Financial Aid Basics

Just getting your feet wet with the financial aid process? This is your starting point. The financial aid process can be time consuming and tedious. Use the links below to get the process started easily.

Home » Admissions » Financial Aid » Financial Aid Basics

Financial Aid Process

Our staff is ready to assist you in completing the financial aid process, outlined below. If you have any questions or need assistance please call us at 716-961-1850.


Gather the following documents to assist you in filing your FAFSA if applicable. Depending upon your dependency situation, these documents would come from you, your parent(s), or your spouse (if married).
• Social security card
• Driver’s license
• W-2 forms
• Most recent federal income tax return
• Current bank statements
• Untaxed income records

File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

Once the FAFSA is submitted, stay logged in and click on the link to the State Grant Application, found on the FAFSA Submission Confirmation page. Clicking on the link will allow you to complete the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application right away. If you do not apply for TAP after submitting your FAFSA, you can still do so by going, but you will need to wait a few days until the FAFSA processes.

After you’ve successfully submitting your FAFSA, the Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you provided an e-mail address, the SAR will be sent to you via e-mail a few days after your FAFSA has been processed. Review the SAR for errors, as this information is used to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your EFC is used to determine aid availability and financial need.

If your FAFSA is selected for verification by the Department of Education,the College’s Financial Aid Office will notify you. Verification is the process by which we confirm the information provided by students and/or parents on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can be selected by either the Federal Government or the College.

Once your FAFSA is processed, Villa’s Financial Aid Office will review your Institutional Information Record (ISIR) and prepare a Financial Aid Award Letter listing the aid available to you. First year students will receive their award letter in the mail, and returning students will be able to review their awards on the Student Portal.

Students taking federal loans need to complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note online at For further information or assistance in completing any of the financial aid steps, please contact Villa’s Financial Aid Office at 716-961-1850.

How to Apply.

New Students

Incoming and prospective students must complete a FAFSA to begin the financial aid process. All United States citizens and eligible non-citizens must complete a FAFSA before applying for financial aid. In order to complete a FAFSA, you must secure a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Click here to begin that process. If you are required to provide any additional information, please ensure you do so quickly; failure to do so may slow down the creation of your financial aid package.

New Student Checklist

Current Students

Current Villa Maria College students must file a FAFSA each year you request financial aid. Financial aid is evaluated annually, so you’ll need to complete a FAFSA for each year you request financial aid from Villa. Complete your FAFSA early to ensure your financial aid package is evaluated in a timely manner. If you need an increase in aid because of a change in your life circumstances, you’ll need to schedule a appointment to meet with one of our financial aid counselors.

Returning Student Checklist

Financial Aid Codes

FAFSA: 002896
TAP (Associates): 2158
TAP (Bachelors): 2188

Types of Financial Aid

Every student has different financial needs and at Villa Maria College, your financial aid package will reflect that.

99% of all Villa Maria College Students Receive Financial Aid. Our knowledgeable financial aid counselors will consider all of the factors that impact your finances — not just your annual income or expected family contribution. We’ll do everything to help ensure that your dream of attending college is not hindered by an inability to pay. Students seeking federal financial assistance are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students can apply online at, or click the button below.

Grants and Scholarships

Grants and scholarships are forms of financial aid that do not have to be repaid. In general, grants are need-based and scholarships are merit-based. Grants and scholarships can come from the federal government, your state government, your college or career school, or a private or nonprofit organization. For general information on grants and scholarships, click here. For information on Villa’s grants and scholarships, including scholarships for academic excellence, transfer students, special talents, and more, click here.

Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are available to students who do not already have a bachelor’s degree, have not depleted their lifetime Pell grant eligibility and who demonstrate high need. The eligibility for and amount a student may receive depends upon the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) which is determined from information provided on
the FAFSA.

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. To qualify for a Pell grant, undergraduate students must demonstrate financial need, attend school at least half time, and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

To determine eligibility, a student needs to file the FAFSA each academic year at The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information reported on the FAFSA and the formula produces an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC will determine if a student is eligible for a Pell Grant.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

An FSEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need-that is, students with the lowest estimated family contribution – and gives priority to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. FSEOG doesn’t have to be paid back.

To determine eligibility, a student needs to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

There is no guarantee every eligible student will be able to receive an FSEOG. Students at each school will be awarded these funds based on fund availability.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. TAP is a grant and it does not have to be paid back. To learn more about TAP, go to

Undergraduate students enrolled in four-year programs may receive up to four years (eight payments) of assistance for full-time study.

