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The types of state financial aid available to students pursuing post-secondary education include grants and scholarships. In some cases, a state will offer loans or work-study to eligible students as well. Most state financial aid programs require that a student be a resident of the state and attend school in that state.
Many states in the United States offer some sort of tuition assistance program for eligible undergraduate and graduate students. State financial aid in New York, for example, includes the tuition assistance program (TAP) grants, which are available to students attending school in New York who are also residents of the state. A student needs to meet financial requirements to receive the grant.
State financial aid in Virginia includes the Tuition Assistance Grant program (VTAG), which is available to residents who are studying at private institution full time. The grant has very specific requirements for students pursuing graduate degrees and is offered only to graduate students in professional health care programs.
Other states that offer grants as a source of state financial aid include Texas, California, and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania state grants are available to residents of the state who are enrolled in a program that's at least two years long and who haven't yet earned a bachelor's degree. The amount of aid a student receives is dependent on her family's income and the type of program she is enrolled in.
A number of states also offer scholarships to eligible students. Like grants, scholarships do not need to be repaid. In many cases, state scholarships are given to students studying in a particular area or who have high grades. For example, the New York State Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships are awarded to students studying to become secondary math and science teachers.
In Texas, the Top 10 Percent Scholarship is available to students who graduated from high school in the top 10 percent of their class and who enroll in a Texas public college or university. The students must also be residents of Texas and demonstrate financial need. The scholarship is renewable, provided the student has a grade point average of at least 3.25 and finishes 30 credits each year.
A few states also have loan and work-study programs for financial aid. In Pennsylvania, students can find a part-time job with a number of companies participating in the state's work-study program. In New York, a student can apply for a private, state-sponsored loan to help pay for any expenses not covered by federal loans, grants, or scholarships. The loans have a fixed interest rate and are offered only to New York residents attending school in-state.
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