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Tuition Assistance Program or TAP

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions pay for tuition. Depending on the academic year in which the student began study, annual TAP awards can be as much as $5,000. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back!

Most students receive up to eight semesters of TAP at both the undergraduate and graduate level as long as they are maintaining satisfactory academic progress. Undergraduate EOP students may receive up to 10 semesters of TAP.

To be eligible for TAP, a student must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be a legal resident of New York state.
  • Study full time (at least 12 credits per semester) at an approved postsecondary institution in New York state.
  • Have graduated from high school, or have a GED, or have passed a federally approved exam demonstrating that the student can benefit from the education offered.
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing.
  • Have at least a cumulative "C" average after receipt of two annual payments.
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year.
  • Not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC and not be in default on any repayment of state awards.
  • Meet income limitations.

Awards cannot exceed the maximum amounts shown or 95 percent of tuition, whichever is less.

Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can get a FAFSA from a high school guidance office, the local library, or your college's Financial Aid Office. You can also file your FAFSA electronically at Federal Student Aid.

If you are a New York state resident, and include a New York school in "Step Six" of your FAFSA, HESC will mail you an Express TAP Application (ETA). Information from you FAFSA and your family's calculated New York state net taxable income will be preprinted on your ETA. Review this information, change any incorrect items, complete any missing items, then SIGN AND MAIL THE FORM USING THE RETURN ENVELOPE provided. If you received TAP in one financial aid year, and your information remains the same during the next financial aid year, you may not need to file the ETA to receive an award.

The final filing deadline for TAP is May 1 of the academic year for which aid is sought (Example: for 2008-2009, application deadline is May 1, 2009).

Click here to access the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website to apply for TAP or to monitor the status of your TAP application.

Aid for Part-time Studies (APTS)

This grant is available to matriculated undergraduate New York state residents enrolled for at least three but less than 12 credits per semester. The amount of the award is determined by the funding available and the family's New York state net taxable income. A separate APTS application is required and is available from the Financial Aid Office beginning in August of each academic year. There will be a deadline to meet indicated in the application materials

Eligibility Requirements for APTS

To be considered for an APTS award, students must:

  • Enroll part-time as matriculated students in approved undergraduate degree programs or registered certificate programs at degree-granting institutions in New York state.
  • Meet the program income limits.
  • Be New York state residents and either United States citizens or qualifying non-citizens.
  • Have a tuition charge of at least $100 per year.
  • Not have used up Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Not be in default on a Federal Family Education Loan.
  • Have achieved at least a cumulative "C" average after having received the equivalent of two full years of payment of state-sponsored student financial aid.
  • Be a high school graduate, or receive the equivalent of a high school certificate, or receive a passing grade on a federally-approved examination if receiving a state-sponsored award for the first time in the 1996-97 academic year.

Other State Grants

There are also a number of other New York State Grant Programs available to students.

For further information on these and other awards, and to review your personal information on file at the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, access Grants, Scholarships and Loan Programs or call 888-NYS-HESC [(888) 697-4372].

Last Updated 2/15/18

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