Financial Aid Process

The application process for almost all federal, state, local and college financial aid programs begins with the filing of a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application. It is through filing the FAFSA that you will receive consideration for Federal Direct student Loans.

Financial Aid is not automatically renewed each year, continuing students must submit a Renewal FAFSA each year. Renewal depends on the annual re-evaluation of your need, the availability of funds, and satisfactory progress toward the completion of your degree requirements

Step 1: Complete a 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Students must complete the 2023-2024 FAFSA form using SPH School Code 004765 (this will guarantee that CUNY SPH will receive your application information). Filling out an online FAFSA allows the transmission of your information directly to the federal government. In order to file an online FAFSA, you must use your PIN number.

For free help in completing your FAFSA or to obtain a paper FAFSA you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). For federal student financial aid information online you can go to:

Note: To fill out and submit your FAFSA is FREE, You don’t have to pay anyone for assistance.

Step 2: Student Aid Report

The Department of Education notifies you that your application was processed and provides you with a Student Aid Report (SAR). Review the SAR carefully for accuracy, and make sure our school code 004765 is listed. Your SAR contains a summary of your FAFSA information, there will be a message on your SAR if additional information is needed to complete the process.

If you need to make corrections to the SAR, you can make them online. You can make a few changes to your SAR information by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Step 3: Set up your CUNYfirst Account

After your Seat Deposit is received, you will be provided access to your financial aid account using CUNYfirst. You can learn more about CUNYfirst and Student Self Service at

Step 4: Check your CUNYfirst Account

  • If you don’t see an award notification, check the “To-Do List” for instructions to see if any additional documentations are required to finalize your award package
  • If action is required, respond promptly to avoid packaging and disbursement delays.
  • Accept or decline all financial aid offered and review aid against semester charges.
  • Review your billing statement to make sure that it reflects all of the Tuition and Fee charges for your current semester enrollment status.

Step 5: Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note

If you accepted student loans, you might be required to complete on-line Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) at Check your “To-Do List Items” to see if any action is required.

Those who are first-time borrowers or who borrowed more than five years ago must schedule a pre-loan interview with the Office of Financial Aid or complete an online interview at

Once the loan request has been processed, applicants will receive a letter of instruction regarding:

(1) How to sign the Master Promissory Note (MPN) online.  See   Signing online will shorten the time needed to get the loan funds to applicants;
(2) The processed loan amounts; and
(3) The anticipated disbursement dates.

Those who have a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) on file with the Federal Government are no longer required to complete a new promissory note for each new loan. Notes expire after ten years; when this happens you must sign a new MPN. However, previous borrowers will still receive disclosure notices listing the amounts of their loan(s) and the anticipated disbursement dates.

Step 6: Sign-up for Direct Deposit

In order to expedite your loan funds; students are strongly encouraged to sign up for Direct Deposit through CUNYfirst.

To select this option, please login to CUNYfirst and follow this quick reference guide to enroll in Direct Deposit. Additionally, if your bank account changes, please follow the same steps to update your account information.