Types of Financial Aid
- Federal Grants
& NYS TAP
- Other NYS Grants,
Scholarships & Awards
- Loan Forgiveness
Grants don't have to be paid back. A grant is "free money" for college.
Applying for federal grants through the FAFSA is your first step.
Colleges may award grants based on certain factors, including:
- Financial need
- Academic merit
- Artistic or athletic talent
- Course of study
Before pursuing other financial aid, get all the grants — free money — you can.
|Pell Grant||Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Pell Grants are based on financial need as demonstrated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).|
|Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)||The FSEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need; students who receive Federal Pell Grants have priority. FSEOGs are awarded by a college's financial aid office based on information in the FAFSA.|
|TEACH Grant||The TEACH Grant program provides grants to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.|
|Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant||A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant, but whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.|
|Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)||The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), New York's largest grant program, helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions pay for tuition. TAP grants are based on the applicant’s and his or her family’s New York State taxable income.|
|Part-time TAP||Part-time TAP helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions on a part-time basis pay for tuition.|
Other State Grants
Grants don't have to be paid back. A grant is "free money" for college.
|NYS Aid for Part-time Study||The NYS Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies.|
|NYS Educational Opportunity Program||The Educational Opportunity Program provides assistance to NYS residents who are academically and financially disadvantaged, according to state guidelines. Learn more by visiting the Opportunity Program admissions office at your college of choice.|
Scholarships are "free money" awarded based on various factors. Some may require certain conditions be met or have a service component.
|Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship||Provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of individuals killed as a direct result of the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 on February 12, 2009.|
|Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship||For the families and financial dependents of victims of the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on November 12, 2001.|
|Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship, also known as Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS)||Provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the armed forces of the United States or of a state organized militia who, at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990, while a New York State resident, died or became severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities. For study in New York State.|
|NYS Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship||The New York Lottery is not currently awarding any new scholarships. Recipients of a prior LOT Scholarship will continue to receive any unpaid balance subject to the original requirements.|
|NYS Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarship||Provides grants to eligible full-time undergraduate or graduate students in approved programs that lead to math or science teaching careers in secondary education.|
|NYS Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers||Provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers, and emergency medical service workers who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York. For study in New York State.|
|NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence||Awarded to outstanding graduates from registered New York State high schools. Awards are based on student grades in certain Regents exams. For up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State.|
|NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship||Guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of the victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the resulting rescue and recovery efforts.|
|Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship||The Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship program seeks to increase the number of educators and adjunct clinical faculty teaching nursing education in New York State.|
|NYS Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program||The NYS STEM Incentive Program provides a full SUNY or CUNY tuition scholarship for the top 10 percent of students in each New York State high school if they pursue a STEM degree in an associates or bachelor degree program and agree to work in a STEM field in New York State for 5 years after graduation.|
|New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program||The New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program is offered to encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in New York State. This program provides loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate a farm in New York State, on a full- time basis, for five years.|
|NYS Aid to Native Americans||Provides aid to enrolled members of tribes listed on the official roll of New York State tribes or to the child of an enrolled member of a New York State tribe. For study in New York State.|
|NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans||Provided to students whose parent(s) have served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods of war or national emergency.|
|Segal AmeriCorps Education Award||Provided to New York State residents interested in high quality opportunities in community service.|
|Veterans Tuition Awards||Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or other eligible combat veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State are eligible for awards for full or part-time study.|
The Federal Work-Study Program (FWS) provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay their education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to each student's course of study.
Pay is based on the federal minimum wage, but may vary depending on the skill level required for the job. Your total work-study award is based on:
- When you apply
- Your level of financial need
- Your school’s available FWS funds
Since the money from FWS is earned for hours worked, it is paid directly to the student and is not shown as a credit on the college bill.
Colleges provide institutional grants and scholarships to help make up the difference between college costs and what a family can be expected to contribute through income, savings, loans, and student earnings. Awards may be based on academic merit, artistic or athletic talent, financial need or other factors. You can learn more about the types of grants awarded by checking each college's website.
