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Student News

Campus Life December Events

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Financial Aid News - December 2017

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Financial Success For The Year Ahead!

Financial Aid News

December 2017

Student Financial Services (SFS) Hours
SFS Resource Center Hours
C-Building, Room C-107
C-Building, Room C-109
Monday & Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Monday & Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday & Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Get $$$ to Pay for College Complete your 2018-2019 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) @ www.fafsa.ed.gov


The Excelsior Scholarship application for the spring 2018 semester is now available. Current Excelsior Scholarshiprecipients should not complete this application. If you first received the award in the fall term of the current academic year, no additional action is needed for the Spring term. The Application deadline is December, 4, 2017.

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition‐free.


An applicant must:

  • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non‐citizen;
  • have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $100,000 or less;
  • be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
  • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
  • if attended college prior to the 2017‐18 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
  • be in a non‐default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
  • be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by a NYS award that you have previously received; and
  • execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if Employed during such time, be employed in NYS.


Applicants who first entered college as a freshman student in the 2015‐16 and who have earned 54 credits, or who first entered college as a freshman student in 2016‐17 academic year and who earned 24 credits can make up those 6 credits in 2017‐18. Students who successfully earn 36 credits in the 2017‐18 academic year can become eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship beginning in the 2018‐19 academic year.


The Excelsior Scholarship provides awards up to $5,500.

To determine the award amount, the resident tuition rate charged by SUNY (currently $6,470) or CUNY (currently $6,330) will be reduced by the amount of certain other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the academic year, including a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award and/or federal Pell grant. The Excelsior Scholarship will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $5,500; and a tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition expenses not covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.

*Note: Any award payment received may have tax implications. Anyquestions regarding this should be directed to a tax professional, the InternalRevenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.


A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments for not more than two years of full‐time undergraduate study in a program leading to an associate’s degree or four years of full‐time undergraduate study, or five years if the program of study normally requires five years, in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree.


To receive payments each subsequent year (after the initial application year), Excelsior Scholarship recipient must annually complete the FreeApplication for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the TAP‐on‐the‐WebApplication.


Current Excelsior Scholarship recipients should not completethis application. If you first received the award in the fall term of the current academic year, no additional action is needed for the spring term.

To complete the application, you will need:

  • To complete the Free Application forFederal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the TAP‐on‐The‐Web Application
  • Copies of 2015 New York State income tax return(s) filled by you and your parent(s), as applicable
  • If you are a transfer student or a student with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
  • an official college transcript
  • If you are a current student, for the application question “During your lifetime college experience, how many terms did you complete?” please include the current fall term in your count.­

Application Deadline: December 4, 2017


Please contact the Scholarship Unit at scholarships@hesc.ny.gov or 888‐697‐4372.

Check Your Financial Aid Status on CUNYfirst

1. Log in to your CUNYfirst account here.

2. Click to expand the Self Service options and select Student Center.

3. Under the Finances section, click Account Inquiry.

On the Account Inquiry screen, look for your Pending Financial Aid. Here you can view your account activity, current balance after Financial Aid, a detailed list of charges, payments and refund amount.

NYS TAP Eligibility

*Attention all students with Foreign High School credentials*
You must complete the Ability to Benefit Test for NYS aid eligibility. Visit the Testing Office in the C-Building, Room C-460 for the ATB test availability dates


Financial Aid Tip:

Always check your “to do list” on your student center page in CUNYFirst for financial aid documents that are required to submit!


Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)Requirements for Financial Aid

Students must be making satisfactory academic progress towards completing an associate degree in order to remain eligible for federal financial aid (PELL, FSEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Direct Loan). Students must meet all the following satisfactory academic progress requirements:

Minimum GPA Chart

Pace of Progress

A student must successfully earn a minimum number of credits based upon the number of attempted credits.

Pace of Progress Chart


Maximum Time Frame

A student may attempt no more than 150% of the credits for completion of a degree. Students are required to earn a minimum of 60 credits to receive a degree at LAGCC.

Example:150% of 60 credits is 90. A student may attempt no more than 90 credits to earn 60. If a student has attempted 91 credits and only have earned 50 credits they are no longer eligible for federal aid.


