Ways to Pay

Types of Financial Aid

Federal Grants & Scholarships

Federal grants include:

  • Pell Grant – up to $5,550
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – up to $4,000 if you demonstrate exceptional financial need

Federal Work Study Program (FWS)

Federal Work Study provides part-time jobs, based on financial need, offered through your college to help pay education expenses. It allows you to earn more to pay educational expenses.

Pay is based on federal minimum wage standards, but varies with job requirements, skill and experience levels.

Indicate on your FAFSA that you want work-study assistance, or notify the financial aid office at your college.

New York Grants and Scholarships


The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions pay for tuition. Depending on the academic year in which you began study, an annual TAP award can be as high as $5,000.

Part-time TAP helps eligible New York residents attending in-state, post-secondary institutions on a part-time basis pay for tuition. It is available for students who completed requirements as full-time, first-time freshmen in 2006-07 or thereafter and meet other part-time eligibility requirements.

Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.

For information on TAP eligibility and how to apply click here.

Other NYS Scholarships and Awards

New York State offers other grants, scholarships, awards and special programs based on certain criteria.

Explore these opportunities at HESC.ny.gov.

Institutional Aid

Institutional aid is funded and awarded by your college. Most colleges offer scholarships, grants, fellowships, assistantships and stipends. Some colleges even offer low-interest loans.

Institutional aid may be awarded based on need and/or merit, and can vary in amounts and availability. Contact your college's financial aid office for eligibility requirements, applications and deadlines.

Grants and Scholarships from Other Sources

Scholarships and awards are offered by many community groups, clubs and organizations. They may be awarded based on academic merit, athletic ability, field of study, ethnic background, religious affiliation, and special interests.

Learn about these opportunities through your high school and contacts in your community.

There are many free scholarship search web sites. Don't pay for them. Click here to start searching for scholarships.

Federal Loans

If you still need money after maximizing your federal, state and institutional aid,consider federal loans first. Federal loans are available to most students and parents and have low, fixed interest rates and multiple repayment options.

Federal loans include:

Direct Subsidized Loans
Up to $5,500 for undergraduate students.
Students must demonstrate financial need.
3.4% fixed interest rate.
No interest is charged while a student is in school at least halftime, and during deferment periods.
Interest will accrue during the grace period.
1% origination fee will be deducted for each Federal Direct Stafford Loan disbursement.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Amounts vary depending on year in school and dependency status.
No financial need requirement.
6.8% fixed interest rate
1% origination fee will be deducted for each Federal Direct Stafford Loan disbursement.

Direct PLUS Loans
For parents of dependent students and for graduate/professional students. The annual limit is equal to the student's cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives.
No financial need requirement.
7.9% fixed interest rate
Interest is charged while in school, and during grace and deferment periods.
4% origination fee will be deducted for each Federal Plus disbursement.

Federal Perkins Loans
Up to $5,500 a year for undergraduate study.  Up to $8,000 per year for graduate study.
The amount of the loan depends on financial need, other aid, and the availability of funds at the school.
5% fixed interest rate

Private Loans

A private student loan, or alternative loan, is another option for financing college costs after traditional funding sources, such as federal and state grants, scholarships and loans, have been exhausted.

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.

Special Circumstances

Financial aid resources for Youth in Care

There are specific resources available to youth who are or have been in foster care that can help you pay for college. Check out Youth in Care to learn more about these resources, as well as other helpful information that can help you get to college.

Youth In Care Corner

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