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What is Financial Aid?

Financial Aid is composed of federal and state grants, scholarships, loans, and Work-Study. In order to be considered for Financial Aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every academic year. Students can complete a FAFSA at We recommend that a student completes their FAFSA once it becomes available. The earlier a student applies, the greater the opportunity to be considered for federal grants. Students do not have to be admitted to an institution to apply for federal aid.

What is Financial Aid used for?

Who is eligible for Financial Aid?

Who is ineligible for Financial Aid?

Types of Federal Financial Aid

What is a Federal Pell Grant?

What is Year-Round Pell?

What is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?

What is Federal Work-Study?

What is a Federal Direct Loan?

What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

What is the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

What are Hunter College Scholarships?

What is Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)?

What is SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge)?

What is Financial Aid used for?

Financial aid is used to cover a student's educational expenses, such as tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. [Back to top]


Who is eligible for Financial Aid?

Students must have financial need, but also meet federal and academic requirements.

Financial Aid Eligibility Criteria:

  • Have financial need
  • U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizen
  • Enrolled in an eligible degree program
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be registered with Selective Service (if required)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Have a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate
  • Not be convicted of selling or possessing illegal drugs while receiving aid
  • Not be in default of federal student loans

Federal Aid Includes: Pell Grant, FSEOG, Federal Work-Study, Federal Direct Loans, and Federal Perkins Loans.

State Aid Includes: New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Aid For Part-Time Study (APTS).

In order apply for TAP, students must complete a FAFSA. Once the FAFSA has been completed, students will be given a link to complete their TAP application. The TAP application must also be completed every academic year. To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need and meet academic requirements. [Back to top]


Who is ineligible for Financial Aid?

Students enrolled in non-degree and certificate programs are not eligible for any federal or state financial aid, but may apply for alternative student loans and institutional aid, such as Hunter College scholarships.

Undocumented Students, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), are not eligible for any federal or state financial aid.  These students may apply for alternative student loans and institutional aid, such as Hunter College scholarships.
DACA students may apply for the DREAM.US Scholarship

Types of Federal Financial Aid

The chart below demonstrates what federal financial aid is available to eligible students:

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What is a Federal Pell Grant?

The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) (see below); the cost of attendance; the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.

Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and to determine the EFC. The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student's income (and assets if the student is independent), the parents' income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family's household size, and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending postsecondary institutions. After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), or the institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and provides the student's EFC.

Federal Pell Grants are direct grants awarded through participating institutions to students with financial need who have not received their first bachelor's degree. The Federal Pell Grant funds are either credited to the student's school account, paid to the student directly (usually by check), or these methods are combined. Students must be paid at least once per semester.

The Pell Grant is the foundation of federal student aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added. Pell Grants are for undergraduate students. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. Amounts can change yearly. For the 2016-17 award year (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017), the maximum award is $5,815. The amount you get, though, will depend on

  • your financial need,
  • your cost of attendance,
  • your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • ​your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. 

Effective on July 1, 2012, you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years). You'll receive a notice if you're getting close to your limit. If you have any questions, contact our financial aid office


What is Year-Round Pell?

The Office of Financial Aid is pleased to announce the Year-Round Pell Grant! Awarded to first time undergraduates, this popular gift aid program does not require repayment. This means a student has another half of an academic year’s worth of Pell Grant to help afford enrolling in summer!

With the implementation of the Year-Round Pell Grant, a student may receive up to 150% of a scheduled award in fall, spring and summer without forfeiting eligibility from any of the semesters within the same academic year.


