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. 


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


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 cancelled or forgiven if the borrower meets certain conditions.

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 (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.