New York State Grants

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) provides grants to students to assist them in paying tuition. The TAP program is administered by the NY State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). 

Application Form

The first step in the TAP application process is the completion of the FAFSA. When you get to the FAFSA on the Web Confirmation Page, there will be a link for New York State residents to complete an application for TAP. If you are not using the Internet to apply for financial aid you will be mailed a TAP application several weeks after the FAFSA has been processed. You must submit a FAFSA and TAP application before June 30, 2014 for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Residence and Citizenship

Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen and be a legal resident of New York State

Income Limits

Families with New York State Net Taxable Income (gross income less deductions and allowances for exemptions) of $80,000 or less qualify to receive a TAP grant.

Award Amounts

TAP awards range from $500 to $5000 a year.

Qualifying Program and credits

You must be admitted into a degree program and be matriculated.
You must register for at least 12 credits or equated credits, which are creditable toward your declared major.

Pursuit and Progress

You must make academic progress towards a degree. You must maintain a minimum GPA for each payment requested. You must take three degree credits in your first semester and in all subsequent payments you must be taking at least six degree credits. In addition to the minimum degree credits you must be registered in a full-time course load to receive your TAP payment. 

Additional information on TAP

  • If you are pursuing an associate's degree you must declare a major before the beginning of your second year (before 31 credits)
  • If you are pursuing a bachelor's degree you must declare a major before the beginning of your third year (before 61 credits)
  • HESC will Verify the income tax information on your TAP application with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
  • You are allowed a total of 48 TAP points for your entire undergraduate degree. You use six points for each full-time TAP payment. You may receive up to six semesters as an associate degree student. For some special programs you can earn up to 10 semesters and are allowed at total to 60 points
  • Disabled students may be eligible to combine coursework from more than one semester to meet the full-time attendance requirement (see your college for more information).

 

AID FOR PART-TIME STUDY (APTS)

APTS is a grant from New York State for students pursuing a degree as a part-time undergraduate student. The amount of the grant is determined by CUNY and is based upon the availability of funds from New York State.

Application Form

To apply you must have completed the FAFSA, TAP application and the CUNY Financial Aid Supplement form.

Qualifying Program and credits

You must be a matriculated student

For this program at CUNY part-time study means being enrolled for at least 6 but less than 12 credits per semester.

Resident information

You must be a New York State resident

Eligibility

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
  • Not have used up Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Not be in default on a Federal Direct and/or FFEL Stafford Loan.
  • You must maintain a  "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.

Income Limits

Eligibility for an APTS award is based on New York State net taxable income from the preceding calendar year.

  • If students were eligible to be claimed as tax dependents by their parents, family New York State NET taxable income can be as much as $50,550 to qualify for an award. Family income includes student AND parents' income.
  • If students were not eligible to be claimed by their parents as tax dependents, their New York State NET taxable income (including spouse's income) can be as much as $34,250 to qualify for an award. Spouse's income must be included if they were married on or before December 31 of the previous calendar year.
  • If students were not eligible to be claimed by their parents but were eligible to claim tax dependents other than self and/or spouse, New York State NET taxable income (including spouse's income) can be as much as $50,550 to qualify for an award. Spouse's income must be included if they were married on or before December 31 of the previous calendar year.

PART-TIME TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Part-Time TAP is a new program from New York State that allows for partial TAP payments for students taking between 6-11 credit. This program is available to CUNY, SUNY and Not-for-Profit independent degree granting college students who meet the specified requirements. To apply you must complete a FAFSA and a TAP application.

To receive Part-Time TAP you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a New York State resident
  • Be admitted into a degree program
  • Earn 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive preceding semesters, for a total of 24 credits
  • Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or higher
  • Register for at least six credit hours, but less than 12 credits
  • Maintain good academic standing

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for TAP?

When you have completed the FAFSA-on-the-Web, the confirmation page will give you a link to the TAP-on-the-Web application for New York State financial aid. Before completing the TAP application, you will be asked to establish a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for TAP. This PIN will allow you to complete your application later, access your application information, or make changes, if necessary.

After establishing your PIN, you will be able to complete your TAP application. The TAP on-line form will be pre-filled with some of the information from the FAFSA you completed on-line. Review this data, supply any missing information, and submit the form. Follow the instructions provided.

How much TAP am I eligible for, and when will I receive it?

Your school will give you an estimate of your TAP award. The information you provide is verified and the TAP award subject to change if there are any discrepancies in income, cost of attendance, family members in school, etc. Use the TAP Estimator on www.hesc.com to determine an estimate of your award. The school must verify your eligibility and certify your award.

Once the school certifies you are eligible and meeting all of the school requirements, the TAP funds will be sent to the school.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for TAP you must:

  • Be a legal resident of New York State (that is, you must have lived in the State for at least one year prior to the first term for which you are seeking payment).
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident or hold an I-94 visa as a refugee, paroled refugee or conditional entrant.
  • Be matriculated (enrolled in a program leading to a degree).
  • Be enrolled full-time, that is, enrolled for at least 12 credits or equated credits that meet the requirements of your curriculum/major. In your first TAP semester, you must have at least 3 degree credits as part of your full-time course load. After your first semester, you must have at least 6 degree credits as part of your full-time course load.
  • Remain in good academic standing for New York State financial aid programs by meeting Academic Progress standards and demonstrating Program Pursuit each semester you receive TAP.
  • Meet the economic criteria.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or received a passing score on an approved ability-to-benefit test.
  • Be free of debt from any defaulted student loan that HESC guaranteed.

I received TAP last year, do I have to apply again?

In addition to the FAFSA application you must also file a TAP applicatin every year. 

How much TAP can I receive each semester?

The amount of TAP you receive depends on your family income, the number of family members attending college full-time, the number of semesters you have received TAP, and the size of the annual appropriation for the program. Maximum TAP awards can be equal to but not greater than the full tuition charge at the college. State budgetary restrictions can further limit TAP awards to a portion of your tuition. A PTAP award will be based on your part-time credit load and will be calculated as a proportional fraction of the normal full-time TAP award.

For how many semesters can I receive TAP?

For an associate degree you may receive TAP for up to 6 semesters. You will be limited to 6 semesters of TAP even if you change majors or transfer to another community college. When you enroll in a 4 year college program at a senior college, you will become eligible for an additional 2 full-time semesters of TAP bringing your undergraduate total to 8 semesters. If you are enrolled in a special program, such as SEEK, you may receive up to 10 semesters (or the equivalent) of TAP as an undergraduate.

Can I get TAP for repeating a course?

If you repeat a course that you previously passed, you may not count the repeated course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes. This means that in order to receive TAP in a semester where you may be repeating a course you passed previously that you have, in addition to the repeated course, at least 12 credits or equated credits of non-repeated courses. If you repeat a course that you previously failed, you may include that course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes.

Can I get TAP for remedial courses?

Remedial courses may be counted towards either full-time or part time enrollment for TAP purposes. However, to qualify for TAP, you must always be registered for a certain number of degree credit courses

Where could I go for more information about my TAP award?

The HESC Customer Communication Center can be reached by telephone toll-free at 1-888-NYS-HESC (1-888-697-4372) or 1-518-473-1574.  The Customer Communication Center answers general inquiries. If you are calling about your TAP grant or student loan, please have your account number ready. You could also reach them on the web by going to www.hesc.org.