Private scholarships provide funding for students who meet the requirements specified by the donor organization. Local organizations or businesses may offer scholarships to students who plan to study at a regional college or who plan to pursue a degree in a particular field of study.
Check with your high school counseling office for details about local and regional scholarships.
Find additional scholarships through:
Under certain conditions, you may have all or part of your education loans forgiven or cancelled in exchange for performing a qualifying service for a defined period of time. Although you do not have to repay the part of your loan that is forgiven or cancelled, you may owe taxes on the forgiven/cancelled amount in cases where the forgiven/cancelled amount is considered income.
|New York State Loan Forgiveness Programs for NYS Residents Only|
Awards are offered to retain experienced attorneys employed as District Attorneys, Assistant District Attorneys or Indigent Legal Services Attorneys throughout New York State
Awards are made annually to social workers licensed to practice in New York State who have at least one year of prior employment working in a critical human service area.
This program seeks to increase the number of nursing faculty members and adjunct clinical faculty teaching in the field of nursing in New York State.
|Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs|
The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. If you teach fulltime for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full time in public service jobs. Borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
For borrowers with Perkins Loans who perform certain types of public service or are employed in certain occupations. A percentage of the loan may be cancelled for each year of service. To apply, contact the school that you were attending when you received the loan. Occupations include:
Student loans must be paid back — with interest. Before taking out a student loan, make sure you have applied for all of the scholarships and grants you are eligible to receive from the federal and state governments, your college, and organizations in your community. You apply for all federal loans by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If after exhausting all federal and state sources of aid, you find you still have a college funding gap, you may consider a private loan to make up the difference.
The financial aid award letter you receive from your college shows the federal student loans for which you are eligible. Loan fees are charged for each loan, except Perkins Loans, and may be deducted from or added to the disbursed amount. The fee varies by type of loan. All interest rates and loan limits published here are subject to change by the U.S. Department of Education.
|Federal Direct Loan Programs|
(Subsidized and Unsubsidized)
|Federal Perkins Loan Program||A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest loan for both undergraduate and graduate students with exceptional financial need. The participating school is the lender and funding is subject to availability from the college. Payment is owed to the college that made the loan.|
|Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program|
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan program helps parents pay the education expenses of a dependent undergraduate student. Eligible graduate and professional students may also borrow under the PLUS Loan program. All students must be enrolled at least half-time.
|Federal Direct Graduate/Professional PLUS Loan Program|
This loan helps qualifying students pay the difference between the financial aid already received – from scholarships, grants and student loans – and the cost of attendance. Unlike some private loans that come with variable rates that can climb several times a year, this loan has a fixed rate of 5.41% for the life of the loan.
Use our Loan Comparison Quick Reference chart as a quick, convenient reference guide to the features, terms and repayment details for Federal Direct, PLUS, Perkins and private loans.
Learn about Federal Loan borrowing limits.
Private student loans — sometimes known as alternative loans — are options for financing college costs that can bridge the financial gap between college costs and traditional funding sources, such as federal loans, grants and scholarships.
Private student loans are usually unsecured, which means approval is based on a financial institution's assessment of the borrower's ability to repay.
Borrowing an alternative loan is a serious financial commitment. Alternative loans have higher interest rates and most charge fees making them more expensive than federal loan options. Be sure to exhaust all federal loan eligibility before borrowing an alternative loan, including the Federal PLUS Loan. Learn about the Federal PLUS Loan.
If an alternative loan is needed, student borrowers will secure better terms and pricing by adding a credit worthy co-signer to their application. Always check the interest rate, fees, interest capitalization policy, repayment period, prepayment penalties and other terms and conditions of the loan before you sign a promissory note.
Interest rates, loan limits, interest capitalization policy, repayment options and prepayment penalties can vary – sometimes considerably – depending on the financial institution underwriting the loan.
It's important to understand all the terms associated with a loan before you choose one.
Learn more about smart borrowing.
Compare private loans with HESC's Private Loan Comparison Tool.