NYu Financial Ed officer at a table of info packets and candy at Fall Open House

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into the NYU Violet community and in the midst of excitement and other emotions, you are probably thinking about your next steps. You are about to embark on a journey of new experiences and many of them will have finances attached to them, and that’s where we come in to help. We are NYU Financial Education – a  team of certified personal finance coaches dedicated to supporting students and their families with the understanding of financing their higher education pursuits.

We give students the tools to have them effectively manage their day-to-day finances while achieving their financial goals. We are not Financial Aid Administrators, though we work with them, and we cannot add or adjust the aid offered to you. However, once you receive your financial aid letter from the Office of Financial Aid, you are more than welcome to connect with us to discuss the details of that letter, and plan for the duration of your program. 

In the meantime, let’s cover some basic information you will need to be clear about when reviewing your financial aid package:

1. Understanding Your Cost of Attendance

Your Cost of Attendance (COA) is simply an estimation of what it will cost for you to attend your program per academic year, and determines the maximum you can receive in funding and aid. Your COA includes direct and indirect costs. 

  • Direct costs are items that appear on your bill like tuition, mandatory fees, room and board or food  (if you are living on-campus).
  • Indirect charges are costs that you are not charged for but need to be prepared to cover such as transportation to/from campus, books & supplies and your own personal expenses.

Please keep in mind that the Cost of Attendance changes every academic year.

2. Financial Aid Received

Financial Aid is any assistance received to pay for school. If you have applied for aid using the CSS Profile or the FAFSA form or any State or school application, you may receive money to pay for school costs. The aid may be in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, housing paid for, stipends, etc. 


A computer and web browser open to NYU’s “Financial Aid and Scholarships” web page.
3. Student Loans

A student loan is a loan for students to use for their educational expenses and in many cases, students borrow loans to help with their overall costs. There are two types of student loans: federal and private. 

  • Federal student loans are offered from the Federal Department of Education through review and acceptance of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and requires at least half time enrollment. The loan amounts are limited and can either be subsidized or unsubsidized, and are based on enrollment in an eligible degree seeking program.and amounts are based on your undergraduate class. 
  • Private loans are loans from third party lenders like banks, credit unions, etc. These loans do not have the same terms and conditions as federal student loans and require a credit check and most likely a cosigner with acceptable credit.  
4. Scholarships! Scholarships! Scholarships!

We can’t stress enough how important it is to continuously search for scholarships now and throughout your college career. Attending college is an investment in your future and it is wise to do things to keep your debt as low as possible. Free aid such as scholarships and grants are great ways to cover your expenses without accruing large amounts of debt.  You can find some great sources for outside scholarships here

Putting it all together…

Once you understand the costs you may incur which are based on factors such as program, housing choice and location + aid received in the form of grants or scholarships or loans, then you can see what may be left for you to pay out of pocket.

Financing your education is something you need to be well prepared for, no matter where you go. You don’t have to have all the answers, the best thing you can do is start with a conversation, and we will take it from there. Getting to know us and have an understanding of these basic tenants can help you get a good start and remember you can always connect with us (NYU Financial Education) for further conversations about your overall plans! 


Wishing you all the best, 

Kelci Koonce

NYU Financial Education Specialist


Instagram: @nyufinancialed

Twitter: @nyufinancialed

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Kelci Koonce (she/her) is NYU’s Financial Education Specialist and dedicated to supporting students and families with lifelong financial literacy skills to help them maintain their financial plans and reach goals. Supporting Student Success is a huge passion of mine, and I  want to be the bridge to help folks progress academically and financially successfully through life.