Skip to Main Content
Navigated to Paying for College.

Paying for College

Students who need financial assistance to help meet their college expenses should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), available at as well as the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Excelsior Scholarship applications, available at For further information regarding the aid application process, please visit

For further information regarding the aid application process, please visit our website at

The Cost of Education

The cost of education is an important consideration when deciding upon attending college. In general, a student budget consists of the direct educational costs of tuition, fees, books, and supplies, and those costs incurred by virtue of attendance, such as transportation and lunch. In addition, you will have recreational and personal expenses. If you are a self-supporting (independent) student, you will also have the day-to-day expenses of housing, food, clothing, and medical care.

Student Resources

In reviewing your budget, you should consider the resources you will have from earnings and savings,  the amount your parents can contribute, and any benefits you receive such as Social Security, veterans’ benefits, unemployment, or public assistance. Summer employment can help you meet the first costs of enrollment, and you should plan to save money from such earnings. Cash will be needed right away for books, supplies, and transportation.

Packaging Financial Aid

Rather than using just one source to finance your education, a combination of monies from all the programs for which you are eligible may be used. This system for allocating aid is called “packaging.” Funds will be allocated first to meet the basic costs of attendance (tuition, fees) and, if funding permits, other expenses will then be addressed, such as books and transportation. Your need for aid is determined by an analysis of the information contained in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The following sections briefly describe the financial aid programs available to eligible undergraduate students at Queens College. The descriptions are based on current statutes and regulations and are subject to change.

For additional information about application procedures and award and loan schedules, please visit our website at or contact the Office of Financial Aid Services.*

New York State Programs Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Application Procedures

Applications must be filed annually. Students must first fill out the FAFSA and then a separate TAP application. The deadline for the 2020-2021 academic year is June 30, 2021. The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) determines your eligibility based on the information provided on your application.

Selection of Recipients

TAP is an entitlement program for which there is no qualifying examination.


1. You must be a U.S. citizen, or eligible noncitizen, and be a legal New York State resident. Undocumented students can also apply for state aid through the Dream ACT. For more information on the Dream ACT, go to

2. You must be enrolled on a full-time basis and matriculated in a program approved for state student aid by the New York State Education Department.

3. All credits that constitute full-time status for TAP for a given semester must be applicable to the degree for which a student is enrolled.

Note: Repeated courses for which a student has already received a passing grade may not count toward the full-time requirement unless required by the student’s curriculum.

* In compliance with the regulations of the City University of New York Board of Trustees, students who are delinquent and/or in default in any of their financial accounts with the college, the university, or an appropriate state or federal agency for which the university acts as either a distributing or certifying agent, and students who have not completed exit interviews as required by the Federal Perkins Loan Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Programs, and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Student Loan Program, will not be permitted to complete registration, or be issued a copy of their grades, a transcript of academic record, certificate, or degree, nor are they eligible to receive funds under the federal campus-based student assistance programs or the Federal Pell Grant Program unless the designated officer, in exceptional hardship cases and consistent with federal and state regulations, waives in writing the application of this regulation.


Additional requirements:

  1. You must meet income eligibility limitations;

  2. You must be charged a tuition of at least $200 a year;

  3. You must not be in default in the payment of a student loan;

  4. You must have declared a major no later than within 21 days from the end of the add/drop period in the first term of your junior year (60 credits or above);

  5. You must have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;

  6. You must have at least a cumulative C average after two annual payments;

  7. You must be in good academic standing. See the Eligibility for TAP charts on page 33 for academic eligibility requirements.


Waiver of Academic Standards

A one-time waiver of academic standards may be granted for extenuating or extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as illness, etc., which cause the student to perform poorly academically.

Waiver of C Average Requirement

A waiver of the C average requirement may be granted for extenuating or extraordinary circumstances beyond the student’s control, such as illness, etc., which cause the student to perform poorly academically.

Students may request a waiver application from the College Counseling and Resource Center (Frese Hall reception area). You will be required to provide a written explanation of your situation and how it contributed to your academic performance as well as provide documentation. If granted a waiver, you will be allowed to receive TAP for the waived semester only. You will be required to meet academic standards for future payments.

