Remember: January is 'Financial Aid Awareness Month'

Thomas F. O'Mara

January 08, 2013

Elmira, N.Y., January 8—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) reminded area residents today that January is College Financial Aid Awareness Month in New York State and the Higher Education Service Corporation’s (HESC) campaign, “Start Here, Get There,” is offering a month-long series of events and other tools to help students and families undertake the college aid application process.

“It’s one of the most daunting tasks facing college-bound students and their families.  But now’s the time to get started and this month’s ‘Start Here, Get There’ financial aid awareness campaign offers easily accessible and vitally important information and assistance,” said O’Mara.  “It’s a one-stop clearinghouse for the tools that students and families need to complete the process.”

According to HESC, the most important tool in securing student financial aid is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly known as the FAFSA.

Through “Start Here, Get There” during the month of January, HESC seeks to encourage and help students and families to complete the FAFSA, the first step in applying for free or low-cost federal and state aid. 

In addition to hands-on events in regions across New York, the campaign also includes online tutorials and a special toll-free HESC hotline for direct assistance.  Students and families can have their FAFSA questions answered through:

• online HESC chats that will be available weekdays;
• a toll-free HESC hotline, 1-800-808-1790, available from Noon to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; and
• e-mail assistance at

A listing of upcoming regional HESC events and additional information about student financial aid and completing the FAFSA can be located on the HESC website:

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