Scholarships, Grants & Loans
Information on scholarships, grants & loans for SUNY online students
Scholarships, Grants and Loans
Scholarships and Grants are both "gift" aid, which do not require employment or repayment. Scholarships are based on academic, artistic or other student performance and accomplishments. Grants are based on a variety of factors, including need, and/or other factors. Loans are available at both the federal and local level, and must be repaid. Each campus has a financial aid office able to assist you in completing an application for financial aid - contact them when you enroll for an online course or degree program to see if you are eligible to apply for Federal Aid. There are different options and requirements for students who are fully matriculated for a degree program, and for students taking single courses. Your campus can help you find the financial aid, scholarship or grant that applies to your situation.
Scholarships are 'gift' aid, and are usually based on merit or having requirements other than need. Scholarships, like grants, need not be repaid. Scholarships often require at least half-time attendance, and are usually not available for offsetting the cost of one course. Many scholarships are at the state level, rather than federal, and you should contact both the state agency that awards scholarships for both in-state programs and residents of your state. If you are an out-of-state student (taking SUNY courses but not a resident of NY), you'll need to confirm that you can still accept state-based aid, both for NY and for your home state. You are automatically considered for New York State Scholarships when you apply for financial aid by filling out the the FAFSA - the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.) Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.
The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2009-10 award year (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010) is $5,350. The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get, though, will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. If, after reading all of the information on this fact sheet, you are interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the financial aid office at the college where you will be enrolled. Note: Not all campuses participate in the TEACH grant program - please contact your campus financial aid officer to find out more.
NOTE: For the TEACH Grant Fact Sheet, please review this site.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) program is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions (EFC's) will be considered first for a FSEOG. Just like Pell Grants, the FSEOG does not have to be repaid. You can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on when you apply, your financial need, the funding at the school you're attending, and the policies of the financial aid office at your school.
Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
The Academic Competitiveness Grant was made available for the first time for the 2006-2007 school year for first-year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006, and for second-year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2005. You must have graduated from a "rigorous high school curriculum" and be a Pell Grant recipient. You may receive $750 for your freshman year and $1300 for your sophomore year.
New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
This aid is available to many New York State residents attending a school located in NY State. (Amounts are based on NY net taxable income and other factors.) Annual TAP awards for SUNY Undergraduates range from $500 to full tuition.
Student loans, unlike grants and work-study, are borrowed money that must be repaid, with interest, just like car loans and home mortgages. There are many choices when it comes to loan types and terms: the Perkins Loans, the U.S. Department of Education administers the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Both the FFEL and Direct Loan programs consist of what are generally known as Stafford Loans (for students) and PLUS Loans for parents, graduate and professional degree students.
Schools generally participate in either the FFEL or the Direct Loan program, but sometimes participate in both. Under the Direct Loan Program, the funds for your loan come directly from the federal government. Funds for your FFEL will come from a bank, credit union, or other lender that participates in the program. Eligibility rules and loan amounts are identical under both programs, but repayment plans differ somewhat.
For more information on the types and kinds of loans available, please visit www.studentaid.gov. In addition, your campus' financial aid office can assist you in finding the loan that is right for you.
For more information on scholarships and grants, please visit: www.studentaid.ed.gov
For more information on financial aid, please visit: www.studentaid.ed.gov
For more information on SUNY Financial Aid programs and state and federal programs for financial aid at SUNY, please contact the Financial Aid Office at the campus offering your course or program online. For campus financial aid contact info, please see the SLN Campus Financial Aid Office Page.