Other New York State Programs

For information on the following scholarships and awards administered by HESC, see

Veterans Tuition Awards

Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

  • Persian Gulf veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.

  • Afghanistan veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.

  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

NYS Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer

Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers

NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships

Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships

Military Service Recognition Scholarships NYS Excelsior Scholarship

NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships

NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence NYS Volunteer Recruitment Service


NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans

NYS Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Program

NYS Achievement and Investment Merit Scholarship (NY-AIMS)

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

To be considered for an award, you must:

1. complete the HESC application at and the CUNY Supplement Form located through your CUNYfirst account from the student self-service page;

2. be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and a legal New York State resident; undocumented students can also apply for state aid through the Dream ACT (for more information on the Dream ACT, go to www.;

3. not yet have received the maximum number of APTS/TAP awards;

4. be matriculated and enrolled for at least 3 but not more than 11.5 credits per semester;

5. have declared a major no later than within 21 days from the end of the add/drop period in the first term of your junior year (60 credits or above);

6. have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;

7. be in good academic standing;

8. see that all credits that constitute half-time status for APTS for a given semester are applicable to the degree for which you are enrolled.

City University Supplemental Tuition Assistance (CUSTA)

To be eligible for CUSTA, you must be:

1. a legal resident of New York State for at least one year prior to entering college;

2. a high school graduate or recipient of a state approved equivalency diploma;

3. enrolled in an undergraduate program at a CUNY senior or technical college;

4. enrolled on a full-time basis;

5. eligible for the maximum TAP award;

6. at least a fifth-semester TAP recipient, not have exhausted your TAP eligibility, and have a TAP reduction.

The Percy E. Sutton SEEK Program

To be eligible, a student must be:

  1. A resident of New York State;

  2. Academically underprepared according to guidelines approved by the City University of New York;

  3. Economically qualified according to guidelines approved by the Board of Regents and the Director of the Budget;

  4. An applicant for admission as an entering freshman.

Federal Programs

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Federal Title IV student financial aid programs (FSEOG, Federal Pell, Federal Work-Study, Ford Federal Direct Loan, FPLUS, and Grad PLUS), you must:

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);

  2. Be enrolled at least half time for all above programs except Pell;

  3. Be a matriculated student;

  4. Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen;

  5. Show evidence of need;

  6. Not be in default of a federal student loan, or owe a repayment of a Federal Pell or FSEOG;

  7. Make satisfactory academic progress in your course of study.

Title IV Academic Progress

In order for students to continue to receive federal financial aid (Title IV aid), they are required to complete their coursework in a timely fashion. To ensure that a student is making quantitative progress throughout the course of study, CUNY has established a minimum percentage of credits a student must successfully complete each academic year for the purpose of Title IV aid programs.

Students will be measured against these satisfactory academic progress standards at the end of the Spring term to determine eligibility for receipt of Title IV aid for the upcoming academic year.

Undergraduate Students

In order to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, for purposes of receipt of Title IV Federal Student Assistance, an undergraduate student must achieve at least the GPA required for probationary status at the institution; after two years of enrollment at the college, at least a C average, or its equivalent, or academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation; and accumulate credits toward the degree according to the following standards:

A.  150% Cap: Students may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree. (All students must meet this minimum standard.)

B.  Regular Standard: If a student has attempted fewer than 150% of the total program credits, his or her accumulated (or earned) credits must be equal to or greater than two-thirds the cumulative credits attempted at the institution.

A.  Pace of Progression: For baccalaureate programs, accumulated (or  earned) credits must be equal to or greater than a certain percentage of the total credits attempted, according to the following:


Attempted Credits













Earned Credits













All undergraduate students (whether or not they are aid recipients) will be measured against each of the three Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) components at the end of the Spring term to determine eligibility for receipt of Title IV student financial assistance in the upcoming year.


Undergraduate students who fall beneath the conditional undergraduate standard may file an appeal application through the College Counseling and Resource Center in Frese Hall.

These appeals will be evaluated for mitigating circumstances resulting from events such as personal illness, injury, personal tragedy, changes in academic program, and the reasonableness of the student’s capability for improvement to meet the appropriate standard for the degree program in which the student is enrolled. A successful appeal would result in the granting of a one-year probation period for the student to improve the academic record to meet the appropriate standard for the degree program in which the student is enrolled.

