Grant aid like Federal Grants or NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) are often called “free money” or gift aid because a student does not have to repay it. 


Scholarships  are “free money” or gift aid because they do not need to be repaid. Colleges and nonprofit or private organizations may offer scholarships to students. 

SUNY’s Tuition Match Program (Beginning in 2023-2024)

Purchase College will match the in-state tuition of the flagship public universities in three states to make it easier for students from around the country to receive an excellent education in New York. 

If you live in  Illinois, Massachusetts, or New Jersey, we will match the tuition and fees of your flagship state:

  • Illinois: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Massachusetts: UMass Amherst
  • New Jersey: Rutgers, New Brunswick


Employment, such as Federal Work Study, is also considered self-help aid because a student earns compensation for work performed.


Loans, such as federal loans, are a type of aid that the student or parent must pay back. Because loans have to be repaid, 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 canceled or forgiven if the borrower meets certain conditions.

The NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

The program provides up to 24 months of federal student loan debt relief to recent NYS college graduates (as of December 2014 and after) who are participating in a federal income-driven repayment plan whose payments are generally capped at 10 percent of their discretionary income.

Apply for the NYS Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program.