New York State Financial Aid Programs
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
The TAP grant is awarded to New York State residents who are enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program and meet the income criteria. To be eligible for a TAP award, each semester students must register for 12 credits which are directly attributable to their degree.
Students should consult with an adviser in the Office of Advising or their major department when planning their programs to ensure continued TAP eligibility. SEEK students should consult with their SEEK counselor.
Awards ranging from $500 to $5,165 are made to dependent students and independent students with dependents whose New York State taxable income is $80,000 or less or to independent students with no dependents if the taxable income is $10,000 or less. Students may receive awards for eight semesters; SEEK students may receive awards for ten semesters. A student with a disability that prevents attendance on a full-time basis may be eligible to receive a prorated TAP while attending on a part-time basis.
Excelsior Scholarship Program
The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. Applicant must be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term. Eligible applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. In addition, they must graduate from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department.
Applicants must have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less. In, addition be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college. Applicants be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship may receive up to $5,500. A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments for not more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in a program leading to an associate’s degree or four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years if the program of study normally requires five years, in a program leading to a bachelor’s degree.
For more information see the HESC Web site at:
Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act
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.
For more information see the HESC Web site at:
http://Senator José Peralta New York State DREAM Act
CUNY Student Tuition Assistance (CUSTA)
Students who are otherwise eligible for a maximum TAP award but whose award is reduced because they have received four semesters of payment may be eligible for a CUSTA award up to $50 a semester.
Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)
This award provides assistance to students who attend less than full time, have accrued a minimum of 6 credits (not equated) and have not exhausted their TAP eligibility. In order to be eligible, a student must be a New York State resident and enrolled for at least 6 credits.
The legislature established the Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program in 1984 in a new section 666 of the Education Law. Aid for Part-time Study is a different program from Part-time TAP (established in 2006) with different requirements. One difference is that there is no prior study (prior earned credits) requirement for APTS.
The program is campus-based: that is, individual campuses that decide to participate in the program select recipients and determine award amounts after HESC allocates funds based on an institution’s prior year part-time degree credit enrollment. APTS is not an entitlement program and not all potentially eligible students will necessarily receive an award. Institutions have the discretion to determine policy for administering the program, to make the decisions, and to provide awards to students who demonstrate the greatest financial need until the institution’s allotted funds are exhausted. Statute does not define need or specify how the need is to be determined.
New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
The World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship Program for study at the City University of New York is intended for victims, spouses and children of the victims who died or were severely disabled as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The program also provides scholarships to the spouses and children of those who died or were severely disabled during ongoing rescue and recovery efforts, including firefighters, police officers, peace officers and emergency medical service workers.
The scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, supplies, transportation and room and board, if applicable, for four years of full-time undergraduate study or for five academic years of a program of academic study as defined by the Commissioner of Education.
The scholarships were established by Governor George Pataki’s Executive Order 113 and related legislation to establish such a program, along with a CUNY Board of Trustees resolution.
Applications are available online at: New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
Veterans Tuition Award Program
Eligible students are those who are New York State residents and discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:
Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between December 22, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.
They must satisfy all other eligibility requirements including filing for TAP and Federal Pell Grants. Students must demonstrate good academic standing and meet college guidelines for pursuit of this award program. Awards cannot exceed the cost of tuition. After the initial year eligibility is established, students must re-file a supplement yearly. Supplements are available on request from New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) at (888) 697-4372. All applications must be completed by June 30th of the academic year for which an award is sought.
For more information please visit the HESC Web site below the HESC Web site at: Veterans Tuition Awards.
Army Reserve National Guard-Army Continuing Education System (ARNG-ACES)
The New York State Army Reserve National Guard offers tuition assistance through two programs for full- and part-time students. All current and future members of the New York Army Reserve National Guard (ARNG) are eligible except for members serving on active or full-time duty and those on Active Guard Reserve status. ARNG members who also receive veterans’ benefits are not eligible. For full time students, the program is limited to tuition costs, instructional fees in lieu of tuition and laboratory or shop fees specifically required as a condition of enrollment in a course. Part-time students must be enrolled half-time (7 or fewer credits).
Commissioned officers must agree to remain in the ARNG for four years after the last course for which tuition assistance has been provided is completed. For more information on these programs, contact the Civilian Education Office at (518) 786-4500.
NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Program
The NYS Math and Science Teaching Incentive Program is offered to encourage students to pursue careers as math and science teachers in secondary education (grades 7-12). Awards are made to students attending school at the undergraduate and/or graduate degree level in exchange for five years of full-time employment as math or science teachers in secondary education in NYS.
A recipient receives an annual award payment for full-time study equal to the annual tuition charged to a NYS resident student attending an undergraduate program at the State University of New York (SUNY), or actual tuition charged, whichever is less.