  • Earn more credits to graduate on time
  • Take required prerequisites to declare a specific major
  • Meet the 30 valid credit requirement to maintain NYS Excelsior Scholarship eligibility

Terms and Conditions:

  • Students must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Students must have a valid Student Aid Report/ISIR listing Hunter College, School Code 002689.
  • Awards may be recalculated/cancelled if a student fails to begin attendance in sufficient credits to support their enrollment status used to calculate the Pell Grant.
  • Students must not have exceeded the Pell lifetime eligibility usage of 600%. (Pell awarded in summer will count towards the 600% maximum)
  • The Office of Financial Aid can determine the base award year used when awarding Pell Grant most beneficial to the student.
  • Eligibility for other Title IV aid programs such as Direct Loans can differ from that of the extra 50% Pell award.
  • To receive a Pell grant more than 100%, the student must enroll in a minimum of 6 credits (half-time) in the applicable term to use the additional 50%.
  • Failure to submit requested documents by the required deadline will result in ineligibility for the award.

Visit the Office of Financial Aid located at 241North to review your eligibility today.[Back to top]


What is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)?

FSEOG assists exceptionally needy students and is intended to supplement other forms of financial aid for undergraduate students.  Award amounts vary according to the availability of the program. [Back to top]


What is Federal Work-Study?

Federal Work- Study is a program that provides part-time jobs to undergraduate and graduate students who need additional financial aid. The Work-Study program allows students to earn the money needed to help pay for education-related expenses. Jobs are available both on and off-campus and include community service work.

If you are eligible to begin working in the summer, an email will be sent to your Hunter email address by the end of May. If waiting until the fall, a Job Placement Schedule will be emailed to you in August.  It is important that you activate and use your Hunter College email account in order to receive these notifications.

Regardless of when you begin working, you may not earn more than the amount of your award. Students who are employed during the summer and not enrolled for summer session should be registered for the fall semester before beginning to work during the summer.

Students who work through the Federal Work-Study program must provide documentation to the college that they are eligible to work in the United States. Please review the Employment Eligibility Verification form, which includes a list of acceptable documentation

Employers & Students:

Please use this link to access Next Gen, Hunter College's On Campus automated Federal Work-Study web site.

Frequently Asked Questions-Students

For Supervisors:

Next Gen Employer Job X & Timesheet X Training Manuals

Frequently Asked Questions-Supervisors

The Office of Financial Aid Federal Work-Study Coordinator is Daffodil Dennis, who can be reached at

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What is a Federal Direct Loan?

Federal Direct Loans provide federally insured, low interest and long-term loans to students or parents to help cover the costs of attending college. The federal government is the lender (not a bank or any other financial institution) and makes the loan directly to the student or the parent through the college.  Repayment on the student's loans begins six months after graduation, termination of attendance, or when the student registers for less than six credits while in attendance. Repayment on Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) begins after the first check disbursement.


There are three types of Federal Direct Loans:

Subsidized Direct Loans:  Available to undergraduate students with financial need.  No interest is charged while you're attending school at least half-time.

Unsubsidized Direct Loans: Available to undergraduate and graduate students; financial need is not a factor in determining the unsubsidized loan eligiblity as long as the requested amount does not exceed the cost of attendance.  The federal government charges you interest from the time the loan is disbursed until you pay the loan in full.

Direct PLUS Loans: Available to parents of dependent undergraduate students and graduate or professional students; financial need is not a factor in determining the PLUS loan eligibility as long as the requested amount does not exceed the cost of attendance.  The federal government charges interest from the time the loan is disbursed until you (or your parent if dependent undergradute) pay the loan in full.  PLUS loans are based on the borrower's credit history.

Exit Counseling is a manadatory process that all students who have borrowed loans and are no longer enrolled in Hunter College must go through in order to update their record.

Direct Loan Borrowing Limits and Interest Rates

Maximum Annual Borrowing Limits Established by the U.S. Department of Education

The table below shows the maximum amount a student can borrow each year, according to the student’s dependency status, FAFSA application information, and academic level. Student loans, in combination with other financial aid received for a single academic year, cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

Grade level

Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

 Yr 1 - Undergraduate
0 – 29.9 credits


 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000

 Dependent = $5,500
Independent = $9,500

 Yr 2 - Undergraduate
30 – 59.9 credits


 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $6,000

 Dependent = $6,500
Independent = $10,500

 Yr 3 - Undergraduate
60+ credits
Second degree Undergraduate


 Dependent = $2,000
Independent = $7,000

 Dependent = $7,500
Independent = $12,500

 Aggregate Loan Limits



 Dependent = $31,000
Independent = $57,500





 Aggregate Loan Limits



 Graduate/Professional = $138,500

*As of July 1, 2012 graduate students are no longer eligible to receive Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loans.