Tips to have a successful semester at LaGuardia:

  • Use the resources! If you aren't sure about your classes, talk to your Academic Advisor.
  • Plan each term, and plan each week. (See the Academic Calendar).
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Talk to the Advising Team
  • Talk to your professors—get to know them EARLY, and seek them out OFTEN!
  • Get enough sleep. The more refreshed your body is, the more likely you are to pay attention and take effective notes in class. If you are experiencing any issues or want to speak with someone, we encourage you to visit The WellnessCenter.

And we'll leave you with this. Keep in mind, though—you are NOT on your own! We're all here to cheer you on.


Enhance Your Financial Literacy

Student loan interest rates to rise following Treasury note auction

The interest rate on new federal student loans will increase from 3.76 percent on undergraduate direct loans issued for the 2016-17 award year to 4.45 percent for the2017-18 award year, according to the results of Treasury Department's 10-year note auction held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Are you graduating in the Fall 2017 semester with student loan debt? You are required to complete exit counseling for your student loans. Visit studentloans.gov to complete student loan exit counseling electronically.For more information contact aolivero@lagcc.cuny.edu.
Student Financial Services will host a 2017-2018 workshop on the following dates at 3:30 in C-103.



Federal Work Study

Are you interested in becoming a Federal Work Study student?

For more information on the Federal Work-Study Program visit office C-113 or visit our webpage at http://www.laguardia.edu/Financial-Aid/Federal-Work-Study


Important Financial Aid web pages:

  • To Apply for Financial Aid


  • To Check your academic eligibility to receive Financial Aid


  • LaGuardia Academic Calendar


  • Academic Advising


  • The Wellness Center/Counseling


Good Luck in your Exams!


Smart Money Winter Workshops

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2017 Library Research Review Competition Winners

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Left to right: Lilla Toke (Classroom Instructor for FirstPlace Winner), Sukhrob Abdushukurov (2017 First Place Winner holding the Kindle First Prize), Ambar Castillo (Second Place Winner), Phillip Mahony and Jennifer Tsuei (Third Place Winners), and Clementine Lewis (Chair, Research Review Panel)


Library Research Review Competition Winners

By Clementine Lewis, Professor, Library Media Resources Center

The Research Review Competition continues to highlight student learning and student success in the classroom and library. Students who engage in the research process demonstrate their ability to access, evaluate, and use information resources effectively. These information literacy skills can also be used in their daily lives and in the workplace.

The Competition also supports research at the College and provides an unique forum for the following research activities: a) showcasing the wide range of research work conducted by our students, b) enhancing and building confidence and self-esteem in students involved in the research process, c) providing recognition for full and part-time students who may not have the time or opportunity to participate in other campus activities, and d) enriching and highlighting the work of the classroom instructor.

Research Topics

Listed below are some examples of the wide range of research topics pursued during the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Economic issues: Robots in Jobs and The Working Class in America
  • Health issues: Diabetes in Asian-Indian and Hispanic Communities,  Whole Foods Diet and Healthy Living, and Profits in the Pharmaceutical Industry      
  • Historical issues: Harlem Race Riot of 1943, Joseph Goebbels’ Propaganda Machine in Nazi Germany, Comfort Women of World War II, Toussaint L’Ouverture and the Haitian Revolution, and W. E. B. Du Bois--Life and Works
  • Social issues: Cultural Appropriation, Calatrava’s Architecture Designs, Equality and Women in the Workplace, Difference Between Transgender and Crossdressing, Muslim Women and Religious Attire, and New York City’s Homeless Shelters
  • Political issues: Fight for Mosul in Iraq, President Trump and the U.S. Presidency, and Social Media and Fake News
  • Literary works and issues: John Cheever’s “The Scarlet Moving Van,” The Diary of Anne Frank, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Gogol in The Namesake, Shakespeare’s Othello, and Narrative Innovations in Modernist Short Fiction by Several Authors

Student Winners

While seeking a degree and doing extremely well in their academic studies, many of our students lead very busy lives. However, they have goals, motivation and good study habits that help them excel in all their academic studies. As you review information about each winner, you will see these traits and the information literacy skills that continue to help the winners succeed in the workplace and in our global society.

Sukhrob Abdushukurov (1st place) is an upper-class freshman and planning to graduate in Fall 2018. After he graduates, he hopes to transfer to Brooklyn College. Currently a psychology major, Sukhrob is also pursuing biology, with a future goal to pursue a career in a medical field. A graduate from a high school in Uzbekistan, Sukhrob speaks five languages: Uzbek, Russian, Farsi (Tadjik), German, and English. He is also very active at the college: enrolled in ASAP (Accelerated Study in Associate Programs), a member of PTK (Phi Theta Kappa honors society) and PALC (Peer Activist Learning Community), which is led by Dr. Eduardo Vianna in Psychology.