For more information please visit the HESC Web site below:
State Aid to Native Americans
Enrolled members of a New York State tribe and their children who are attending, or planning to attend, a college in New York State and are New York residents. Awards are made to all eligible applicants. There is no qualifying examination. Awards are available for two-, four- or five-year programs.
Eligible and/or certified American Indian students are eligible to receive grant awards of up to $2,000 per year for up to four years of full-time study (five years for specific programs requiring five years to complete degree requirements).
If funding is available, eligible students may receive aid for summer course work. Any aid a student receives for summer school study is deducted from the student’s maximum entitlement for four years of full-time college study.
Prorated amounts are available for students taking fewer than 12 credits. Contact Native American Education Unit, New York State Education Department, Room 374 Education Building, Albany, NY 12234. Call (518) 474-0537 for information. The deadlines are July 15 for the fall semester, December 31 for the spring semester and May 20 for the summer semester.
Congressional Teacher Scholarship
Congressional Teacher Scholarships are available to undergraduate students who agree to teach in areas in which there is a critical shortage of teachers. Recipients must agree to teach two years in the U.S. for each annual payment received. The service obligation must be fulfilled within 10 years of completing the undergraduate education program. Recipients who fail to meet these requirements must repay all or part of the award plus accrued interest.
Applicants must be or have placed in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class and be New York State residents who are or will be enrolled in a specific program during the upcoming academic year. Winners receive up to $5,000 a year for a period of no more than four years of full-time undergraduate study. For more information or for an application, contact the Bureau of Higher and Professional Education Testing, Albany, NY 12230; (518) 474-6394.
NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
Students, whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods of war or national emergency and, as a result of service, died or suffered a 40% or more disability, is classified as missing in action or was a prisoner of war, may be eligible for this award from New York State. The veteran must currently be a New York State resident or have been a New York State resident at the time of death, if death occurred during or as a result of service.
A recipient of a Child of Veteran Award can receive $450 a year for four years of undergraduate study without consideration of income or tuition costs. However, the combined Child of Veteran Award and TAP award may not exceed the amount of tuition charges. Students must initially establish eligibility by submitting a Child Of Veteran Award Supplement form with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) before applying for payment. For more information see the HESC Web site at:NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
Memorial Scholarships for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers
This award provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers and emergency medical service workers who have died in the line of duty in service to the State of New York.
Memorial Scholarships provide funds to help meet the cost of attending college. The award covers up to four years of full-time undergraduate study (or five years in an approved five-year bachelor’s degree program).
Students must establish eligibility by submitting a Memorial Scholarship Supplement, which is available from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). Once eligibility has been established, the student must submit an application for payment by May 1 of the academic year for which payment of the scholarship is sought.
To apply for payment, the student must complete the FAFSA and apply for TAP. For more information see the HESC Web site at: NYS Memorial Scholarship
Professional Opportunity Scholarships
Professional Opportunity Scholarships (for approved professional programs, e.g., accounting, architecture, engineering, nursing, occupational therapy, ophthalmic dispensing, pharmacy, physical therapy, dental hygiene, landscape architecture, physician’s assistant, law, podiatry, optometry, psychology, social work, veterinary medicine, speech/language pathology/audiology) are available to U.S. citizens and permanent New York State residents. Students must be enrolled full-time (matriculated) in an approved program of study in New York State. Students must agree to practice in New York State for one year in their chosen profession for each annual payment received. Students must demonstrate good academic standing and meet college guidelines for pursuit of the program.
Recipients must be chosen in the following order of priority:
Economically disadvantaged (prescribed criteria) and a minority group member historically underrepresented in the profession.
Minority group member underrepresented in the profession.
Candidate who is enrolled in or is a graduate of College Discovery (CD), Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK), Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Higher Educational Opportunity Programs (HEOP).
Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 a year for up to four or five years in certain programs. TAP and some other benefits may supplement this award. Contact the college Financial Aid Office or the New York State Education Dept., Bureau of Post secondary Grants Administration, Cultural Education Center, Room 5B68, Albany, NY 12230, (518) 474-5705. Applications must be submitted each year. The deadline each year is May 1 of the award year. (Example: The deadline for 2020-2021 is May 1, 2021.)
Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK)
The SEEK Program provides financial aid and support services (concentrated counseling, remedial instruction, and tutoring) to educationally and economically disadvantaged students attending a senior or technical college. Applicants must be residents of New York State; have received a New York State high school diploma or equivalency; be ineligible for admission under normal standards, but demonstrate potential for completing a college program; and meet family income guidelines as determined by the state.
Students apply for entry to the SEEK program through CUNY Admissions. Students must file a FAFSA and provide the Financial Aid Office with supporting documentation to have their financial eligibility confirmed.