Note: Recipients of federal financial aid who withdraw completely from classes during any term may be required to return all or a portion of their federal aid received for that term.

Federal Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant program is an entitlement program. You must meet the eligibility requirements for federal programs listed above. Financial need is determined by a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Education and reviewed annually by Congress.

Pell Grants are the foundation of federal student financial aid to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources may be added. Federal grants are awarded to undergraduate students who haven’t earned a bachelor’s or graduate degree. Pell Grants are available at all CUNY colleges, but the college you plan to attend must be listed on your FAFSA. Almost all federal grants are awarded to students with financial need. The amount of your Federal Pell Grant depends on your cost of attendance, expected family contribution, enrollment status, and whether you attend school for a full academic year or less.

Additional information:

  • Students will be limited to a maximum of 12 terms of full-time Pell payments or its equivalent for part-time study.

  • Pell is only for students pursuing their first undergraduate degree.

  • You may not be in default on a previous federal student loan or owe the federal government a refund of previously received financial aid.

  • You must be willing to verify the information you provide on the FAFSA.

  • If you are male and between 18 and 25 years of age, you must be registered with Selective Service.

  • You may not be convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

To be eligible, you must have exceptional need and meet the federal eligibility requirements for federal programs listed above.

Federal Work-Study Program (FWSP)

Students who are interested in applying for Federal Work-Study (FWS) for Fall 2020–Spring 2021 can do so by completing a 2020–2021 FAFSA and checking “yes” to the question: Are you interested in work study? File early; funds are limited. To be eligible, you must meet the federal eligibility requirements listed above.

The college must make employment reasonably available to all eligible students. In the event that more students are eligible than there are funds available, preference is given to students who have a greater financial need and who must earn a part of their educational expenses. All awarded students must be placed through the Office of Financial Aid Services and must follow placement instructions. The earlier placed, the better the choice of positions that will be available to students.


The college arranges jobs on and off campus, with public or private nonprofit agencies (such as hospitals), for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. The level of salary must be at least the minimum wage. Wages for undergraduate students are the same for all on-campus jobs; off-campus wages may vary. Satisfactory academic progress must be maintained, as well as satisfactory performance on the job.


Unlike grants or work-study, loans are a form of financial aid that you must pay back at interest rates that are typically lower than the consumer rates—usually not until after your studies have been completed or you fail to be enrolled at least half-time. The amount of the loan you seek and commit to should be determined only after all available grant-aid has been applied for. Federal loans are available to matriculated students only. Some loans may be forgiven if the student works in a particular program or government job after graduation. For more information, visit or

William D. Ford Direct Loan Program

Federal direct loan programs consist of low-interest loans and are available to both undergraduate and graduate students. Each loan also carries a small origination fee. Details about current year interest rates and fees are available on the federal student aid website at

Federal Direct Subsidized Loans

Subsidized loan eligibility is based upon demonstrated financial need (filing the FAFSA), and the interest is subsidized (paid) by the federal government until you are enrolled less than half-time. The loan interest rate can vary (capped at 8.25 percent) and can be adjusted down annually by Congress. If you are a first-time borrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a maximum period of time (measured in academic years) over which you may receive Direct Subsidized Loans. This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans. Students will not be able to receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more than 150 percent of the published length of their program. This is called the “maximum eligibility period” and is determined by the published length of a student’s program. For example, if a student is enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program, the maximum period for which he or she can receive Direct Subsidized Loans is six years (150 percent of four years). If a student receives Direct Subsidized Loans for one program and then changes to another program, the Direct Subsidized Loans received for the earlier program will generally count toward the student’s new maximum eligibility period. For more information, visit or

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Interest accrues while the student is enrolled in school at least half-time, or interest payments can be made on a monthly basis. The loan interest rate may vary (capped at 8.25 percent), and can be adjusted annually by Congress. For more information, visit or

Federal Direct Plus Loan Program

Parents of dependent undergraduate students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid resources under the plus program. Applicants for these loans are required to complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). Loans may not exceed the cost of attendance less financial aid. Parents who have no adverse credit history as determined by the federal direct loan servicer may be eligible. There is no aggregate loan limit. Borrowers are charged an origination fee and an insurance fee, which are deducted from the loan proceeds before disbursement. For more information, visit or

How Much Can I Borrow?

