Paying for college is a significant investment, often with both parents and students shouldering the expense. The average cost of college and earning a degree is increasingly expensive, so it’s crucial to know where to search and apply for financing.
For New York residents, college funding through grants, scholarships, and state-based student loans are available from many sources. New York scholarships and grants are the first line of defense against college expenses, followed closely by student loans to help cover any gap in financing.
This guide provides detailed information regarding college financing options for New York residents.
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Getting Financial Aid for College in New York
There are several avenues a student may take to secure financing for higher education. But not every route has the same requirements or application process. Scholarships and grants often come through private institutions, with applications submitted directly to the school.
Student loans, on the other hand, are secured through applications with the Department of Education on a federal or state level, or a financial institution operating in New York. Students and parents should prepare for grant, scholarship, and loan applications by gathering relevant information on academic achievements, community service work, and financial details before applying for any college financing.
In all cases, students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – an application typically completed online. Through the FAFSA, the Department of Education determines several crucial factors in a student’s ability to pay for college, including the expected family contribution.
With the expected contribution calculated, students can see the gap between the cost of attendance and the need for education financing. With that gap amount in mind, students and their parents can search for ideal funding sources.
New York State Student Loans
Many students seek New York student loans to bridge the gap between available funds and total college costs. Federal and private student loans differ from scholarships and grants because the funds must be repaid when the student graduates or reduces attendance below half-time status.
New York state student loans are available on a federal level through the Department of Education, or through state-based organizations and financial institutions. Here are three credit unions with student loan options for New York residents.
First New York Federal Credit Union
The First New York Federal Credit Union offers qualified students education financing through student loans from Sallie Mae. The student loan options for borrowers include in-school and deferred repayment plans, variable and fixed interest rate options, as well as long-term repayment options.
Borrowers must have strong credit to qualify or secure a cosigner who has a high credit score and steady income. Applications are submitted directly through the credit union, and the maximum amount borrowed cannot exceed the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received by the student.
Empower Federal Credit Union
Students who are New York residents may also qualify for student loans through Empower Federal Credit Union. The financial institution offers competitive interest rates on loans, flexible repayment options, as well as the ability to add a cosigner if the student borrower does not have strong credit. Empower Federal Credit Union student loans are offered in partnership with Student Choice loans to New York residents.
Northern Credit Union
Students in New York may finance their educational expenses through private loans from Northern Credit Union. Borrowers might be eligible to take out loans up to $75,000 throughout their college career, and they may opt for an in-school or deferred repayment plan.
Repayment for student loans from Northern Credit Union can be extended up to 25 years, as long as the balance exceeds $45,000. There are no loan origination or early-payment fees with this credit union’s student loans. Some borrowers may need the help of a cosigner to qualify.
New York Scholarships
New York scholarships are often the first go-to financing source for most students’ need to fill significant gaps between the cost of college and available funding, say from savings or family contributions. Scholarships are an ideal way to pay for college expenses because the funds do not need to be repaid.
Many New York scholarships are awarded based on students’ academic achievements, although some scholarships are based on financial need or personal traits. Websites that aggregate scholarship awards, application information, and eligibility details for students in New York, include UNIGO and Scholarships.com.
Before applying for a scholarship as a New York resident or student, evaluate the qualification requirements, deadlines, and the need for additional details like academic track record, family attributes, or high school accomplishments.
Here are several New York scholarships that are available:
Ascend Educational Fund
Each year, the Ascend Educational Fund awards scholarships up to $20,000for eligible students who are immigrants or children of immigrants and graduating from a New York City high school. Students who plan to attend a public or private college may qualify, so long as an application is submitted by the Feb. 2 deadline. Applicants must include letters of recommendation, SAT or ACT scores, and two essays.
Financial Service Centers of New York Scholarship (FSCNY)
In partnership with MoneyGram International, the Financial Service Centers of New York offers a scholarship program to eligible students. Applicants must be seniors in high school at a New York City or surrounding county public school, as well as provide proof of academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, and community involvement. Students may receive up to $7,500 in scholarship funds, so long as the application deadline in early March is met.
Live Out Loud Young Trailblazers Scholarship
The is awarded to college-bound students who are residents of the Tri-State area, including New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Eligible students must identify as LGBTQ, demonstrate community service involvements, leadership, and academic achievements throughout high school.
Additionally, students must provide two letters of recommendations as well as two personal essays as part of the application process. The deadline for applying is March 31, and awards three scholarships of $10,000 each.
New York Women in Communications Scholarship Award (NYWICI)
The New York Women in Communications organization awards between 15 and 20 scholarships to graduating high school seniors each year. Students must be pursuing a career in communication in order to qualify, as well as attend high school in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania. The application deadline is the last Friday of January, and awards are available for up to $10,000 per student.
New York State College Grants
Grants are another option for students in New York, but they do differ slightly from scholarship awards. Students who receive grants do not have an obligation to repay the funds received, so long as certain requirements are met per the grant terms. Grants may be offered by state organizations throughout New York. And in most cases, students are required to show some degree of financial need in order to qualify for grants.
Here are a few New York state college grants to review:
New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
Through the New York State Tuition Assistance Program, eligible students may qualify for up to $5,165 on an annual basis in grant funding. Only legal residents of the state are eligible to apply, and only students attending an approved post-secondary institution in the state of New York may qualify.
Students must also have at least a C average and be enrolled as a full-time student taking 12 or more credits each semester. TAP application deadlines vary but are most often in-line with FAFSA filing deadlines.
New York State Higher Education Services Corp. Aid Part-time Study
Similar to TAP, the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. offers Aid for Part-Time Students grants assistance to eligible students attending undergraduate studies. Students who are residents of New York may be eligible so long as they are enrolled at least half-time in an approved college or university, and they are in good academic standing.
Students must also not exceed income limitations. Grant funds are awarded on a rolling basis, but they may not exceed $2,000 per term.
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program, or HEOP, is administered through the state of New York to residents who are academically and economically disadvantaged. Students from low-income families with the potential for success in college may be eligible for a competitive grant for either a two- or four-year degree program.
The HEOP grant program awards vary in amount, but all awards are managed by a private, independent educational institution. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Author: Melissa Horton
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