Although an estimate of a student’s eligibility may be included on their award letter, the state’s notification is their official approved award.

The federal school code for Villa Maria College is 002896. The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application link can be found on the confirmation page after submitting the FAFSA. Students may also apply for TAP online at TAP codes are 2188 for 4 year programs and 2158 for 2 year programs.

Say Yes

Students in the Say Yes Buffalo program from the Buffalo Public School system, as well as all city charter schools, may be eligible for a Say Yes scholarship.  Say Yes scholarships will cover the remaining balance of a student’s tuition after state, federal, and/or institutional grants and scholarships have been applied. The award covers tuition only and does not include costs for room and board, books, and other fees.

Villa Maria College provides Say Yes Tuition Scholarship to a limited number of students from families with an income of less than $75,000. Say Yes Scholarships are typically awarded to students with the highest financial need and highest academic and extra-curricular accomplishments first. Students from families whose income is more than $75,000, who plan on attending Villa Maria College, may receive the Choice Grant. This grant offers up to $5,000 per year. Choice Grants, when combined with state, federal, and institutional grants and scholarships, are not to exceed the cost of full-time tuition.

For more information on Say Yes at Villa, click here. 

GI Bill/Post-911 Benefits

The following websites provide some additional resources:

US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs (education section)
The United States Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

The GI Bill website provides information about the many types of benefits available and will allow you to apply for veterans’ benefits online through VONAPP.

Those who do not have the ability to apply online, may call 1-888-GI BILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) and request a form to be mailed to you.

Subsidized Loans

Subsidized Loans are loans for undergraduate students with financial need, as determined by your cost of attendance minus expected family contribution and other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). Subsidized Loans do not accrue interest while you are in school at least half-time or during deferment periods. For more information on subsidized loans, click here.

Unsubsidized Loans

Unsubsidized Loans are loans for both undergraduate and graduate students that are not based on financial need. Eligibility is determined by your cost of attendance minus other financial aid (such as grants or scholarships). Interest is charged during in-school, deferment, and grace periods. Unlike a subsidized loan, you are responsible for the interest from the time the unsubsidized loan is disbursed until it’s paid in full. You can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accrue (accumulate) and be capitalized (that is, added to the principal amount of your loan). Capitalizing the interest will increase the amount you have to repay. For more information on unsubsidized loans, click here.

Parent Plus Loan

Parents can borrow a PLUS Loan to help pay their child’s education expenses if the student is a dependent undergraduate student enrolled at least half time in a eligible program and have done the FAFSA. The PLUS borrower must be the biological or adoptive parent or stepparent (if the steppparent’s income is on the FAFSA). The parent must also be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen and have a social security number. The yearly limit on a PLUS Loan is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. Eligible parent(s) can apply online at with a particular lender.

To apply for the PLUS Loan:

  1. Go to:
  2. Click on: Sign In button in the “Manage My Direct Loan “ box
  3. Enter: Parent’s social security number, first (2) characters of last name, date of birth and PIN number. Please note that the social security number must be entered without spaces or dashes between the numbers.
  4. Click on: “Start PLUS Application Process” and then “Parent PLUS” (under “Select Loan Type”)
  5. The website will then guide you through a four step process to complete the application.

Please call 1-800-557-7394 if you have any issues during the application process.

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal Loans are a type of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. Your financial aid awards may include
one or more of the loans listed below. Visit for more information.

The Federal Direct Subsidized Loan is a need-based loan which a student may qualify for based upon the
information provided on the FAFSA. Students must also be enrolled for at least six credits to be eligible. Interest
does not accumulate on the subsidized loan while the student is in school.

If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in
academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized
Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than
150 percent of the published length of your program. This is called your “maximum eligibility period.”
The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is a non-need based loan. Student borrowers are responsible for all interest.
Students must complete the FAFSA and be enrolled for at least six credits to qualify.

Origination fees are subtracted at the time the loan is disbursed. Loans are disbursed in two payments. Upon
graduation, withdrawal or a change in enrollment status to less than half-time, students are required to participate
in an exit loan counseling session online or with a representative from the Financial Aid Office.

Repayment on student loans begins six months after graduation, upon termination of education or reduction of
course load below half-time.