If you are an undergraduate student, the maximum amount you can borrow annually in direct subsidized loans and direct unsubsidized loans ranges from $5,500 to $12,500 per year, depending on what year you are in school and your dependency status. Visit https://

Aggregate Undergraduate Loan Limit. For dependent students, the limit is $31,000, and for independent students, it is $57,500. No more than $23,000 of either amount may be in subsidized loans.

Federal Direct Loan Proration. Federal regulations require that when a student is enrolled in a program that is one academic year or more in length, but is in a remaining period of study that is shorter than a full academic year, the loan must be prorated. Students who graduate in the summer session or fall semester will have their loans prorated.

Alternative Student Loans

These loans are typically sought by nonmatriculated students, international students, students attending less than half-time, and students who have reached their federal aggregate or annual loan limits. Alternative loans are credit-based, private education loans facilitated by a nonfederal, third-party lender. Students interested in alternative loans may borrow up to the full cost of their education minus all other aid. However, alternative loans generally carry a significantly higher interest rate because they are based upon individual credit score.

Veterans Administration (VA) Educational Benefits

Educational benefits are available through the Veterans Administration under the following programs:

New (Post-9/11) G.I. Bill  (Chapter  33) For veterans and service persons who served on active duty on or after September 11, 2001.

Montgomery GI Bill (Chapter 30)

Service persons who entered active duty between July 1, 1985 and June 30, 1988.

Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31) Veterans who have at least a 10 percent disability as a result of active service.

Veterans Contributory Benefits (VEAP) (Chapter 32)

Veterans and service personnel who entered active duty after December 31, 1976, and who elected to make contributions from their military pay to participate in this education benefit program.

GI Bill (Chapter 34)

Veterans who served more than 181 days between January 31, 1955 and January 1, 1977.

Dependents’ Educational Assistance Benefits (Chapter 35)

Spouses and children of veterans whose death or total, permanent disability was service-connected.

Montgomery GI Bill—Selected Reserve Benefits (Title 10, Chapter 1606)

For active duty members of the Selected Reserve (components include the Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Coast Guard Reserve, Army National Guard, and Air National Guard).

Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) (Chapter 1607) For active members of the Selected Reserve called to active duty and members of the Individual Ready Reserve (Army IRR, Air Force IRR, Navy IRR,  and Marine Corps IRR). These active members of the Selected Reserve must have served at least 90 consecutive days on active duty in response to a contingency operation declared by the president or Congress.

For more information regarding eligibility criteria for these programs and other assistance to veterans and their dependents, contact the Veterans Administration.

Federal Rules for the Treatment of Federal Student Aid Recipients Who Withdraw from School

Requirements stipulate that when a student withdraws from all classes during a semester, the amount of Student Financial Aid (SFA) program assistance that a student has earned is determined on a prorated basis. If either the student or the college (on the student’s behalf) received less assistance than the amount earned, the student or the college will be able to receive these additional funds. Students who have received more than they have earned must repay the excess funds.

If students complete 30% of the semester, they earn 30% of the aid they were originally scheduled to receive. Only when students have completed at least 60% of the semester will they have earned all the aid they are scheduled to receive.

If you withdraw during the semester, you could owe the government a refund. If you wish to return to school, you would not be eligible for any aid until you have repaid the government. If the Bursar is required to return a portion of the money the college received for your tuition, you will be billed for that amount. The college’s financial aid policy considers individuals who withdraw unofficially from all classes as never having attended unless they can prove the dates they were in attendance. They will be required to repay all the aid they received. Please see a financial aid advisor before withdrawing.

Queens College Programs

Emergency Student Loan Funds

Students may borrow small amounts to cover emergencies for a short time and pay no interest (loans are to be repaid within 30 days). Apply in person at the Office of Financial Aid Services. Approved loans usually may be obtained in two days.

Book Advance

Students will be eligible for a book advance if their financial aid exceeds their tuition and fees.