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

Getting Started

If you received the exciting news of your admission to NYU and have been offered a financial aid package, you might be wondering “what does all of this mean”? We get it!  Financial aid can seem a little mystifying at first, but we are here to break it down for you in the most clear way possible.

NYU Scholarships

If you have been offered a scholarship from NYU, that scholarship will be based on an expectation that you will be enrolled full-time (12 credits or more).  If you elect to enroll in less credits in a particular semester, your scholarship will be prorated as follows:

  • 9-11 credits = 75%
  • 6-8 credits = 50 %
  • 0-5 credits = ineligible

If you are enrolled less than half-time (less than 6 credits), your scholarship will be cancelled for that term and would be reinstated once you meet the enrollment requirements.  

Most undergraduate scholarships are not affected by academic progress and would renew each year of your degree program as long as you meet the enrollment criteria.  Best of all, scholarships are free money and do not need to be paid back when you graduate!

Federal and State Grants

All undergraduate students who file a FAFSA will be reviewed for eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant. Students who have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) on their FAFSA of $5,000 or less would generally be eligible.  In addition to EFC, your eligibility will be determined by the number of credits in which you are enrolled.  Pell Grants do not need to be repaid upon graduation.  

If you are a New York State resident, you may also be eligible for a TAP Grant.  NYU will indicate on your financial aid package an estimated TAP Grant if we believe you may be eligible.  However, you will need to submit a TAP application to determine your actual eligibility and the NYU Office of the Registrar will certify your eligibility with New York State after the semester is in session.  TAP Grants do not need to be repaid upon graduation. 


A loan is just that….a loan.  Loans are money that is borrowed and must be paid back, usually with interest. 

There are two types of loans that can be borrowed for your educational expenses: Federal Loans and Non-Federal Private Loans.  

Federal Loans include Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans which can be borrowed by the student, and the Federal PLUS Loan which is based on a credit check for a parent borrower.  These loans all have fixed interest rates and origination fees and require a minimum enrollment of 6 credits or more. 

Non-Federal Private Loans are not offered to you in your NYU financial aid package.  If you are considering a Private Loan, you will need to research your options and apply for that loan directly with the lender of your choice.  It’s important to know that Private Loans typically have higher interest rates than Federal Loans.  Be sure to do your research so you have a clear understanding of the terms, conditions, enrollment criteria, and repayment options.

With any loan, we encourage you to think carefully before borrowing and to only borrow what you need and no more.

Federal Work-Study

Finally, if you have filed a FAFSA and have demonstrated financial need, you may see an offer of Federal Work-Study in your financial aid package.  The amount you see is the amount that you are eligible to earn, but you will need to apply for and be hired into a Federal Work-Study position to begin to earn those funds.  Earned funds are paid directly to you in the form of a paycheck and are not credited toward your NYU bill. 

Work-study jobs are available, but not guaranteed, through the Wasserman Center for Career Development.  Most student workers average 15 to 20 hours per week and the current minimum wage is $15/hour for undergraduate students.  

If you are working and approaching the end of your allotment and you would like to receive additional Federal Work-Study funding, you may reach out to the Office of Financial Aid to request an increase.  A financial aid counselor will be happy to review your account to determine if you are eligible for additional funds.

Summing Up

Please let us know if you have any additional questions about your specific financial aid package.  We are here to help!   And once again….congratulations and welcome to NYU!

Cherishe A. Cumma-Clarke is a Financial Aid Counselor in the NYU Office of Financial Aid. She is a Brooklyn native who strives to share impactful writing pieces on as many digital mediums as possible. Cherishe is a BS graduate from the Professional & Technical Writing program at New York City College of Technology, and is currently enjoying the life of a newlywed while also exploring the various gluten-free options that can be found in the NYC area.