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#1: Review Your SUNY Award Letter

  • Log in to Banner to view your financial aid award offer.  
  • Once logged in to Banner, access Financial Aid > Award > View Aid for Award Year > Select Aid Year > Submit > Click link to View SUNY Award Letter

Additional Resources:

Note: Award letters are generated for students after they have been admitted and applied for financial aid (filed the FAFSA).  For detailed help with applying for aid, please review the Apply for Aid site.


Recommended Video Tutorial: Understanding the SUNY Award Letter

#2: Submit Required Documents to the Financial Aid Office

About 30-40% of students are required to submit additional documents to the financial aid office before we can finalize their aid.  Students can view what documents and tasks must be completed in Banner and are strongly encouraged to complete all requirements promptly.  Finally, students should monitor their Banner account to ensure the documents they submitted have been accepted and nothing else is needed. It is not uncommon for additional documents to be requested.

#3: Determine Your Out-of-Pocket Costs

Using your award letter, estimate your out-of-pocket costs using the following tools:

If you will owe a balance each semester, develop a plan as to how it will be paid.  Below are some options to cover the remaining amount due. Additionally, develop a plan to purchase textbooks. 

  1. Federal Parent PLUS Loan (parents of dependent students)
  2. Private Alternative loans
  3. Automatic Payment Plans
  4. Veteran benefits 
  5. Scholarships

#4: Accept Financial Aid and Complete Award Specific Tasks

  • Log in to Banner to accept your financial aid (loans, work-study, and certain scholarships).
  • Once in Banner, navigate to Financial Aid > Award > View Aid for Aid Year > Select Aid Year > Choose the Accept Aid Tab 
  • If you make a mistake or change your mind about the aid you have accepted or declined, contact us at from your Buffalo State email address.

Award Specific Tasks

  • If you will borrow Federal Direct Loans (subsidized or unsubsidized), you must also complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at
  • Some scholarships require a thank you note written to the donor.  Refer to your scholarship notices to determine if a thank you note is required. 


Recommended Video Tutorial: How to Accept Loans in Banner

#5: Prepare for the 1st Day of Class


Students expecting a refund from their financial aid can request a book deferment to purchase their textbooks in the college bookstore.  Students that owe a balance will need to purchase their textbooks out-of-pocket or apply for additional loans.


Students expecting a refund are encouraged to sign up for direct deposit.  Review the fall and spring disbursement schedules to understand the timing of when aid disburses and when refunds are generated.  As a general rule, any aid that is received is first applied to the student's charges. Once all charges are paid in full, the student is eligible for a refund (as applicable).

Have a Plan to Pay Your Bill

If a balance is still owed to the college after your financial aid, create a plan to cover the remaining balance due. Options include:

  1. Federal Parent PLUS Loan (parents of dependent students)
  2. Private Alternative loans
  3. Automatic Payment Plans
  4. Veteran benefits 
  5. Scholarships
ALERT:  Students that have a balance of $500 or more will not be able to register for the upcoming semester(s).  Late fees will be applied each month the bill is not paid in full. Each late fee is $30 and the maximum per semester is $90 in late fees.


Go to Class and Do Well!

Students must meet certain minimum standards to maintain eligibility for financial aid, including federal loans.  Students that are struggling academically should consult with the financial aid office to review their options, in addition to seeking free tutoring and help on campus.



June 27, 2019
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August 14, 2019
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August 14, 2019
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Financial Aid Office

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Moot Hall 230
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-4902 •  Fax: (716) 878-4903

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