Ambar Castillo (2nd place) is a second-year student and enrolled in the Theatre Program at LaGuardia. She has already earned a B.A. in Latin American Studies/Journalism from Boston University. Presently, she is a literary contributor to the Lit, LaGuardia’s Arts and Literary Magazine. In May 2017, Ambar was one of 38 students selected by the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. to receive an international reporting fellowship. During the summer of 2017, she traveled to Gujarat, India to report on organizations that use the arts to combat social justice issues that threaten people who live with chronic diseases. It is interesting to note that this topic was born out of her research paper, which was submitted into the Research Review Competition. As a theatre major, she is also very active and has performed in college theatre in Boston, Ecuador, and New York, where she received a 2017 Irene Ryan acting nomination for the Kennedy Center College Theater Festival. Ambar is also an apprentice with InViolet Theater and performs regularly in plays addressing social justice issues.

Jennifer Tsuei (3rd place) is a part-time student majoring in English. This is a second win for Jennifer. She participated and won in the 2016 Competition. Jennifer is also the proud mother of a new baby boy and has a daughter who attends kindergarten. Jennifer is a great example of a part-time student who may not have the time to participate in campus activities but is a great student in her classes and dedicates her time to family responsibilities. She is also very humble and states that she is “thankful’ to Dr. Parris, her classroom instructor, for guiding her through the research process. Since she is a frequent user of many of the library services on and off campus, she extends her thanks to all library staff who provide her assistance.

Phillip Mahony (3rd place) an English Literature major is scheduled to graduate in Fall 2017 with plans to pursue a degree in economics from New York University. At the moment Phillip is an intern in the Queens District Attorney’s Office and aspires to become a lawyer.


On October 11th, the winners attended a special photo session for a group picture in the Library’s Courtyard Reading Room. This photo is included in the article. In October, a Certificate of Participation was also sent to all of the students who participated in the Competition. According to many of them, the Certificate is one of their prized possessions, especially since it includes recognition from President Mellow.

Again, we are thankful to the dedicated classroom instructors who helped publicize the competition and worked relentlessly with students to help them achieve their academic success. Thanks to my colleagues who serve with me on the Research Review Panel: Dr. Nicolle Fernandes, Dr. Tomoaki Imamichi, Mr. Christopher McHale and Dr. YuZhang. We also thank Faculty Council for providing the competition prizes.

Library Research Review Competition Winners and Classroom Instructors

First Place: Sukhrob Abdushukurov  ENC 101 – Dr. Lilla Toke
Second Place: Ambar Castillo HUP 101 – Dr. John Chaffee
Third Place:

Phillip Mahony

Jennifer Tsuei

ENG 103 – Dr. Sorin Cucu

ENG 225 – Dr. LaRose Parris

For additional information about the Research Review Competition, please visit the website located here.

Excelsior Scholarship 2017-2018 Fact Sheet

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Math Finals Review Schedule

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For better viewing of the Fall Session I Math Finals Review Schedule click here

Student Profile - Kyle Paneto

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Kyle Paneto

Kyle Paneto

Only about five percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. In fact, there have only been around 2.5 million boys who have earned that title since 1912, including Kyle Paneto.

However, Kyle’s story actually started shortly after the death of his father on June 3rd, 2012. Immediately entering the Borough of Manhattan Community College, Kyle’s grades plummeted, mind wasn’t in the right place, and to make matters worse as time passed he found himself on the ground clipped by a yellow cab while riding his bike. Despite these events, Kyle understood that if he didn’t reapply to school, he would never return.

So why LaGuardia? Well while bedridden for most of the 2016 summer, Kyle found an old photo album with pictures of his mother of when she graduated LaGuardia in the 80s. Now holding a 3.7 GPA, participating with the Honors Student Advisory Committee, College Assistant to Georgina Taraskewich of the Marketing and Communications department, and recipient of the Kaplan Scholarship, Kyle is committed to making the most of his time here at LaGuardia.

With reassurance in his voice, Kyle states that he plans to attend Brown University for their riveting History program and aspires to become a History professor because he loves its leaders. Reminded of Jodi Picoult, who said “History isn't about dates and places and wars. It's about the people who fill the spaces between them”, there is no doubt that Kyle will do great things.

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