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Financial Aid

170 North St, P.O. Box 139, Dryden, NY 13053

Regular Hours

8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
8:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
8:30 a.m.–3 p.m
9 a.m.–4:00 p.m
8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m

Room 101
607.844.6538 (fax)
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Frequently Asked Questions

My financial aid form asks for a school code. What is the school code for Tompkins Cortland Community College?

Federal Code: 006788 (Used for the Free Federal Application)
State Code: 2260 (Should appear on your TAP Express application.)

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How do I use my financial aid to pay my tuition bill?

Under most circumstances, the first money received by the college (grant or student loan) will pay your tuition bill. Any funds not used to pay your tuition bill will be given to you. Also, your tuition bill may contain other charges that will be paid by your financial aid. Examples include book charges and on-campus student housing.

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When and how do I receive financial aid that is due back to me?

All checks will be mailed to your local address, except for work-study pay checks. Following is a list of the most common programs that might send you a check:


Student workers are paid every two weeks for the hours they have worked.

Federal Pell Grant:

If you have a “cleared for payment” Pell Grant by the first day of classes, you can expect a refund for excess funds approximately seven weeks into the semester. Once the first refund to students occurs, there are refunds every Wednesday.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants:

SEOG grants are processed at the same time as the federal Pell grant.

New York State TAP Award:

As long as the College has been made aware of the TAP award, the TAP award will be credited to your tuition bill and you should not expect to get a refund. In some cases the TAP certificate is received late and other forms of aid will have paid the tuition bill. In this case, you will receive a refund when New York State sends the award money to the college. This can take several months.

Federal Student Loan Checks (both Subsidized and Unsubsidized):

All continuing students who have their applications complete by July 1st should have a refund check issued the Wednesday of the 7th week of classes. A federal regulation requires first-time borrowers to have their student loan check delayed for 30 days. A refund check for these loans could be expected approximately two weeks after it is received on campus.

Other Scholarships and Grants:

Any money from grants or scholarships received by the college in your behalf will be credited to your tuition bill first, with the remainder given to you. A refund check will be issued to you within two weeks after the Office of Budget and Finance receives the funds.

Note: refund checks are not issued until 7 weeks into the semester.

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What is the fastest way to receive my financial aid check(s)?

Apply Early! Applications can be completed and sent anytime after the first of the year. Check with the financial aid office or check your MyTC3 account to make sure you have done everything that you were required to do. If you are applying for a student loan, make sure you have returned the loan request form you received with your award letter. You will be required to complete a master promissory note and loan entrance counseling. These can be done online or by paper. Make sure you have a local address listed with the college check you’re My TC3 account. Ask questions when you don’t understand something.

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What if I have questions or problems with my financial aid and I don’t know what to do?

First, call or stop in and check with the financial aid office staff. If they can’t help you or if you are uncomfortable speaking in the outer office, you can either phone or schedule an appointment with one of the counselors. If you are phoning with a question and you need to leave a message, please make the question as explicit as possible. That way, when a counselor returns your call, he or she may already have the answer for you. If you would prefer to see someone in person, you can make an appointment by calling the office or sending an email.

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How do I pay for my books at the Bookstore if I have financial aid?

TC3 will grant a book deferral to students that are eligible. To be eligible, a student must have and be eligible for enough PELL award, SEOG award, TAP or APTS, sub or UNSUB, and /or Parent loans, secure scholarships/grants to cover the cost of tuition and fees. The remaining amount can be applied toward a book deferral.

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Do I have to fill out a separate application if my award letter recommends a student loan?

The award letter is only the beginning of the student loan process. If you want the loan, then you must complete the loan request form and return it to the financial aid office. Next, you must complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note. These can be done online.

Remember, you do not need to request the entire amount that is being recommended. Should you need less, borrow less. Student loans must be paid back when you complete your education or drop below six credits per term. Always borrow wisely!

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I have just applied for financial aid. How much cash do I need to have to start school?

Basically, you should be prepared to purchase your required books, approximately $550. You should be prepared to pay out of pocket expenses for at least the first six weeks of classes. This would include rent, transportation, and food costs.

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Can I use financial aid to pay for a meal plan

Financial Aid can be used to cover the cost of a meal plan if you have enough PELL award, SEOG award, TAP or APTS SUB, UNSUB, and /or Parent loans, secure scholarships/grants to cover the cost of tuition and fees. Any remaining amount can be used to purchase a meal plan.

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Can I use financial aid to pay for housing?

TC3 on-campus housing will be a charge on your tuition statement that financial aid may cover. Any funds not used to pay your tuition and fees bill will be given to you in the form of a refund check. These funds may be used by you to pay for off-campus housing.

Note: refund checks are not issued until 6 weeks into the semester.

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How do I know if I have a book deferral?

To see if you have a book deferral follow the below instructions. 

  • Log in to your MyTC3 account
  • Click the My Info tab
  • Click the Finances tab
  • Select the appropriate academic year and click the submit button (ex. 2010-2011 academic year is 2010)
  • Here you will see the requested documents and if they have been received, your financial aid awards and below that table you should see a book deferral heading. If you have a book deferral available to you it will show the beginning amount here.*

* This shows the maximum amount of book deferral that is available to you and does not reflect any charges or returns you may have already done with the bookstore. This amount is calculated based on the number of credits you are enrolled in and the amount of anticipated financial aid you have that is above and beyond any charges due to the college.

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