RCC Federal Grants, Work-Study, Loans

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Federal Pell Grants

The federal Pell Grant Program is the foundation of the federal government’s financial aid programs. Income, assets, size of the family, the number of family members in college and other factors determine eligibility. A congressionally legislated index calculated from the student’s application data, called the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), and the student’s enrollment status determine the student’s eligibility for the Pell Grant.

Application: The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed each academic year. (RCC School Code 002877)

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Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (SEOG)

Federal SEOG funds are reserved for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need, as determined by the College. Priority for these awards is given to Pell Grant recipients taking 6 or more credits.

Application: Early completion of the FAFSA is necessary for being considered. Financial Aid notifies eligible recipients.

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Federal Work Study (FWS)

FWS provides on- and off-campus jobs for students with financial need to help them earn money to pay for their educational expenses. Student must demonstrate financial need and be enrolled at least half-time (6 or more credits).

Application: Complete the FAFSA each academic year. FWS recipients must also complete and file an employment application with Career Readiness and Success.

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New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

TAP is a New York State entitlement program. Eligible students must be:

  • A New York State resident for one year or more prior to the first day of the semester in which the student is enrolling;
  • A U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • A full-time matriculated student in an approved program of study;
  • In good academic standing;
  • Economically eligible according to current TAP criteria;
  • Not in default on any federal or state student loan.

Undergraduate students matriculating in an associate degree or certificate program may generally receive TAP awards for a maximum of three years of study (6 payments). The amount of the TAP award is determined according to the level of study, the tuition charge, the New York State taxable income of the student and his/her parents and the number of previous TAP payments the student has received.

Application: The TAP application may be completed by selecting the link at the end of your online FAFSA. If you do not complete the TAP application when you complete your FAFSA, an online application is also available at www.hesc.ny.gov. (RCC School Code 2147)

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New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for Part-Time Study

Part-time TAP awards are available for students enrolling in 6 to 11 credits who meet all other TAP eligibility guidelines. Part-time TAP awards and their respective payment points are prorated based on the number of the credits enrolled and the student’s full-time TAP award. Part-Time TAP and Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) are two separate programs. Students can participate in only one of these two programs in any given semester.

Application: same as TAP

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New York State Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

APTS is a New York State campus-based grant program for part-time students enrolled in 3 to 11 credits per semester. APTS may be used for tuition only.

Application: APTS applications are available on the Financial Aid Forms page and in the Financial Aid office and must be submitted to Financial Aid with copies of all applicable New York State Tax Returns.

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New York State Excelsior Scholarship

First offered in 2017/18, this program provides tuition awards to students attending a SUNY or CUNY college. In 2023/24, families with federal adjusted gross income less than $125,000 for the 2021 tax year are eligible to apply.

  • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test;
  • be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college;
  • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
  • be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
  • be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by a NYS award that you have previously received; and
  • execute a contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.

Application: interested students must complete the FAFSA and NYS TAP applications as well as a NYS Excelsior Scholarship application. Apply online at https://www.hesc.ny.gov/find-aid/nys-grants-scholarships/excelsior-scholarship-program/.

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New York State Part-Time Scholarship

First offered in 2017-18, this program provides tuition awards to students who attend part-time at a SUNY or CUNY community college and maintain a 2.0 GPA. Students can receive $1,500 per semester for up to two years.

Application: interested students must complete an application online at www.hesc.ny.gov.

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Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans are low-interest loans made to students attending college at least half-time (6 credits or more). Loans are made by the federal government. Federal Direct Loans must be repaid.

Students can qualify for a Direct Loan based upon financial need, as determined by the FAFSA. These need-based loans (known as “subsidized”) offer in-school interest subsidies by the federal government. Students may also qualify for non-need-based Direct Loans (known as “unsubsidized.”) These loans do not offer interest subsidies. It is possible for students to be awarded both subsidized and unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans within an academic year.

Note: Financial Aid can refuse to certify a student’s Direct Loan request, or can certify a loan for an amount less than the student would otherwise be eligible for, if the College documents the reason for its actions in writing. The College’s decision is final, and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

Application: Students must complete the FAFSA. Information and the Student Loan Request form are available on the Financial Aid Forms page and in the Financial Aid office.

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Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

Federal Direct PLUS Loans are for parents who wish to borrow to help pay for their child’s education. These loans enable parents with good credit histories to borrow money for each dependent child who is enrolled at least half-time. In cases of divorce or separation, either parent may borrow on behalf of the student.

Application: Students must complete the FAFSA. Information and the Parent PLUS Loan Request form are available on the Financial Aid Forms page and in the Financial Aid office.

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Other Specialized Federal and State Programs

State Aid to Native American Indians
Phone 518-474-0537

Aid is available to those on an official New York State tribal roll. To apply, write to:

Native American Education Unit
New York State Education Department
Room 475 EBA
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

Federal Aid to Native American Indians
Phone 202-208-4871

For information contact:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs/Education
South & Eastern States Agency
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

New York State Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) formerly called VESID
Phone 845-426-5410

This agency provides services to NYS residents who have a documented disability that impedes their ability to establish or maintain employment. There are specific eligibility requirements for ACCES-VR, but a person with a disability can seek services from the agency at any time.

For more information, See the ACCES-VR website.

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Other New York State Programs

For information about other state programs, see the HESC websites:

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