Federal & State Aid Options




Federal Aid Options

Federal aid is only available to United States citizens, nationals, or permanent residents. These students must complete the FAFSA by the stated deadlines in order to qualify for federal aid.

Federal Grants

The most frequently awarded federal grant is the Pell Grant. Pell is awarded to students who meet the eligibility criteria as established by the Department of Education. Students eligible for Pell funding may also be eligible for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). FSEOG is awarded after the Office of Financial Aid obtains the results of the applicant’s FAFSA from the Department of Education. For more information, see the Federal Pell Grant site.

Federal Direct Loan Program

Federal loans are funds borrowed from the federal government for educational costs. They must be repaid after the student completes a degree, ceases to be enrolled, or drops below half-time status. Sarah Lawrence facilitates the borrowing of student and parent loans.

Federal Direct Student Loans

If a student demonstrates need – as defined by the federal government based on the information provided on the FAFSA – a portion of the Federal Direct Student Loan may be subsidized. In this case, the federal government pays the interest as it accrues, until the end of the student’s six-month grace period. All applicants who complete the FAFSA are automatically eligible for an unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loan, on which interest accrues while the student is in school. Federal loan limits are determined by year in school.

Repayment of the subsidized and unsubsidized loans can be made over 10 or more years. The federal government charges an origination fee for the student loan. These fees are deducted from each semester’s check. The fixed interest rate, set each year on July 1st, is based on the 91-day Treasury bill, plus a 3.1% allowance, not to exceed 8.25%

After the award letter is received, the student is required to complete the Federal Direct Student Loan Authorization Form, even if all federal loans offered are to be declined. This form is available in the application portal. To receive a Federal Direct Student Loan, the student must also complete Entrance Counseling and sign the Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN), both available at studentaid.gov.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

The PLUS is a program whereby credit-worthy parents may borrow up to their child’s cost of attendance, minus any financial aid already awarded. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 sets the annual fixed interest rate on Direct PLUS Loans at the rate on high-yield 10-year Treasury notes plus 4.6%, but caps that rate at 10.5%.

If you wish to take out a PLUS Loan, please visit studentaid.gov and complete the application, as well as the Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN).

If a parent does not qualify for a PLUS loan, the student is then entitled to additional unsubsidized loan funds.

State Aid Options

The FAFSA offers a link to each state’s online application. This is the best way to complete a state aid application. However, it can only be done when the student first submits that year’s FAFSA. State aid applications may also be acquired by contacting the student’s home state’s Higher Education Office.

  • New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is available to all eligible New York residents attending Sarah Lawrence College.
  • The Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act gives undocumented and other students access to New York State-administered grants and scholarships that support their higher education costs.
  • Vermont offers a state grant to their residents who attend New York colleges. Contact the state Higher Education Office or your high school guidance counselor for further information.