Current Interest Rates

Loan Type                       Borrower Type          Loans first disbursed on or after 7/1/16 and before 7/1/17
Direct Subsidized Loans Undergraduate 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergradute 3.76%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate or Professional 5.31%
Direct PLUS Loans Parent/Graduate 6.31%

The interest rates shown above are fixed rates for the life of the loan.

For further information, please visit

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What is a Federal Perkins Loan?

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low interest loan awarded by the College to students who demonstrate financial need.  Perkins Loans can be used to cover tuition or other education-related expenses. Students must begin to repay these loans to the College 9 months after graduation or 9 months after their last date of enrollment. Perkins Loans are not available to entering students. [Back to top]


What is the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

Tuition Assistance Program 
The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a grant for eligible New York State residents. It does not have to be paid back. Awards are based on New York State net taxable income and tuition charges. Final determination of awards is made as a result of the completion of the Express Tap Application (ETA) each year and funding levels are dependent on the New York State Budget.
City University Student Tuition Assistance 
The City University Student Tuition Assistance (CUSTA) program is a state grant that is based on Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility. CUSTA eligibility criteria are the same as those used by the New York State TAP program.
Satisfactory Academic Progress 
Students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress towards their degrees, as defined by New York State, in order to continue to receive state aid including APTS (see below) and TAP. For state aid, Satisfactory Academic Progress consists of two elements: academic progress and pursuit of program. Academic progress is a measure of earning credits toward a degree with a specified grade point average. Pursuit of program is a measure of the student's degree completion.
TAP Tutorial
TAP Academic Progress Charts
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What are Scholarships?

Scholarships are grant aid that does not have to be paid back.  Hunter College offers its own internal scholarships for both incoming and continuing students.  Scholarships are also available from various charitable and service organizations. Click here to learn more about scholarships at Hunter.

What is Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)?

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) is a grant program financed by New York State in conjunction with participating educational institutions throughout the State. This program provides grants to eligible part-time undergraduate students to help pay tuition expenses.


To be considered for an award you must:

  • Be working toward an undergraduate degree as a part-time student enrolled for six but less than 12 credits per semester.
  • Maintain good academic standing including having achieved at least a cumulative 2.0 average after having received the equivalent of two full years of payment of state-sponsored student financial aid.
  • Be a resident of New York State.
  • Be either a U.S. citizen, permanent resident alien, or refugee.
  • Meet the income limits outlined by the Higher Education Services Corporation.
  • Not have used up Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility.
  • Not be in default on a student loan. [Back to top]

What is SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge)?

SEEK (Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge) is a higher education opportunity program offered in the senior colleges of the City University of New York. The SEEK Program provides special academic counseling, financial aid and other academic assistance to students entering college for the first time, and strives to help students succeed in a college setting.

Students must meet the following criteria for admission into the SEEK Program:

  • Have a high school diploma and meet the high school average required by Hunter College, or have a New York State high school equivalency diploma.
  • Have resided in New York State for at least one (1) year prior to application.
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • Have not previously attended an institution of post-secondary education.
  • Have a gross family income that does not exceed the criteria for the academic year the student is admitted.

To apply for SEEK, incoming freshman must complete the SEEK portion of the CUNY admissions application when applying online.

Transfer students from CD, EOP, HEOP and SEEK must complete the CUNY online transfer application.

Click here for more information about SEEK.


Information subject to change without notice due to changes in federal, state and/or institutional rules and regulations. [Back to top]

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