergraduate students) to input on the applications. More application information is available on the FAFSA site.

Eligible applicants who file the FAFSA will be offered aid based on full-time status. If your enrollment status will not be full-time (12 or more credit hours for aid purposes), you will need to submit a Status Change Form (available through BearPAWS) to the Financial Aid Office so that your award is adjusted to reflect your correct enrollment status.

Complete your FAFSA online at

3. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR)

The Federal Government will provide you with access to your Student Aid Report via e-mail if you apply on line. Please review this FAFSA summary and return the form to the Federal Government or our office with any corrections you may have to the application.

4. Complete the TAP Application

If you did not use the red link provided at the end of the FAFSA on the web application, or if you completed a paper FAFSA application, you will need to complete the TAP application process to be considered for a New York State TAP grant. You can complete the TAP application online or request a paper version from You will need your New York State tax information or an estimate from last year to complete the application. Continuing students do not need to apply for TAP each year; only new students will need to complete the application. Use the following link to complete your TAP application now.

Complete the TAP application online:

5. Apply for a SUNY Potsdam Scholarship

Learn more about our SUNY Potsdam Scholarship program and the eligibility criteria:

6. Notify the Financial Aid Office of any Private Scholarships

You will want to notify the Financial Aid Office if you will be receiving outside scholarships or grants from local, state, national, or corporate organizations. These awards may impact your financial aid eligibility.

7. Receive Your Award Letter

Once we have received your FAFSA information from the Federal Government, and we have received any other requested data needed from you, we will process your financial aid package and notify you of your aid eligibility. New students will receive a paper award letter. Continuing students will receive an award notification directing them to the Bearpaws system. Notification begins in early March.

8. Respond to Inquiries

Respond promptly to any inquiries from federal and state agencies, or from our office. Delays in receipt of pertinent information will delay the review process, mailing of award letters, and disbursement of funds.