Work Study

Villa Maria College offers work study as a limited, needs-based program. The College’s work study program allows students with financial need to work part-time while attending school. This enables college students to earn a paycheck that can be used to help fund their college education. Work study jobs are typically related to a students’ course of study. Work study jobs at Villa include employment in the following departments: communications (graphic design), admissions, student life, career services and more. Work study job availability changes each semester. For the most up-to-date list, contact Becky Detlef at 716-961-1828 or [email protected]

Submit FAFSA

Financial Aid Forms.

Independent Student Verification Form

Download Form

Dependent Student Verification Form

Download Form

Parent Plus Credit Form

Download Form

Special Condition Form

Download Form

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Apply for Financial Aid?

The first step is to complete the FAFSA; click here to get started.

What's the FAFSA?

According to StudentAid.Gov, FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Completion of the FAFSA makes you eligible to receive grants, loans and work study money from the federal government. Villa Maria College uses the FAFSA to provide its own financial aid and work study opportunities.

The FAFSA will help Villa’s financial aid counselors determine how much money a family is expected to contribute to a student’s college tuition.

It takes about 30 minutes to complete the FAFSA, can be done online and is free. For more information on FAFSA, click here.

How Often Do I Have to Complete a FAFSA Form?

In order to receive federal financial aid, you are required you to complete the FAFSA every year you are enrolled in school.

What's an EFC?

According to StudentAid.Gov, EFC stands for expected family contribution, is a measure of your family’s financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. Your family’s taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula.

What is Villa Maria College's School Code?

Villa Maria College’s school codes are as follows:
FAFSA: 002896
TAP (Associates): 2158
TAP (Bachelors): 2188

What is the Total Cost for Attending Villa Maria College?

For the 2018-2019 school year, full-time tuition is $11,040/semester, and part-time tuition is $737/credit. For a complete list of all costs and fees associated with attending Villa Maria College, click here.

What is the Average Amount of Financial Aid Received by Each Villa Student?

For the 2016-2017 school year, Villa students received an average of $18,065 per student.

What Scholarship Opportunities are Available to Villa Maria College Students?

A list of scholarship opportunities available to Villa Maria College students can be found here. Please note this list is not all inclusive, and you can learn more by speaking with one of Villa’s financial aid counselors.

How Does Villa Maria College Generate Financial Aid Packages for Out-of-State Students?

Financial aid packages for students who reside outside of New York State are processed the same as in-state packages. Villa’s cost of attendance includes the cost of tuition (which is the same for in state and out of state residents), room and board, class and college fees, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. The financial aid office personalizes each package to our students’ individualized need, academic merit and creative talents. We use the FAFSA-generated Estimated Family Contribution to determine federal Title IV aid eligibility. Out of state students are not eligible for TAP.

How Does Villa Maria College Generate Financial Aid Packages for International Students?

To be eligible for Title IV funding, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible permanent residents. However, international students are eligible for merit or transfer scholarships and even talent scholarships.

What Work Study Positions are Available at Villa Maria College?

Work study job availability changes each semester. For the most up-to-date list, contact Becky Detlef at 716-961-1828 or [email protected]

What is the Difference Between Subsidized Loans and Unsubsidized Loans?

According to StudentAid.Ed.Gov, Direct Subsidized Loans have slightly better terms to help out students with financial need. For more information click here.

What is Federal Loan Counseling?

According to, the goal of entrance counseling is to help you understand what it means to take out a federal student loan.

According to Exit Counseling provides important information to prepare you to repay your federal student loan(s).

If you have received a subsidized, unsubsidized or PLUS loan under the Direct Loan Program you must complete exit counseling each time you:

  • Drop below half-time enrollment
  • Graduate
  • Leave school

Learn more about Exit Counseling here.

What is the Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) Program?

The Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) program provides tuition awards to students who are New York State residents attending a participating private college located in New York State. Recipients will receive $6,000 through a combination of their TAP award, ETA award and a match from their private college.

New York State’s Excelsior Scholarship promises free tuition for students at certain income levels.

Students whose households make less than $100,000 a year in adjusted, gross income qualify this year. The income cap will increase in 2018 to $110,000 and in 2019 to $125,000. Students must meet the same residency requirements that are necessary to qualify for the Tuition Assistance Program.

Graduate students do not qualify, and neither do students who already have bachelor’s degrees. Also, students with associate’s degrees are only eligible for the scholarship if they’re seeking a bachelor’s degree, not another associate’s degree.

Our Staff.

Still not sure where to begin? Feel free to someone from contact Villa’s Office of Financial Aid for guidance.

Aimee Murch

[email protected]

Jessica Bracco

[email protected]