New York State Scholarships

New York State offers a number of special scholarships for students who excelled in high school or who may be pursuing particular academic objectives in special programs. Information about these scholarships may be obtained from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporations HESC NY State Scholarships.

New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence

This program provides scholarship assistance to outstanding New York State high school graduates. Awards are based on student grades in certain Regents exams. See your high school guidance counselor at your high school for information on how to apply.

Each year, 8,000 scholarships are awarded up to 2,000 scholarships of $1,500 and 6,000 scholarships of $500 to top scholars from registered New York State high schools. Recipients can also receive other non-loan student aid, but the total cannot exceed the cost of attendance. Scholarships for Academic Excellence provide up to $1,500 per year for up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State.


  • Have graduated from high school
  • Study full time and be matriculated in an approved undergraduate program of study in a New York State post-secondary institution
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Not be in default on any guaranteed student loan administered by HESC
  • Be a U.S. citizen or qualifying non-citizen
  • Be a New York State resident

Regents Award for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans

This program provides financial aid assistance to children of veterans who served in the United States armed forces during specific periods of war or national emergency, Applicants must fill out a special application in addition to a TAP application. More information can be obtained from or by contacting the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.


  • 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.
  • Aid is for four years of undergraduate study or five years of undergraduate study if enrolled in an approved five-year baccalaureate program.
  • Applications must be received by May 1 to be considered for the following academic year.

Tuition Benefit for Active New York State National Guard Members

There is a New York State tuition assistance program for active members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, and the New York Naval Militia. It provides tuition assistance for active members enrolled in a first degree program of study at CUNY.

The award covers tuition after all other financial aid has been applied to the tuition charges. Students must apply for federal and state financial aid and file a DMNA 96-1 form, which can be obtained from their individual National Guard unit. Continuation of the award will be dependent on good military standing, making satisfactory progress toward the degree, and on maintaining good academic standing for financial aid purposes.

State Aid to Native Americans

Available to any enrolled members of a New York State tribe or children of an enrolled member of a New York State tribe. You may be eligible for an award through the Aid to Native Americans Program. 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 State residents are eligible for this award. Awards are made to all eligible applicants. There is no qualifying examination. Awards are available for 2, 4 or 5-year programs.

Awards for full-time students are up to $2,000 annually and $1,000 per semester. Part-time awards are approximately $85 per credit hour.

More Information (State Aid to Native Americans)

Specific eligibility criteria and information can be found by writing to: Native American Education Unit
NYS Education Department
Room 374 EBA
Albany, New York 12234
(518) 474-0537

Vietnam Veterans Tuition Awards (VVTA) and Persian Gulf Veteran College Tuition Benefits

Vietnam veterans who are undergraduates attending degree-granting institutions in New York State may be eligible for up to $1,000 per semester for full-time attendance and up to $500 per semester for part-time attendance, to a maximum of $10,000 total. They must meet specific state residency and service requirements to be eligible for this state award.Veterans of the Persian Gulf War are eligible for the same awards as are Vietnam veterans. Veterans can get an application from the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC), 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255. As part of the application process, the full-time student veteran must also apply for TAP and the Federal Pell Grant; and the part-time student, for the Federal Pell Grant.

World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship

Available to the children and spouses of victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, this program provides tuition, fees and living expenses for up to four years of full-time undergraduate study at CUNY. To receive this scholarship, a student, must be the child or the spouse of a victim of the attacks. The award also is available for victims who themselves have been severely and permanently disabled as a result of the attacks. An applications is available from the New York State Higher Education Services corporation (HESC) at

Memorial Scholarships (Police Officers, Peace Officers, Firefighters)

The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) administers the Memorial Scholarships for Families of Deceased Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Firefighters. The scholarship provides financial aid to children and spouses of deceased police officers, peace officers, firefighters, and volunteer firefighters of New York State who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty.

Memorial scholarships provide funds to meet the costs of attending college. These awards are based on allowances for tuition and non-tuition costs, which include room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. The Memorial Scholarship award is available for four years of full-time undergraduate study (or for five years in an approved five-year bachelor's degree program).

Students must:

  • Be matriculated at approved colleges or other post-secondary institutions in New York State.
  • Study full time in approved undergraduate programs.
  • Have a parent, spouse or were a financial dependent of a firefighter, volunteer firefighter, police officer, peace officer or emergency medical service worker who died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York.

How To Apply (Memorial Scholarships)

Student must establish eligibility by submitting a Memorial Scholarship Supplement. 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. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and a TAP application. Students do not have to submit a Memorial Scholarship Supplement every year, but must submit an application for payment each year.

War on Terrorism Scholarship

The War on Terrorism Scholarship is available to students whose parent or spouse was killed while serving in the military and fighting the war on terrorism. The scholarship, along with the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grant, provides full tuition at CUNY. The award is available for up to four years of undergraduate study (five years in certain five-year baccalaureate programs). All recipients of the scholarships are required to submit the FAFSA and must apply for TAP.

To qualify, the student must have a special application and the following documentation from the Department of Defense:

  • The parent or spouse was killed in a combat zone that was part of the war on terrorism or related action as part of Operation Enduring Freedom
  • The parent or spouse killed was a New York State resident at the time of military service
    The applicant must also submit either a birth certificate or a marriage certificate to document the relationship to the deceased service member.

Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships

Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships provide financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of individuals killed as a direct result of American Airlines Flight 587's crash in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens, New York on November 12, 2001. The Scholarship program will help the 266 families who lost loved ones cover the cost of attending college in New York State.

Who Is Eligible Children?

Spouses and financial dependents of those who died as a direct result of the American Airlines Flight 587 crash on November 12, 2001 in Belle Harbor, Queens, New York.

How to Apply? (Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships)

Print a copy of the Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship Supplement and submit it with the necessary documentation to: HESC, Scholarship Unit, 99 Washington Ave, Room 1430A, Albany, NY 12255. A description of the required documentation is included in the instructions on the last page of the supplement. Once eligibility has been established, students must submit a payment application for each academic year payment is sought. Eligible students should apply for payment by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the TAP Application.

Eligibility Requirements (Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships)

Effective immediately and retroactive for the 2001-2002 academic year, undergraduate students who are full time, matriculated in an approved program in New York State and meet eligibility requirements pursuant to New York State laws and regulations are eligible. Recipients need not be New York State residents or U.S. citizens to receive the scholarship.
NOTE: Eligible New York State resident family members who were enrolled in undergraduate colleges or universities located outside of New York State on November 12, 2001 may receive payment of this scholarship for attendance at that school.

Award Amount (Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships)

Flight 587 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) and includes the following components:

At a public college or university (SUNY or CUNY): actual tuition and mandatory educational fees; actual room and board charged to students living on campus or an allowance for room and board for commuter students; and allowances for books, supplies and transportation.
At a private institution: an amount equal to SUNY four-year college tuition and average mandatory education fees (or the student's actual tuition and fees, whichever is less) and allowances for room and board, books, supplies and transportation.

In all cases, the total of all aid received by the recipient cannot exceed the student's cost of attendance.