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Financial Aid

Office of Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid helps graduate students with securing funds to meet their educational expenses through a variety of programs, including student loans, Federal Work Study, and grants. The college participates in both Title IV federal financial aid and New York State financial aid programs. Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs include the Federal Direct Loan program, the Federal Perkins Loan program and Federal Work-Study program. The New York State aid programs include New York State Scholarships. For information on other scholarships and grants, students may log on to the financial aid website for outside scholarship information. For information on graduate assistantships and fellowships students may contact their departmental adviser. The Office of Financial Aid is located in 241 North Building

Students are encouraged to refer frequently to the Hunter College Office of Financial Aid website at as an information resource.

Financial Aid: Application Procedure

The fastest and easiest way to apply for financial aid is by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. FAFSA on the Web is available at Before beginning the application we encourage you to first fill out the FAFSA Worksheet.

The worksheet does NOT need to be submitted. When the student completes the FAFSA, Hunter College should be included among the colleges to which the application information is reported (HUNTER COLLEGE FEDERAL SCHOOL CODE: 002689). When the FAFSA is processed, CUNY will receive an electronic record of the student’s application information. The Federal Government may require that the student provides additional documentation to the Office of Financial Aid to verify the application information or to clarify any discrepancies found in the application.Students who are New York State residents can apply for both federal and New York State aid using a single online session. After completing FAFSA on the Web, New York residents are able to link to the TAP on the Web Form, which is pre-filled with their FAFSA data.

In order to request a Federal Direct Loan at Hunter College, the student must first complete the FAFSA.

Financial Need

All funds from federal financial aid programs administered by the Office of Financial Aid are awarded on the basis of financial need with the exception of the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

When the student applies for federal student aid, the information that is reported on the FAFSA is used in a formula, established by the U.S. Dept. of Education and approved by the U.S. Congress. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) which is the amount that the student and the family are expected to contribute toward the student’s education is then calculated.

There is not a maximum EFC that defines eligibility for financial aid programs. Instead, the EFC is used in an equation to determine financial need:

   Cost of Attendance

-  Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

= Financial Need

The Office of Financial Aid takes the Cost of Attendance and subtracts the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The amount left over is considered the student’s financial need. In determining the student’s need for aid from the federal financial aid programs, the Office of Financial Aid must first consider all other aid that the student is expected to receive.

The Cost of Attendance

Costs must be considered when a student is making decisions about whether, where, or when to attend college. A student budget is used as an estimate of the amount of money it will cost a student to attend college.

The budget includes allowances for tuition, fees, books, transportation, housing, food and personal expenses. Additional allowances may be made for unusual expenses such as dependent-care costs.

Student budgets are set each year by CUNY (City University of New York). They reflect the average expenses of all students who are living with their parents or living away from their parents. Students with disabilities should speak to a financial aid counselor about budget adjustments for their special needs.

The 2018-2019 Hunter College expense budgets for full-time graduate students, who are charged the NY State Resident tuition rate, are as follows for the 9-month period of the fall and spring semesters:

2018-2019 Cost of Attendance

Expenses Living with Parents/Living away from Parent

Tuition and Fees Please refer to the Office of the Bursar for individual program Tuition and Fees:

The Housing component of the Living Away From Parent budget is derived using average housing charges for a rental apartment in metropolitan New York, and using the assumption that the student is sharing the cost of housing with a roommate. The Personal Expenses component includes an allowance for medical expenses and/or health insurance.

Below are the estimated nine month budget for variable costs (in addition to tuition and fees) for students living at home and students living away from home.

Students Living at Home

Books and Supplies


Transportation (MetroCard)




Personal Expense


Room and Board




Students Living Away from Home

Books and Supplies


Transportation (MetroCard)




Food at Home


Personal Expenses






 Student Resources

In reviewing the student budget, a prospective student should consider the resources that will be available from earnings and savings, the amount that parents can contribute, and any benefits the prospective student receives, such as social security, veteran’s benefits, unemployment, or TANF.

