Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

The Direct Stafford Loan program allows full-time and part-time students to borrow money directly from the federal government. The loans must be paid back beginning six months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment. Interest accrues while the student attends school. This interest may be paid or added to the loan. This program allows graduate students to borrow money at an interest rate of 7.6% for loans disbursed between 7/1/2018 to 7/1/2019.

You should be aware that once you begin receiving federal and/or state assistance, you must maintain good academic standing and must make satisfactory academic progress toward the completion of your degree in order to continue receiving aid.

PLUS Loans

Students are eligible to borrow under the PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance in the Direct Loan Program. The terms and conditions applicable to Parent PLUS Loans also apply to Graduate/Professional PLUS loans. Requirements include a determination that the applicant does not have an adverse credit history.

Application Form

Applicants for these loans are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


There are no set annual or aggregate limits. You may borrow up to your full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid you receive (including Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, scholarships, and certain fellowships).

Interest rate and repayment

Direct PLUS Loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.6%. This interest rate will not change throughout the life of your loan.

Graduate PLUS borrowers have nearly all the repayment options that Direct Loan borrowers have. The exception is that the Direct Loan Income Contingent Repayment Plan is not an option for Direct PLUS Loan borrowers. Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan and the first payment is due within 60 days after the date the loan is fully disbursed. A Graduate PLUS borrower may receive a deferment while he or she is enrolled on at least a half-time basis at an eligible school. Upon dropping to less than half-time enrollment status, the borrower is not entitled to a grace period on his or her PLUS loans.

Qualifying Credits and Program

You must be enrolled at least half-time in a graduate or professional program (for example, a program that leads to a Master’s Degree or to a law or medical degree) at a school that participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program, and must meet all of the other general eligibility requirements for the Federal Student Aid programs. In addition, you must not have an adverse credit history (a credit-check will be done).

Additional information

The Graduate and Professional Student PLUS loan will not reduce eligibility for the Stafford Loan, but the PLUS loan limit will take the amount borrowed under the Stafford Loan into account. The PLUS loan is limited to cost of attendance minus aid received, as certified by the school.

Frequently Asked Questions on PLUS Loans

CUNY students receive a wide variety of grants and scholarships. Grants come from both federal funds and private institutions but, unlike loans, you do not have to repay them. The amount you receive is based on the level of unmet need and can only be determined after you complete the FAFSA. Scholarships, just like grants, do not require repayment. Scholarships can be awarded for a variety of reasons, including academic, artistic, religious, career-based, etc.


TEACH Grant for Graduate Students

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants up to $4,000 per year for to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. The TEACH Grants will be awarded to eligible graduate students. The aggregate maximum amount is $8000 for graduate students.

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

Student Eligibility Requirements

To receive a TEACH Grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled as a graduate student in an eligible CUNY graduate program
  • Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Such coursework may include subject area courses (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher)
  • Be either a Full-time or Part-time student
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below for more information on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve)

High-Need Fields

High-need fields are the specific areas identified below:

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Other identified teacher shortage areas as of the time you begin teaching in that field

These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. To access the listing, click here.

Schools Serving Low-Income Students

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits. To access the Directory, click here.

Teach Grant Agreement to Serve

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on the TEACH Grant Agreement to serve website. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed.


NYS Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program

The Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program provides eligible students with a full-tuition scholarship for a master’s degree at The City University of New York (CUNY) college or university.


An applicant must:

  • be a NYS resident 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 received an undergraduate degree from a college/university located in NYS and have been a NYS resident while earning this degree;
  • have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher upon completion of his or her undergraduate study;
  • be matriculated in an approved master’s degree in an education program at a CUNY college or university which leads to a certification as a public elementary or secondary education teacher;
  • be enrolled in such program on a full-time basis;
  • be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award;
  • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award;
  • earn a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher each term of graduate study; and
  • execute a Service Contract agreeing to teach for five years in a classroom at a public elementary or secondary school, including charter schools, located in NYS.

How to Apply

The deadline for the 2017 NYS Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship Program has passed.
The application for the 2018 series will be available in May, 2018.  To access the application click here

Other Scholarship Program

There are a variety of graduate level scholarships, awards, and special program opportunities offered throughout CUNY. Each college has a complete listing of all the scholarships and financial awards it offers. In addition to scholarships available at the CUNY campuses there are thousands of private organizations that provide assistance to college students.


