Government Assistance & Loans

Federal Grants

Federal PELL Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is an entitlement to students who qualify under a federal formula, which determines eligibility. To be eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and have not earned a bachelor’s degree. This award is a grant, not a loan. Students must apply via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


View Houghton's preferred lender list.

If you do not want to borrow from one of our preferred lenders, you may visit another lender’s website. We process the majority of our alternative loans through Great Lakes. If your lender does not process loans through Great Lakes, it is your responsibility to provide us with instructions of how to process your loan.

Apply for a loan

Federal Direct Loan Program

The Department of Education has two Federal Direct Loan Programs: the need-based subsidized Federal Direct and the non-need unsubsidized Federal Direct Loan Program. It is possible for a student to qualify for both programs. However, you may never borrow more than the loan limit or the difference between the cost of attendance and your other financial aid—whichever is less.

Direct Loan Program - Subsidized (Need Based)

The Direct Loan Program provides loans up to $5,500 for juniors and seniors (60 or more completed and/or transferrable credit hours) and up to $4,500 for Sophomores (less than 60 completed and/or transferrable credit hours). First time borrower’s loan proceeds will be disbursed 30 days after the beginning of the semester. The government will pay (subsidize) the interest on the loan while the student is in school. For subsidized Direct loans first disbursed after July 1, 2010, the interest rate is fixed at 4.5%.

Direct Loan Program - Unsubsidized (Non Need- Based)

This program is available only after Direct loan eligibility is determined. The loan limit is the same as for the subsidized loan; however, the subsidized and unsubsidized together cannot exceed the loan limit. The unsubsidized Direct loan carries a fixed interest rate of 6.8% for loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006. The borrower is responsible for paying interest while in school. Interest may be added to the amount borrowed or paid when billed. The federal government has extended the Direct loan program to now allow all students to borrow an additional $2,000 in Unsubsidized Direct Loan funding. This amount has been included in your financial aid package. Of course, we do not encourage you to borrow more than you need, but wanted you to know that this additional resource is available.

Alternative Student Loan

Alternative Student Loans are private educational loans.  The loan is in the student’s name.  A credit worthy co-signer is strongly recommended to help lower the interest rate as well as increase the likelihood of approval.   The interest rate varies by lender and credit score.  Students are eligible to apply for a maximum loan of the cost of attendance minus financial aid.  Loan approval is based on certification by the Student Financial Services office and a credit worthy history for the student and co-signer.

New York State Financial Aid

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a state funded program for New York state residents. A recipient of this award must be a full-time matriculated student in an approved program at an approved New York state post-secondary institution. Grants are based on the New York net taxable income of the preceding year. This program is an entitlement program. 

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation web site

Veteran Benefits

If you have VA Benefits or GI Bill Benefits available contact the Adult Education Office at 888.874.7223 or for further information and how to apply these benefits.

Houghton College is a Yellow Ribbon School.  Veterans who are eligible for the Post 9/11 GI Bill may attend Houghton College tuition free.  Contact us for more information.

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