Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Application Procedures

To apply for TAP, students should begin by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who file the FAFSA electronically ( ) will be able to link to the online TAP application at the end of the FAFSA session. If the student missed the NYS link, or filed a paper FAFSA, they can go to "Anytime TAP on the Web" at to complete the application process.

HESC determines the applicant's eligibility and sends an award certificate directly to the applicant indicating the amount of the grant.

Requirements and Responsibilities of Recipients

To receive an award through the Tuition Assistance Program, the applicant must:

  • meet one of the United States citizenship requirements;
  • meet New York State residency requirements;
  • enroll in an approved program of study in a New York State postsecondary institution;
  • be matriculated;
  • declare a major by the first day of classes of their junior year;
  • be in good academic standing;
  • not be in default on any student loan;
  • have a minimum tuition liability of at least $200 per academic year ($100 per semester, $67 per trimester);
  • not exceed the income limitations established for the program;
  • enroll in a minimum of 12 credits that are ALL applicable to the degree, declared major (and minor, specialization, or concentration, if applicable), DEC or skill requirements.  Student must earn a letter grade in the course; student cannot G/P/NC or withdraw from a course that is considered to be a part of these 12 credits                                                                
    • a. Student may enroll in elective courses (that is, courses that do not count toward degree requirements noted in above item), but they must be IN ADDITION TO the 12 credits applicable to the degree.
    • b. If a student retakes a course in which a grade of C or higher was previously earned, this cannot count this course as part of the 12 credit minimum requirement.                                                   
  • meet the high school graduation requirement. Students who first received aid in:
    • a. academic year 1996-97 to academic year 2006-07 must have:
      • a high school diploma, or the recognized equivalent of a high school diploma (e.g., GED), or a passing score as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Education on a federally approved ability-to-benefit test.
    • b. academic year 2006-07, must have:
      • a U.S. high school diploma, or the recognized equivalent, or  a passing score on a federally approved ability-to-benefit test independently administered and evaluated as provided by the NYS Commissioner of Education.
    • c. academic year 2007-08 and thereafter, must have:
      • a U.S. high school diploma, or the recognized equivalent, or a passing score on a federally approved ability-to-benefit test identified by the NYS Board of Regents and independently administered and evaluated by the Commissioner of Education.

To receive state-sponsored grants or scholarships, the student must be in good academic standing. For financial aid purposes, good academic standing is measured based on Pursuit of program and Satisfactory Academic Progress. Details of these requirements can be found on the financial aid website at, or by visiting the NY State Higher Education Services web site directly at

Students who fail to meet the academic standing requirements will be ineligible to receive their term TAP payment. A waiver of the minimum achievement standards may be granted under certain extenuating circumstances. Students who do not meet the requirements will receive notification from the TAP Certifying Officer as to their next appropriate course of action.

Students who receive TAP awards and permanently withdraw or take a leave of absence may jeopardize their eligibility for future TAP awards. To speak to a TAP representative, call the Registrar's Office at (631) 632-6175.

 "Independent" Student Status

A student must apply for TAP as either a dependent student, which requires parental income information, or an independent student, which does not require parental income information. Applicants must report parental income unless the student meets certain conditions established in law and regulation that show the student to be financially independent of the parents. These conditions apply only to the TAP program and differ from the conditions used in defining "financial independence" for other aid programs such as Pell Grants or for public assistance. For a detailed description of the factors used to determine a student’s dependency status for NY State programs please visit

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards

The Tuition Assistance Program is an entitlement program for those NY State residents who meet the eligibility rules.

Undergraduate students may generally receive TAP awards for four years of study; students enrolled in approved five-year programs or in a state-sponsored opportunity program may receive undergraduate awards for five years.

Award Schedule

The amount of the TAP award is scaled according to level of study, tuition charge, and net taxable income (taken from the New York State tax return[s] filed in the year previous to the academic award year). All income data are subject to verification by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

Part-Time TAP Program

Part-time students at approved schools in New York State who were first-time, full-time freshmen in 2006-07 may be eligible for Part-Time TAP to help them pay for college beginning in 2007-08. Part-Time TAP is a grant and does not have to be paid back. Part-Time TAP is not the same as Aid for Part-Time Study.

Student Eligibility

To be eligible for Part-Time TAP, a student must:

  • Be a first-time freshman in the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter
  • Have earned 12 credits or more in each of the two prior consecutive terms, for a minimum total of 24 credits earned
  • Maintain a minimum of a "C" average

In addition, the student must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, or earned a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year
  • Be taking 6 but fewer than 12 credits per semester or 4 but fewer than 8 credits per trimester
  • Not be in default on a student loan or on any repayment of state awards
  • Meet income eligibility limitations