Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will I lose other financial aid if I receive a scholarship?
A: Yes. All financial aid is based upon your financial need. Since a scholarship reduces your need, you will require less financial aid to meet your educational expenses. You must notify the Financial Aid Office if you receive any scholarships, loans or grants from any source so that your need may be reappraised.

Q: I do not want to borrow the full amount of Federal Stafford Loan. Can I ask for less?
A: Yes. When you receive your Federal Stafford Loan Acceptance Agreement, request only the amount you will need for the academic year. Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have already received your loan and wish to return a portion of the funds.

Q: Is my financial aid taxable?
A: Financial aid for fees, tuition, books, supplies and required equipment is not taxable. Financial aid for living expenses, room, board and transportation is taxable. We suggest you consult the IRS, the income tax instruction booklet, the FAFSA instructions or a professional tax advisor. If you report financial aid on your tax return, be sure to list the same amount on your FAFSA - Question #43d.

Q: Can I receive financial aid to live off campus even though my parents live within commuting distance to the school?
A:
Yes, you may opt to live in an apartment near school. You will be required to provide a copy of your lease and copies of canceled checks to utility companies.

Q: What happens to my financial aid if I withdrawfrom school?
A: The law requires that, when you withdraw during a period of enrollment, or semester, the amount of financial aid that you have "earned" up to that point is determined by a specific formula. If you received less assistance than the amount that you earned, you will be able to receive those additional funds. If you received more assistance than you earned, the excess funds must be returned to the various federal programs. You must contact the Financial Aid Office if you withdraw from school.

Q: Will I lose my financial aid if I have bad grades?
A.
Yes. Students are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress which means they must maintain a minimum GPA and accumulate a minimum number of credits in a maximum time frame according to the standards of the various divisions of the school. Students on academic probation for two semesters are ineligible for federal financial aid.

Q: Will I be eligible for financial aid if I attend an exchange or study abroad program?
A: If the exchange or study abroad program is approved for credit, you will be eligible for financial aid.

Q: Can I file my financial aid application independent of my parents?
A: If you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions, you are considered independent for financial aid purposes:

  • Were you born before January 1, 1989?
  • At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, will you be working on a master's or doctorate degree program?
  • Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed forces for purposes other than training?
  • Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
  • Do you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013?
  • As of today, are you married?
  • At any time since you turned 13, were both your parents deceased, were you in foster care or were a dependent or ward of the court?
  • Do you have dependents, other than your children or spouse, who live with you and recieve more than half their support from you, now through June 30, 2013?
  • Are you or were you an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court in you state of legal residence?
  • At any time after July 1, 2009, did your high school or school district homeless liaison or the director of emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless?
  • At any time after July 1, 2009 did the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self supporting and at risk of being homeless?

If you cannot answer "yes" to one of the above questions, you are considered dependent and must include your parents' financial information when you file your FAFSA. If you are independent under the above guidelines, The Cooper Union reserves the right to request your parents' tax return.

Q. I plan to get married during the academic year. Can I file my FAFSA as "married" now, since I will be married in a few months?
A:
No. You must indicate your marital status as of the date you complete your FAFSA.

Q: What can I do if I have a dispute with my lender or guarantor regarding my Federal Stafford Loan?
A: The SFA Ombudsman has been established to assist student loan borrowers in resolving any loan disputes or problems. You can contact the SFA Ombudsman Office at:1-877-557-2575 or www.sfahelp.ed.gov.

Q: What is Verification?
A: Your application may be selected for a review called "Verification". In this process, the Financial Aid Office will compare information from your application with signed copies of your parents' prior year Federal tax forms, W2 forms or other financial documents. If there are differences between your application information and your financial documents, you will be required to make corrections to your FAFSA. You must also submit a form called the Verification Worksheet to the Financial Aid Office. Verification should be completed as close to the June 1st deadline as possible but before the last day of classes. A Pell Grant applicant selected for verification must complete the verification process no later than 120 days after the last day of class.

Q: How do I know if I am eligible for a deferment of my Federal Stafford Loan?
A: Borrowers in repayment of a Federal Strafford Loan may be eligible for a deferment in specific situations:

At least half time study at a postsecondary schoolStudy in an approved graduate fellowship program or in an approved rehabilitation training program for the disabled.
Economic hardship (includes Peace Corps Service)Engaged is service listed under discharge/cancellation conditions
Active Military Duty while borrower is on active duty during a war or other military operation or national emergency and if the borrower was serving on or after October 1, 2007, for an additional 180 day period following the demobilization date for the qualifying service.

Deferments are NOT automatic. You must request a deferment and provide all the information that your lender requires. Additional information is available on teaching and other types of service and cancellations can be found online at:

www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov

At the site, click on "Students, Parents and Counselors".

Please feel free to contact the Financial Aid Office if you have other questions.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.