What You Need to Know About Financial Aid

Click here for “7 Things You Need to Know About Financial Aid” from The College Board.

Financial Aid Workshops

HHS’ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Informational Workshop: For students and parent/guardian(s) of Juniors and/or Seniors. This workshop, which features the Director of Financial Aid at Columbia-Greene Community College, provides knowledge about financial aid that will help prepare students for their application for federal financial aid. The annual workshop is typically two parts and takes places in October and November.

HHS’ Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Online Workshop: For Seniors and parent/guardian(s). You can complete the FAFSA application online with the support of Columbia-Greene Community College Financial Aid Office staff along with Hudson Senior High School counselors, Ms. Patsko and Mr. Payne.

Guide to FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

Click here for a guide to understanding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is a how-to guide for high school students and parents, and it is available in several languages including Arabic, Bengali and Spanish.

Online Colleges and Financial Aid Resources


Tips from New York State Higher Education Services (NYS HESC) on Navigating FAFSA Challenges


As you know, the FAFSA process has been different and at times quite difficult this year; due to the Federal Government overhauling the FAFSA process – which has been referred to as the “Simplification” process – which has made the process far from simple. Through your senior meetings we have spoken about FAFSA and some of you attended the FAFSA Night earlier this semester.

This year as counselors, due to the changes the Federal government has made; unfortunately, we too have struggled as to best advise you in certain aspects of the FAFSA and Financial Aid Process. I want to include the below tips from a resource that I hope can help with the tough process of Financial Aid. You also are welcome to continue to stop into the Guidance Office regarding FAFSA or Financial Aid questions.

Navigating FAFSA® Challenges:

The delays and challenges in FAFSA® processing have undoubtedly created uncertainty for students. As colleges grapple with backlogs in application reviews, it’s crucial to arm students with effective strategies for navigating this uncertain period.

Below, you’ll find valuable tips to share with your students. You can copy and paste these into your next email to them. P.S. The tips below include a link for Going Merry’s new financial aid Appeal Letter Generator. Sign up here to see a live demo of this new tool!


  • Stay Informed: Regularly check your email and college portals for any updates regarding your financial aid status, your application status, or any additional documents required.
  • Don’t Panic: Don’t feel pressured to commit to a school before seeing your aid package, especially if you’re unsure about affording it. If possible, wait for decision deadlines to ensure you have all the necessary information to make an informed choice based on your financial situation.
  • Consider All Options for Reducing Cost: If you’re really in a bind waiting for a financial aid decision, explore ways to reduce educational expenses. Enrolling in community college, finding more affordable housing, or adjusting meal plans can all reduce costs.
  • Explore Additional Funding Sources: Continue applying for scholarships and grants. Websites like Going Merry offer a comprehensive database of scholarships tailored to you.
  • Communicate with Financial Aid Offices: Reach out to the financial aid offices of the colleges you’ve applied to regarding your application status, or any changes in your financial situation that may impact your eligibility for need-based aid. Use Going Merry’s financial aid Appeal Letter Generator to submit an appeal letter.