Federal Financial Aid

Federal Financial Aid

Domestic students at GCNYC are eligible to apply for only the federal Direct Unsubsidized and Grad PLUS loans. Students may also be eligible for Federal Work Study.

Applying for Federal Aid and Eligibility

The Federal Student Aid website offers clear step-by-step guidance on completing the FAFSA.
Two important things to remember are:

  1. Use the GCNYC school code (042828) in your FAFSA so that we receive all the necessary information to make a financial aid offer.
  2. Don’t delay! You can apply as early as October 1 for the following academic year. You do not need to be admitted or even have applied to GCNYC before submitting your FAFSA. Submitting FAFSA early will ensure that GCNYC can disburse any loans or aid you have in a timely manner. 

Types of Loans

A federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on the student’s financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. Interest is charged throughout the life of the loan. The borrower may choose to pay the interest charged on the loan or allow the interest to be capitalized (added to the loan principal). Direct Unsubsidized Loan is not based on credit history.

The annual loan limit is $20,500.

The federal Grad PLUS loan is not based on the student’s financial need, but students must also meet specific eligibility requirements. The annual limit is equal to the student’s cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. Applicants are required to pass a credit check. PLUS loans carry a fixed rate and an origination fee. Certain borrowers may also be required to complete federal PLUS loan counseling before the loan is originated and disbursed.

Before you can receive a Grad PLUS Loan, you must complete a Direct PLUS Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), which explains all the terms and conditions of the loan and constitute your legally binding agreement to repay all the Grad PLUS Loans you receive. Someone with an adverse credit history can qualify for a Grad PLUS Loan by securing an endorser.







The period of enrollment for which a direct loan is intended must coincide with an academic period established by the College for which institutional charges are generally accessed. This period of enrollment for GCNYC is fall, winter and spring trimesters.

Eligibility to Receive Federal Student Aid

You are eligible to have federal financial aid disbursed to you by meeting the following criteria:

  1. Enrollment in, or admission to, an eligible degree or certificate program. At GCNYC, enrollment in a master’s degree with at least 4.5 credits per term is required for eligibility.
  2. You have a valid Social Security number unless you are from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
  3. Sign certifying statements on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA®) form stating that
    • you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal grant and
    • you will use federal student aid only for educational purposes.
  4. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in your MS degree program.
  5. You must also meet one of the following criteria:
    • You are a U.S. citizen if you were born in the United States or certain U.S. territories, if you were born abroad to parents who are U.S. citizens, or if you have obtained citizenship status through naturalization. If you were born in American Samoa or Swains Island, then you are a U.S. national.
    • Have a GREEN CARD
    • You are eligible if you have a Form I-551, I-151, or I-551C, also known as a green card, showing you are a U.S. permanent resident
      Your Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must show one of the following:
      • Refugee
      • Asylum Granted
      • Cuban-Haitian Entrant (Status Pending)
      • Conditional Entrant (valid only if issued before April 1, 1980)
      • Parolee
      You are designated as a “battered immigrant-qualified alien” if you are a victim of abuse by your citizen or permanent resident spouse, or you are the child of a person designated as such under the Violence Against Women Act.
    • Have a T-VISA
      You are eligible if you have a T-visa or a parent with a T-1 visa.

To learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a recipient of federal financial aid, you can visit our Consumer Information page, or section 4 of the College Catalog. GCNYC partners with Higher Education Assistance Group to support financial aid counseling and award processing.

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