Summer employment can help to meet the first costs of enrollment, and the prospective student should plan to save money from summer earnings.

Cash will be needed right away for books, supplies, and transportation.


Rather than using only one source to finance education, students may use a combination of monies from all of the programs for which they are eligible. This system for allocating aid is called packaging. Funds will be allocated first to meet the basic costs of attendance (tuition, books, transportation). If funding permits, other living expenses will then be addressed.

Applications for financial aid must be filed each year. FAFSA on the Web for the coming academic year is available starting on October 1. 

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for federal and state aid, a student must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen, who is making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree. Students who have defaulted on a federal student loan or owe a repayment of a federal grant at any post-secondary school must make satisfactory repayment arrangements with that institution before they will be eligible to receive aid at Hunter College.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All recipients of financial aid must be making satisfactory progress toward a degree.

Federal Aid Eligibility

The Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress standard applies to students seeking assistance from all federal student financial aid programs available at Hunter College.

Graduate Students

In order to be making satisfactory academic progress toward a degree, for purposes of receipt of Title IV Federal Student Assistance, a graduate student must meet the minimum standards specified below.

A. Minimum GPA – maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 or better, or have an academic standing consistent with the requirements for graduation.

B. Maximum Time-frame – may not attempt more than 150% of the credits normally required for completion of the degree.

C. Pace of Progression – must accumulate credits toward the degree greater than or equal to two-thirds the cumulative credits attempted at the institution. All graduate students will be measured against each of the three SAP components at the end of the spring term to determine

Federal Financial Aid Programs

Campus-Based Programs

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program is considered a campus-based program because it is administered directly by the college. How much aid a student receives depends on the student’s financial need, the amount of other aid the student will receive, and the availability of funds. Funds are limited. Therefore, students must apply early in order to be considered for these funds. The priority deadline is January 15th.

Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. The FWS salary will be at least the current federal minimum wage, but it may be higher, depending on the type of work the student does and the skills required. The total FWS award depends on the availability of funds and the student’s level of need at the time of application.

Federal Perkins Loans

A Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5 percent) loan for students with exceptional financial need. Federal Perkins Loans are made through Hunter College as the lender, although the loan is made with government funds. Students must repay this loan to Hunter College. The borrowing limit established by the U. S. Dept. of Education for eligible graduate students is $5,000 per year for each year of graduate/professional study.

The total amount graduate students can borrow is $30,000. (This amount includes any Federal Perkins Loans borrowed as an undergraduate). The actual amount of the loan is dependent on financial need and the availability of funds.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

The Federal Direct Loan Program, established by the Student Loan Reform Act of 1993, provides low-interest loans for students. Under the Direct Loan Program, the federal government makes loans directly to students through the college.

An unsubsidized loan is not awarded on the basis of need. If a student qualifies for an unsubsidized loan, interest will be charged from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. Students can choose to pay the interest or allow it to accumulate. If students allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized – that is, the interest will be added to the principal amount of the loan and will increase the amount that has to be repaid. If the interest is paid as it accumulates, the student will have less to repay in the long run.

The U. S. Dept. of Education has established a borrowing limit of $20,500 each academic year for the Federal Direct Loan program. A student may receive less than the yearly maximum amount if other financial aid is received. Total aid including loans may not exceed the cost of attendance.

The total outstanding debt from all Federal Direct and Federal Stafford Loans combined that a graduate or professional student may have is $138,500; no more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans. The graduate debt limit includes any Federal Direct Loans and Federal Stafford Loans received for undergraduate study. Federal Direct Loans are not made to students enrolled in programs that are less than one third of an academic year in duration. For students whose Federal Direct Loans were first disbursed on or after July 1, 1994, the interest rate is variable, but it will never exceed 8.25 percent. The interest rate is adjusted each year on July 1. Students will be notified of interest rate changes throughout the life of their loan.

Once a Federal Direct Loan is made, it is managed and collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Direct Loan Servicing Center. The toll-free telephone number is (800) 848-0979.