Federal Programs

General Eligibility Requirements
Federal Pell Grant (PELL)
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Direct Loan (FDL)
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

General Eligibility Requirements

To receive Federal Student Aid, you must:

  • Have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau).
  • Be a U.S. citizen or an Eligible Non-Citizen.
  • Have a high school diploma, a GED, or have been home-schooled.
  • Be registered with Selective Service (Males between the ages of 18 and 25).
  • Be matriculated or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program.
  • Certify by signing a FAFSA that any federal student aid funds awarded to you will be used solely for educational purposes.
  • Certify by signing a FAFSA that you are not in default of any federal student loan and that you do not owe a repayment of any federal student aid grant.
  • Not have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of illegal drugs while you were a student receiving federal student aid.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in college or career school.


Federal Pell Grant (Pell)

A Federal Pell Grant unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.

The Pell Grant can be used to pay your tuition, or, if your tuition is covered by other means, help you buy your books and supplies, or pay your transportation costs.

Click here for full PELL details.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

A FSEOG is an award given to undergraduate students who show exceptional financial need.  FSEOG is available only to students who meet the following criteria

  • Have not obtained a first bachelor's degree or professional certificate.
  • Eligible Federal Pell Grant recipient
    • Have not exhausted your 12 semester life-time eligibility limit
    • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) between 0-500
  • Must be registered for a minimum of six units (Half-Time)

The FSEOG program is administered directly by the Office of Financial Aid at each participating school and is therefore called “campus-based” aid.

CUNY receives a fixed amount of funds each academic year to package FSEOG awards. To increase your chances to receive a FSEOG, please file your FAFSA as early as possible. These funds are limited and are packaged on first-come, first-served basis. In recent years, FSEOG awards have ranged from $100 to $300 per semester.
How will I know if I have been awarded FSEOG?
If you are awarded FSEOG, the award will be posted to your Financial Aid Award Summary page in CUNYfirst. To view this page, login to your Student Center in CUNYfirst, and click on "View Financial Aid." After the college packages you with your financial aid awards, you will also receive an e-mail award letter that will indicate whether or not you have been awarded FSEOG.

Click here for full FSEOG details. 

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work- Study (FWS) Program is a need based federally funded program that offer students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience that will enhance their job skills. In order to participate in the FWS program, students must:

  1. Receive a FWS award as part of their  financial aid package and accept the award;
  2. Be enrolled at least half time (6 units/credits) or have been accepted for such enrollment; and
  3.  Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress.

FWS employment may be offered to student employees in several ways: on campus, off campus, and/or through Public Service Corp (PSC). Federal guidelines prohibit students from working during scheduled class hours. Work hours must be arranged in a way that it does not conflict with class hours. Typical jobs include clerical work; providing overall assistance to departments such as the Library, Computer Labs, and tutoring.

Click here for full FWS details. 


Federal Direct Loans

Federal Direct Loans Program

A potential borrower ­MUST first file and receive a response from a FAFSA. Once the FAFSA is finalized, an applicant can apply for a William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan through the Office of Financial Aid by completing a Direct Loan Request Form. A counseling session and the completion of a Direct Loan Entrance Counseling are required for First-time borrowers.  It is also highly recommended for continuing student to complete a Financial Awareness Counseling. In addition, once the loan is approved, a promissory note MUST be signed by the borrower in order to have the loan disbursed.

To be eligible for a Federal Direct Loan, a student must be:

  • MUST be matriculated and registered for a minimum of 6 undergraduate credits for the semester(s) that you are applying for. (SUMMER / FALL / SPRING)
  • You must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
  • A U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen (click here for list of Eligible Non-Citizen)  
  • Must not have a Default status for a previous student loan

You must meet all eligibility requirements for Federal Financial Aid. In addition, you must demonstrate financial need for the loan. Financial need is demonstrated when your EFC, plus the loan amount, plus any other financial aid you are receiving adds up to less than your cost of enrollment.

Direct Loan Entrance / Financial Awareness Counseling
The Direct Loan Entrance / Financial Awareness Counseling can be completed via the internet at Entrance Counseling | Federal Student Aid.

A Student Loan Ombudsman Office is available for assistance with loan problems at 1-877-557-2575.

Click here for full FDL details.


Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

If your parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan, you may be eligible for an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant.

Like other federal grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants provide money to college or career school students to help pay their education expenses. However, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants have special eligibility criteria.

Who can get an Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant?

You may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if:

  • You are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of your Expected Family Contribution but
  • Meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, and
  • Your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and
  • You were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.

Click here for full service grant details.