Scholarships and Financial Aid
Financial Aid is money that a student applies for and/or is offered to a prospective student based on financial need. When it comes to paying for college, Albany Leadership works diligently with students and families to help them find the resources they need. Below is just a short list of resources that are available to all students and families. We encourage you to research online for all the scholarships and grants made accessible to all prospective students.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is an electronically submitted form that is prepared annually by college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid. Colleges require this form to be completed to determine financial aid packages.
NYS Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC): The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,165. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE: The College Board’s CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® is an online application that collects information used by almost 300 colleges and scholarship programs to award financial aid from sources outside of the federal government. After you fill out the application, the College Board sends it to the colleges and scholarship programs you have chosen. As of 2016, the form costs $25 to complete and send to one college and $16 for each additional college.
Fastweb: Fastweb is the premier online resource when it comes to paying for and preparing for school. They have scholarships for every type of student from the high school freshmen to the returning adult. They have been around for over 15 years and have earned a reputation as a leading scholarship search provider.
NCAA Clearinghouse: The NCAA Clearinghouse is an essential step in becoming eligible to play college sports. Over 180,000 potential college athletes register with the NCAA every year. If you want to play NCAA college sports and receive a scholarship at the DI or DII level, you will need to register and be cleared by the NCAA. The Eligibility Center is the organization within the NCAA that determines the academic eligibility and amateur status for all NCAA DI and DII athletes.
- Financial Aid: Any grant or scholarship, loan, or paid employment offered to help a student meet his/her college expenses. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations. The amount of financial aid that a student receives is determined through federal, state and institutional guidelines.
- Scholarship: A form of aid that helps students pay for their education. Unlike student loans, scholarships and do not have to be repaid. Hundreds of thousands of scholarships and fellowships from several thousand sponsors are awarded each year. Generally, scholarships are reserved for students with special qualifications, such as academic, athletic or artistic talent. Awards are also available for students who are interested in particular fields of study, who are members of underrepresented groups, who live in certain areas of the country or who demonstrate financial need.
- Grant: A form of financial aid that help students pay for their education. Like scholarships, grants do not have to be repaid and can have qualification requirements.
- Loans: A form of financial aid that must be repaid, with interest. Education loans come in three major categories: student loans (e.g., Stafford and Perkins loans), parent loans (e.g., PLUS loans) and private student loans (also called alternative student loans). A fourth type of education loan, the consolidation loan, allows the borrower to lump all of their loans into one loan for simplified payment.