The following are general requirements and conditions students must meet to be eligible for federal student aid programs.

General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Assistance

  • Demonstrate financial need; this means that your cost of education is greater than your estimated family contribution
  • Be a student enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an eligible program at an eligible institution
  • Register for at least six credit hours of study (except for Pell Grants which can be awarded if you are registered for as little as one credit)
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED certificate, pass an approved ability to benefit test (ATB), enroll in a school that participates in an approved state process, or complete his or her state’s requirements applicable to home schooling
  • Not be simultaneously enrolled in elementary or secondary school
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national, or an eligible non-citizen
  • Have a valid, correct Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Be registered with Selective Service (for males between the ages of 18-25)
  • Not be in default of a Federal loan or owe an overpayment on a federal grant or Federal Perkins Loan
  • Not have borrowed in excess of the annual or aggregate loan limits
  • Be in good academic standing and maintaining satisfactory progress towards completing a degree
  • Not be convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid*
  • Provide documentation to verify the information on the FAFSA if it’s requested
  • Students will be limited to a maximum of 12 terms of full-time Pell payments or its equivalent for part-time study


In addition, a student’s eligibility for federal funds may be affected by such factors as:

  • Prior degrees earned
  • Enrollment status
  • Remedial course work
  • Correspondence study
  • Study by telecommunications
  • Incarceration


Study Abroad

Financial aid funding from the federal government may be available for study abroad programs if a consortium agreement between your CUNY school and the visiting school is approved in advance. Questions regarding financial aid availability for study abroad programs may be directed to the financial aid office.

Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet 19-20  for completion based on conviction of possessing or selling illegal drugs