New York Student Loans

how to get student loansThe state of New York and the city of NYC appreciate one of the most extensive public university and college systems. In NYC, the system is known as CUNY, the City University of New York. The New York state system is called SUNY, the State University of New York.

Public College Education in New York

The CUNY system is composed of 24 institutions, including 11 senior colleges that offer 4-year degree programs and six community colleges with 2-year associate’s degree programs. According to CUNY, more than 269,000 students are matriculated in degree programs across 24 campuses across all five boroughs of New York City. CUNY offers lower tuition for New York state residents than non-residents. For the academic year starting in the fall 2014, CUNY lists tuition for full-time students in senior colleges at $6,030 per year (resident) and $16,050 (non-resident). For full-time students in CUNY community colleges, tuition is $4,500 (resident) and $9,000 (non-resident).

According to SUNY, its public university system is the largest in the US. SUNY is composed of 64 institutions including research universities, liberal arts colleges, and community colleges. SUNY reports that in 2013 total undergraduate enrollment was 422,582, and from 2011 to 2012, they awarded a total of 77,788 undergraduate degrees. SUNY offers lower tuition for New York residents and non-residents are subject to higher tuition costs. SUNY lists the 2013 undergraduate tuition at SUNY 4-year colleges as $5,570 (resident) and $14,887 (non-resident).

Private College Education in New York

studentsAccording to Forbes, in 2013, 10 of the 100 top colleges in the nation were in New York (plus the United States Military Academy). The top New York schools were both ivy leagues: Columbia University (ranked 5th) and Cornell University (ranked 19th). New York University (NYU), which is popular among students seeking an education in NYC, (ranked 56th). In 2013, Columbia University and NYU had tuition costs of $61,540 and $61,407 respectively. Private schools, unlike public institutions, do not differentiate between residents and non-residents for tuition purposes.

Funding a College Education in New York

Students seeking financial aid will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online. Private colleges as well as CUNY and SUNY often offer financial aid packages that include gift aid that does not need to be repaid. According to the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, gift aid includes:

  • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) (for full-time and part-time students)
  • Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)
  • Educational Opportunity Grants (for students from low-income families)
  • Awards, such as New York State Aid to Native Americans
  • Scholarships including the New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence

As federal student aid (U.S. Department of Education) describes, students may also qualify for federal free aid such as:

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
  • Federal Work-Study Program (pays wages for jobs on-campus)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants

As college financial aid packages may not cover the entire cost of tuition, students and their families may need to consider borrowing students loans, such as:

One important rule of thumb when it comes to borrowing is to first exhaust all federal and any low-interest loan resources before opting for private loan financing. Some helpful tips:

  • Borrow only the amount you need.
  • Live like a student.
  • Research and apply for scholarships.