General Information

Who gets federal student aid?

Every student who meets certain eligibility requirements can get some type of federal student aid, regardless of age or family income. If you are a student, some of the most basic eligibility requirements are that you must:

  1. demonstrate financial need (for most programs) by completing the FAFSA; 
  2. be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen; 
  3. have a valid Social Security number; 
  4. be registered with Selective Service if you’re a male between the ages of 18 and 25; 
  5. be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible degree or certificate program; 
  6. be enrolled at least half-time (for most programs); 
  7. maintain satisfactory academic progress in college, career school, or graduate school; 

8. sign the certification statement on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) stating that:

  • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe money on a federal student grant and
  •  you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes; and

9. show you’re qualified to obtain a college or career school education by 

  • having a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a state-recognized equivalent; or 
  • completing a high-school education in a home-school setting approved under state law; or
  • enrolling in an eligible career pathways program.

Find more details about eligibility requirements at

What is Federal Title IV financial aid and how does it affect my bill?

Title IV financial aid funds are awards funded by the federal government (for example, Federal Stafford and PLUS Loans, and Pell and SEOG Grants). The government restricts the use of these funds and if a student withdraws early in a term/semester these funds may be required to be returned first to the federal government. Awarding of these funds is based on need as determined by completing the FAFSA each year. Purchase College uses “Federal Methodology” in awarding Title IV federal aid. All Title IV/campus based aid is awarded following federal regulations as dictated by the US Department of Education. Please view the Title IV Recalculation page for additional detail.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance is broken down on your SUNY Shopping Sheet which can be viewed on myHeliotrope. Both direct and indirect costs are listed. For all costs please see the semester charges here.


The awarding of funds occurs on a rolling basis as students complete their FAFSA’s. Students are awarded using the federal government’s “Federal Methodology.” Certain funds run out early such as College Work-Study.

Professional Judgment

 The federal government allows colleges to use their “Professional Judgment,” but only certain criteria can be looked at. Purchase College lists the criteria that it can look at on the Special Circumstances Form (PDF). All decisions are final and not all cases will be approved. Paperwork will not be reviewed until it is complete. The Special Circumstance Committee meets once a week to review such paperwork.