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Financial Aid

Financial aid can make the difference to whether going to college or not is possible for many students.

The system of Financial Aid is based on the principal of equal access i.e., anyone who wants to attend college (and has the grades) should be able to, regardless of financial circumstances.

Financial aid in New York colleges works in the same way as most other colleges throughout the USA:

  • Students and/or their families are expected to fund a college education, BUT, financial aid is there to assist in the instance where there is a shortfall.
  • Currently, over 50% of the students enrolled in colleges in the state of New York are receiving some form of financial aid.

3 Main Types of Financial Aid

Whilst Financial Aid is any type of assistance supplied or received that contribute to paying college costs, there are 3 main categories within which most financial aid falls:

Grants and Scholarships

This is often referred to as gift aid for the simple reason that grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid.

Gift aid comes from federal and state governments and from individual colleges. Scholarships are mostly awarded by individual colleges and are usually awarded based on merit, most commonly for academic or athletic achievement or prowess.

For details of grants or scholarships you may be eligible for you will need to contact the college to which you are applying or research relevant grants available from your state government or the federal government.


The majority of financial aid is made up of loans. This form of financial aid needs to be repaid. However, most loans that are awarded based on financial need are low-interest loans sponsored by the federal government. No interest is accrued on the loans until you are in a position to begin repayment i.e., after graduation.


Work-study is again a federal program and helps students pay for books, supplies and the general living costs encountered when studying at college or university.

Work-study is administered by the federal government and provides students with part-time employment to help meet their financial needs. It also has the benefit of giving students work experience, which can be advantageous when it comes time to compile a resume after graduating.

The most crucial aspect of financial aid is research. When you have chosen where and what you want to study, whether it is at college with relatively high or low costs, it is essential you research what financial aid is available in the form of federal grants or loans, state scholarships and the scholarships offered by the college itself.



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