Open menu button Close menu button

Federal Grants

Need-based grants are funds awarded from the federal and state governments that do not need to be repaid.  Factors used to determine a student's financial need include, but are not limited to, the federal adjusted gross income or New York State net taxable income of student and parent(s) or the student and spouse, taxes paid, the number of household members, the number of household members enrolled in a post-secondary school, and assets held by the family.  A FAFSA must be completed to determine eligibility of any grant or other aid programs. Information in this section is limited to Federal grants, for information on State programs visit: TAP/APTS/HESC Scholarships.

Pell Grants

A Pell grant is the principal federal grant program that helps meet the needs of qualifying, matriculated students pursuing their first undergraduate degree.  Funds can be used to cover educational and living costs.  The grant amount varies based on Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculated by the federal processor and the number of credits taken:

  • 12 or more equated credits for full-time award status
  • 9 -11 equated credits for 3/4-time award status
  • 6 - 8 equated credits for 1/2-time award status
  • < 6 equated credits may be eligible for a 1/4 time award.

Beginning 2012-2013 Award Year

Once you have received a Pell Grant for 12 semesters, or the equivalent, you will no longer be eligible for additional Pell Grants.
You are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for the equivalent of up to 12 semesters, or 6 years, of full-time study. If you have exceeded the 12-semesters/6-year maximum, you will lose eligibility for additional Pell Grants beginning in 2012-13 school year. Equivalency is calculated by adding together the percentage of your Pell eligibility that you received each year to determine whether the total amounts to 6 years worth.

Year-Round Pell Grant can assist to Pay for Summer Courses!

The Year-Round Pell Grant can provide up to 150 percent of your maximum Pell grant award for the academic year. If eligible, the funds can assist to partially pay for Summer courses and allow you to stay on track for graduation or even to complete your bachelor's degree early. To learn more visit: Summer Pell

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

SEOG is a grant program for matriculated students who are eligible for a Pell award and demonstrate financial need.   Funds are allocated by CUNY based on availability and priority is given to students who apply by March 31 of each year.  Grants are awarded in the fall and spring semesters only.  Students must be enrolled for a minimum of six equated credits.


Special Circumstance 
Unforseen circumstances can directly impact a family's ability to pay for college. If the information provided on your FAFSA has changed, you may submit a Special Circumstances form and provide supporting documentation. All Special Circumstances requests are considered by the Financial Aid Review Committee. 

If the application is approved, financial aid eligibility is re-evaluated for federal need based aid and does not change or affect New York State financial aid eligibility. Special Circumstances applications are valid for one year and are not a commitment to future financial aid adjustments. 

For additional information on special circumstances, please contact or call 718-982-2030.

Eligible Circumstances
- Significant loss of employment or income 
- Legal separation or divorce
- Death of a parent or spouse
- Substantial medical or dental expenses paid that were not covered by insurance

The Financial Aid Office cannot consider financial aid appeals in regards to: consumer indebtedness, discretionary personal expenses, relocation, loss of income due to voluntary job change or voluntary unemployment, consumer debt, or reduction in overtime pay. 

Dependency Override
Your dependency status determines whose information you must report on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A dependent student must report student and parent information on the FAFSA whereas independent students only report student information (and spouse information, if married). Dependent students with unusual circumstances may appeal to the Office of Student Financial Aid. 

Eligible Circumstances
- Parents cannot be located or are incarcerated
- Documented case of abuse or unsafe living environment

Dependency override requests should be discussed with a financial aid advisor.