Information for Parents and Families
Welcome to UB! Our staff is here to help you and your student understand and complete the financial aid process as seamlessly as possible. Affording a college education may seem overwhelming, but just learning the basics in the Financial Aid and Student Accounts Quick Guide (PDF) will help you realize how easy it can be.
Welcome parents and families of new students for the 2017-18 academic year!
Your student has certain rights regarding their education records when beginning attendance at a post-secondary institution, or upon reaching the age of 18. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) transfers the rights to the student. Limitations are placed on student record information that may be released to third parties (which includes parents, guardians and or caregivers) without the student’s written permission unless it is considered directory information.
Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.
Students have the option of allowing the Offices of Financial Aid, Registrar, Student Accounts, Student Advising Services and Student Response Center to discuss specific academic and/or financial information with one or more identified individuals. Students must complete and submit the FERPA Information Disclosure Consent form (PDF) to one of the above referenced offices to allow for the disclosure of their personal information. The student may revoke this access at any time by submitting a new form.
Faculty and staff are required to protect the privacy of student information. Faculty and staff may not discuss any information about a student with a parent or a spouse without written permission from the student. If a student has requested that their information not be listed, then faculty and staff may not acknowledge that the student attends UB. It is important to verify that communication with the student remain protected and thus using the email and home address of the student, as noted on MyUB, is preferred for communication.
The financial aid process is completed on an annual basis, which begins with the filing of the Federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application (if you are a New York State resident). The FAFSA will be available at FAFSA.ed.gov beginning on October 1 of the calendar year prior to the start of the academic year in which you are seeking aid.
Applicants will use tax information from income earned two years earlier, instead of last year’s income. The change eliminates the guesswork of estimating your tax information when you complete your FAFSA prior to completing your taxes.
The IRS Data Retrieval Tool, which eliminates the need for you to have your tax documents on hand by electronically transferring your tax return information from the IRS to your FAFSA, will also be available to most applicants.
Private scholarship applications are available on an ongoing basis throughout your student’s college career. Many students only apply for them leading up to the first year in college; however, it is worth the time and effort to do so on an annual basis. Please encourage your student to search for scholarships from the following sources:
- UB academic departments
- Banks and federal credit unions
- Place of worship/religious affiliations
- Employers (both student and parent/family member)
- Community organizations
There are times when your family may experience special circumstances, such as loss of employment, separation or divorce, etc., that significantly reduces family income. This may warrant a special review of the student’s financial aid package. Contact your student’s financial aid advisor for more information.
Financial aid award letters are calculated for an entire academic year; however, student bills are generated by semester. Approved financial aid for the semester should appear as a credit on the bill. If it does not, please have your student follow up with Student Accounts.
After all financial aid has credited to the account; there are still other options for assistance with any bill balance:
- Payment plan (available for fall and spring semesters only)
- Federal Parent PLUS Loan
- Alternative/private loan
The University at Buffalo participates in the SUNY Smart Track Financial Literacy Program. The program is designed to help students and families understand college costs and develop a financial plan for the future. Online courses and mini-modules are available to teach students personal finance basics.
Information is subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations. Students must complete a FAFSA every year. Students must be making satisfactory academic progress to continue to receive financial aid.