Financial Aid is an increasingly complex yet critical aspect of the undergraduate experience for many of our students. While faculty advisors are not expected to become experts in this area, a general knowledge can assist them in their meetings with students.
Advsiors can encourage:
- Awareness: It may be useful to ask a student whether they receive financial aid and, if so, which types of aid.
- Ownership: Encourage students to take ownership of their financial aid. They should be encouraged to gain a working understanding of the general costs of their education as well as the rules associated with their aid. (Refer them to the Office of Financial Services.)
Types of Aid
Aid generally consists of the following:
- Loans: subsidized & unsubsidized (must be repaid)
- Grants: Federal and State (do not need to be repaid)
- Federal: Pell Grant
- State: TAP, Excelsior, World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, Math/Science teaching incentive.
- Scholarships: Vary, though often require minimum GPA (do not need to be repaid)
Rules for Financial Aid
Rules generally require students to register for 12 credits each semester towards their Program of Study, which includes credits for:
- The primary declared major
- The upper division credit requirement
- The liberal arts credit requirement
- The writing intensive requirement
- The general education requirement
- A minor or concentration only when required by the major
- Free electives when needed to get to the 120 credit requirement for graduation
The Excelsior Scholarship requires 15 credits per semester (or 30 credits per academic year); other programs may have slightly different rules.