What is Financial Aid?

The term “Financial Aid” refers to a set of resources a student can use towards the cost of attending an institution of higher education.  This can include grants, scholarships, stipends, loans, or paid employment offers, and they can be derived from multiple sources, such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and/or corporations. The amount of financial aid that a student receives is determined through federal, state and institutional guidelines. Therefore, the financial aid provided in one school will be very different than another school depending on the policies and procedures that govern those awards. 

Here are some basic definitions of each of the various types of aid:

Grants/Fellowships: free money that does not typically require repayment, unless there is a service agreement for it which will disclose the details of any such commitments.

Scholarships & Stipends: free money that does not typically require repayment. Some of these funds are restricted to particular groups of students and/or student characteristics as they tend to be based on merit.

Loans: funding provided by an entity that must be repaid back. They will have particular interest rate(s), possible loan fees, and specific repayment terms which may vary by the program and type of loan.

Federal Work Study:  provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. 

Majority of the financial aid offers have terms and conditions, such as being tied to specific degrees/majors or enrollment levels, that will be particular to the funds that varies by school, so it’s really important for families to read and be aware of all those details before committing to attending any school.

Below, you will learn about many of the opportunities available to students.  However, it may be useful to also keep in mind these two sites –

For Federal funding - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types  

For NYS funding - https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/apply-for-financial-aid/apply-for-aid-start-here.html

What types of Financial Aid are available
Grants | Scholarships | Loans | Employment Opportunities | Veteran's Benefits |Health and Human Service Programs 





  • William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program    Under this program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender.  There are several types of Direct Loans available:
    •  Direct Subsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher   education at a college or career school.
    •  Direct Unsubsidized Loans are loans made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but eligibility is not based on   financial need.
    •  Direct PLUS Loans are loans made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for   education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who   have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify.

Employment Opportunities


Health Resources and Services Administration Scholarship Programs

  • Nursing Student Loan
  • Health Professions Student Loan Program (HPSL)
  • Primary Care Loan Program (PCL)
  • Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students Programs (SDS)
  • Loans for Disadvantaged Students Program (LDS)
  • National Health Service Corps Scholarship (NHSC)