State & Federal Financial Aid
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
Up to $5,165 per year for undergraduate full-time students who are New York State residents. TAP awards are based on net taxable income of the family, and are renewable for four years of baccalaureate study. Students in the Higher Education Opportunity Program or in approved five-year curricula may receive TAP awards for five years.
Aid for Part-Time Students (APTS)
Available to students carrying from 3 to 11 credit hours per semester and able to demonstrate need for assistance. To be eligible, individuals must be matriculated in degree programs.
Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)
Available to educationally and economically disadvantaged residents of New York State. In addition to extensive financial assistance, students receive counseling, tutoring and assessment support throughout their Sage years. A five week summer program prior to the first year of enrollment is required of students who qualify. Eligibility is determined on the basis of academic background and family income.
While separate application procedures are required for state-sponsored aid programs, information and guidance can be secured from the Office of Student Financial Services.
For the 2014-2015 award year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015), the maximum scheduled Pell Grant award is $5,730 for undergraduate students enrolled on a full-time basis.
The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
Up to $1,500 annually for undergraduate study. These grants are available to students with high financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and based on availability.
Student employment funded by Sage and the government. The jobs are in a variety of areas, primarily on campus (examples are the libraries, campus centers, food services, offices and departments), are usually limited to 7-10 hours per week, and generally pay at the prevailing federal minimum wage or slightly above.
The Perkins Loan is awarded to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. This is a campus-based loan program, with the school acting as the lender using a limited pool of funds provided by the federal government. It is a subsidized loan, with the interest being paid by the federal government during the in-school and 9-month grace periods. There are no origination or default fees, and the interest rate is 5%. There is a 10-year repayment period.
Federal Direct Loans
Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
Students must complete the FAFSA application and demonstrate financial need according to the federal formulas in order to be eligible for subsidized direct loans. These loans are processed through the Department of Education. Under this program, the federal government will pay the interest on the loan as long as the borrower is enrolled at least half-time in a degree-seeking program and for six months thereafter. Students must also maintain satisfactory academic progress towards completing their degree requirements.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
Eligibility for the Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not based on a family's demonstrated need. These loans are processed through the Department of Education. The government does not pay the interest on behalf of the borrowers under the Unsubsidized Direct Loan Program. You are charged interest on this loan from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. The student borrower has the option to pay the interest while in school, or to allow the interest to accumulate, which add to the principal amount of the loan and increases the amount to be repaid.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Limits
The federal government sets limits on the amount of money a student can borrow. The Sage Colleges awards students that have filed the FAFSA the maximum amount eligible under such limits. The annual limit applies to the most a student can borrow in one academic year, while the aggregate limit applies to the maximum a student can borrow in a lifetime.
Below is a chart of annual loan limits for Undergraduate Federal Direct Loans:
|Year in School||Subsidized/Unsubsidized Base Amount *||Unsubsidized Base Amount*||Additional Eligibility**|
|First Year (0-23 credits)||$3,500||$2,000||$4,000|
|Second Year (24-53 credits)||$4,500||$2,000||$4,000|
|Third Year (54-87 credits)||$5,500||$2,000||$5,000|
|Fourth Year (87 credits)||$5,500||$2,000||$5,000|
* For all students. The additional $2,000 in unsubsidized funding was new in 2008-2009.
**For independent students and for dependent students whose parents are rejected for PLUS Loans.
Below is a chart of annual loan limits for Graduate Federal Direct Loans:
|Program||Unsubsidized Loan Eligibility|
Federal Direct Stafford Loan Interest and Fees
The interest rate in effect for 2014-2015 for Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized loans for undergraduate students is fixed at 4.66%. For graduate students the Unsubsidized loan has a fixed interest of 6.21%. In addition to interest, all Federal Direct Loans have a 1.072% origination fee. Stafford loans disbursed after October 1, 2014 are subject to a 1.073% origination fee.
Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
The Federal Direct PLUS loan enables parents with a good credit history to borrow funds to pay the educational expenses of each dependent undergraduate child enrolled at least half time. The annual limit of a Direct PLUS is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. A maximum origination fee of 4.288% will be deducted from each loan disbursement. PLUS loans disbursed after October 1, 2014 are subject to a 4.292% origination fee.
The Federal Direct PLUS has a fixed interest rate of 7.21% . Parent borrowers can choose to defer payments on a Federal Direct PLUS loan until six months after the date the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. Accruing interest could either be paid by the parent borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. Payments on interest can be tax deductible and there are no penalties on paying off the loan early.
Federal Direct GradPLUS Loan (GradPLUS)
The Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan enables graduate students with a good credit history to borrow funds to pay their educational expenses not covered by a Federal Direct Stafford Loan or other aid if they are enrolled at least half-time. The annual limit on a Direct GradPLUS is equal to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid. A maximum origination fee of 4.288% will be deducted from each loan disbursement. PLUS loans disbursed after October 1, 2014 are subject to a 4.292% origination fee.
The Federal Direct GradPLUS has a fixed interest rate of 7.21%. Borrowers can choose to defer payments on a Federal Direct GradPLUS loan until six months after the date they cease to be enrolled at least half-time. Accruing interest can either be paid by the borrower monthly or quarterly, or be capitalized quarterly. Payments on interest can be tax deductable and there are no penalties on paying off the loan early.
Private Alternative Student Loans
A private alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender, typically in the students name and requiring a cosigner. Approval and interest rates are based on creditworthiness of the borrower and cosigner. Each alternative loan lender has different eligibility requirements, loan rates, terms and conditions. Alternative loans are not regulated by the Federal Government and therefore generally have higher interest rates and fewer repayment options than federal loans. With an alternative student loan, you may borrow up to the full cost of your education, less other aid.
At The Sage Colleges, we firmly believe that families should exhaust their eligibility for all federal loan programs before turning to this resource. We strongly urge students to apply for Stafford loans and parents of students to apply for PLUS loans before borrowing Alternative loans. However, Alternative loans may be an effective method of financing unmet costs of education for some students.
The Sage Colleges is proud to serve the men and women in uniform and to assist them with their educational goals. We are here to provide you with information, advice and to process the paperwork for the certification of Veterans educational benefits. All students eligible for VA support must file application forms according to their specific situations. To find out your educational benefit please select from one of the following categories.
For additional VA Forms and Resources please see VA Forms and Resources
Megan Henry, VA Certifying Official