An internship is an official or formal program to provide practical experience in an occupation or profession. CUNY offers a wide variety of internships, which allow students to gain relevant experience in their field of interest. The following are just some of the great opportunities available to CUNY students:

Baruch’s Weissman Center for International Business

The Internship Placement Program of the Weissman Center for International Business provides internships for Baruch undergraduate and graduate students with firms doing business within the global market in the New York metropolitan area. We provide council on pursuing international internships for undergraduate and graduate Baruch students. We also work with the coordination of fellowships, professional development programs, and travel grants. Our Internship Placement Program seeks companies/organizations who want to host an intern and provide a Baruch College student with a valuable professional experience. Learn more

Graduate School of Journalism’s New York Times Internship

The New York Times offers 10-week summer internships to college seniors and graduate students who have decided on careers in journalism. Learn more


A fellowship is a financed research post providing study facilities, privileges, etc, often in return for teaching services. CUNY students can participate in numerous fellowships, including the following:

Office of Science Graduate Fellowship Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC) established the DOE Office of Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE SCGF) program in 2009 to support outstanding students to pursue graduate training in fundamental research in areas of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer and computational sciences, and environmental sciences relevant to the Office of Science and to encourage the development of the next generation scientific and technical talent in the U.S who will pursue careers in research critical to the Office of Science mission at DOE laboratories and in academia.

The DOE SCGF is a three-year award, providing partial tuition support, an annual stipend for living expenses, and a research allowance for full-time graduate study and thesis/dissertation research at a U.S. academic institution. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and either a first or second year graduate student, or an undergraduate senior at the time of applying, and must be pursuing or plan to pursue graduate study and research in areas relevant to the science programs supported by the DOE Office of Science. Applications are subject to rigorous peer review by external experts based on established merit review criteria. Learn more

Javits Fellowships

This program provides fellowships to students of superior academic ability—selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement, financial need, and exceptional promise—to undertake study at the doctoral and Master of Fine Arts level in selected fields of arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Subject to the availability of funds, a fellow receives the Javits fellowship annually for up to the lesser of 48 months or the completion of their degree. The fellowship consists of an institutional payment (accepted by the institution of higher education in lieu of all tuition and fees for the fellow) and a stipend (based on the fellow’s financial need as determined by the measurements of the Federal Student Assistance Processing System. In fiscal year 2010, the maximum stipend was $30,000, and the institutional payment was $13,755. In fiscal year 2011, the maximum stipend will be $30,000 and the institutional payment is estimated to be $13,755. Learn more

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Thirty Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans will be awarded in March 2014 on the basis of a single national competition. Each fellowship supports up to two years of graduate study – in any field and in any advanced degree-granting program – in the United States. Each award is for up to $25,000 in maintenance grants and up to $20,000 in tuition tuition and fees or 50% of required tuition and fees/year. The program promotes a h3 sense of community among Soros Fellows through fall conferences and other activities for fellows receiving financial support and numerous events held throughout the country for fellows receiving financial support and numerous events held throughout the country for fellows who are no longer receiving financial support.The deadline for submission of completed applications is November 8, 2013. Learn more

Truman Scholar

The Truman Scholarship is a highly competitive national award. The program receives over 600 nominations each year from institutions around the country.

Eligible applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • I hope to be a “change agent,” in time, improving the ways that government agencies, nonprofit organizations, or educational institutions serve the public.
  • There are conditions in our society or the environment which trouble me.
  • I want to work in government, education, the nonprofit sector, or the public interest/advocacy sector to improve these conditions.
  • I am comfortable committing to work in public service for three of the first seven years after I complete a Foundation-funded graduate degree.
  • I would like to get a master’s degree, a doctorate, or a professional degree such as a law degree or a Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Public Policy, or Master of International Affairs.
    Learn more


CUNY CAP – Counseling Assistance Program

  • CUNYCAP students, through a work schedule of approximately 20 hours per week, have made significant contributions within the areas of admissions, financial aid, career development, counseling, academic advisement, health services and student activities at all CUNY senior and community colleges. Some participants work within several New York City high schools through CUNY’s Office of Admission Services (OAS) and College Now Program.
  • In addition to providing assistance to college and high school students, CUNYCAP participants gain impressive experience, receive a salary of $10.00 per hour, and are eligible for a tuition waiver of up to six CUNY graduate credits for each of the fall and spring semesters (excluding summers) at the New York State resident rate.
    Learn more

Federal Work-Study Program

Work-study offers students the opportunity to earn money on campus or at a public or private non-profit organization. This money may be used to help pay for educational expenses.

To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need, must be attending college at least half-time (6 credits per semester), must be enrolled in degree-granting programs, and must be either a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Students use the FAFSA as the application form to determine eligibility for the Federal Work-Study program.