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the Office of Student Financial Services

Financial Aid

Financial aid is money provided to help you and/or your family pay for the cost of attendance at Purchase College.


Within each category of financial aid, there are three types of aid:

  • Scholarships and Grants
  • Loans
  • Employment

Scholarships and Grants
Scholarships and grant aid are often called "free" money or gift aid because a student does not have to pay it back.  Scholarships and grants are the most desirable type of financial aid.


The NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent NYS college graduates who are participating in a federal income-driven repayment plan whose payments are generally capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income. 

Click here to apply for the NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

Loans are a type of aid that the student or parent must pay back.  Because loans have to be prepaid, they are considered self-help aid.  Repayment usually begins after a student finishes his education or drops below a specified enrollment level.  In some situations, all or part of a loan can be cancelled or forgiven if the borrower meets certain conditions.

Employment is also considered self-help aid because a student earns compensation for work performed.


As you can see, financial aid comes in a variety of forms.  All types of financial aid comes from four primary sources:

  • The federal government
  • States
  • Institutions
  • Private/Corporate

Federal Government
The federal government is the largest source of financial aid.  Financial aid from the federal governments includes grants, loans, and work.

Federal financial aid includes the following:

State Aid
A second source of financial aid is the states.  The types of financial aid available vary from state to state and can include scholarships, grants, and loans.  Some states also offer loan forgiveness programs students may be eligible for after they graduate.  States establish the eligibility criteria for their aid programs.  A common criterion is state residency.

State financial aid includes the following:

Many institutions offer financial aid using their own resources.  Institutional aid comes from private or corporate donations, and from institutional revenue.  Schools that offer institutional aid generally award it at their discretion.

A final source of financial aid is private aid, available from individuals or groups such as community or civic organizations, associations, clubs, churches, foundations, and businesses.  Private aid donors often develop their own application and eligibility criteria and procedures.