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Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,665. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.
Apply through the FAFSA
The easiest way to apply for TAP is through the FAFSA. Make sure you have completed your FAFSA!
New York State (NYS) residents attending NYS schools can link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page.
Didn't Apply for TAP through the FAFSA? You Can Still Apply
If you exited the FAFSA before completing the TAP application – and you filled in your New York State address and a New York State college on the FAFSA – HESC will automatically receive your information in about three days. HESC will then send you an email or postcard with directions to complete the TAP application online.
Received this notice from HESC? Apply now.
The Application Process Begins with Creation of Your HescPIN
At the beginning of the online TAP application, you will be prompted to create a HESC-specific user name and personal identification number called a HescPIN. You will use your HescPIN when "signing" your TAP application and when accessing your HESC account information in the future.
Important Note Regarding Award
HESC determines the applicant's eligibility and sends an award certificate directly to the applicant indicating the amount of the grant.
This award certificate does not guarantee you will receive the indicated amount. The school will check all eligibility criteria set for by the State of New York. To see this criteria please visit the HESC website.
Important information about anticipated aid
Anticipated Aid does not guarantee payment of your award. All eligibility criteria must be met in order to receive payment. It is the student's responsibility to be familiar with ALL eligibility criteria.
To receive an award through the Tuition Assistance Program, the applicant must:
- Be a US citizen or eligible non citizen;
- Be a legal resident of New York State for at least one year prior to the start of the term;
- 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 (57 credits or higher);
- 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 as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits applicable toward the degree program, Primary Major, DEC or SBC requirements, per semester to receive TAP or NYS Scholarships; 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;
- Graduated from a New York High School, GED Diploma is acceptable, or take and pass an Ability to Benefit Exam;
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 http://www.stonybrook.edu/financialaid, or by visiting the NY State Higher Education Services web site directly at http://www.hesc.org
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 NYS Aid Staff Member please email email@example.com or call 631-632-6840.
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.
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
- Ability to Benefit Exam (ATB)
In order to be eligible for New York State TAP/Scholarships, you must have graduated from a high school in the United States and we must have a copy of your diploma or final high school transcript (showing graduation and the date) on record.
If you did not graduate from a United States high school and you have an associates or bachelor’s degree form a United States college we can accept this in lieu of graduation from a United States high school. We must have a final official transcript on file showing the degree awarded.
If you have completed minimally 24 college credits from a United States college, we can also evaluate your credits. You must have completed with a C or higher, 6 credits in English Language Arts, 3 credits in Math, 3 credits in Natural Science, 3 Credits in Social Science, 3 credits in Humanities and 6 credits in your degree program as determined by the University.
If you do not meet one of the above criteria, you must take and pass an Ability to Benefit Exam in order to be eligible for your awards by the add/drop deadline of the semester in which you are in which you are seeking the TAP/scholarship award. .
For more information, please visit:
- Email and SOLAR Communication
(Sent several times a semester)
As a potential recipient of New York State Tuition Assistance and/or Scholarships, it is extremely important that you are familiar with the eligibility requirements set forth by the State of New York. In order to be eligible for any TAP and/or NYS scholarships, you must meet all of the criteria established by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (http://www.hesc.ny.gov) as well as the following criteria each semester:
- You must be enrolled as a full-time student each semester (minimum of 12 credits).
- You must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits that are ALL applicable to your degree, university requirements, (SBC or DEC) and declared major(s). Courses you are taking for minor s or specializations on record can ONLY be counted as part of the 12 degree applicable credits if your major(s) requires completion of the minor or specialization.
- You may enroll in elective courses (that is, courses that do not count toward degree requirements noted in item #2), but they must be IN ADDITION TO the 12 degree applicable credits.
- If you retake a course in which you received a C or higher previously, you cannot count this course as part of the 12 credit minimum requirement.
- Courses graded P, NF, N/C or W may negatively affect your TAP/Scholarship eligibility for future semesters.
- You must declare a valid major by Junior Status, 57 earned credits. Earned credits include any test or AP credits as well as transfer credits brought to Stony Brook University. General and Area of Interest are NOT valid majors.
Please review your TAP Certification Summary Page on SOLAR to ensure you are in compliance with these regulations. If you are not, please adjust your class schedule by the add/drop deadline to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements to receive TAP. We are not permitted to count courses added after the add/drop deadline as part of your 12 degree applicable credits.
The New York State legal requirements are very specific and, if not adhered to, will result in a change to your qualification for TAP funding. We are dedicated to helping you through this process. If you have any questions, please make an appointment to meet with an advisor as soon as possible.
To review all other eligibility requirements, visit the New York State Higher Education Services website at http://www.hesc.ny.gov
- TAP Certification Summary Page
In an effort to provide TAP recipients/applicants with a means of gauging their progress toward meeting New York State criteria for TAP eligibility, we have developed a new tool that appears as a page in SOLAR.
The page is called the TAP Certification Summary page and provides students with timely information and updates regarding their status in satisfying TAP criteria, which include enrollment in degree applicable credits, good academic standing, current major declaration, just to name a few.
Both students and advisors will find the page helpful, specifically during registration when TAP recipients must select a minimum of 12 credits that are required for either their major or SBC/DEC requirements.
As the TAP Certification Summary page updates nightly , the page can be viewed to confirm that a TAP recipient is registered in courses that meet the enrollment requirement for TAP eligibility 24 to 48 hours after any registration transaction. Students are strongly encouraged to make all registration changes two days prior to the deadline date – this would ensure their course enrollment can be viewed and confirmed for the 12 degree application credit regulation.
As all other TAP criteria are also noted on the TAP Certification Summary page, a student will know months prior to our certification period whether or not they are currently meeting requirements. This early warning system will give students ample time to make corrections, submit documents and seek assistance before coming up against deadlines for declaring majors and specializations and for changing course enrollments.
While no advising department is being asked to inform students whether or not they will receive a TAP award, advising for degree applicable credits (courses specifically required to satisfy major and Core requirements) are conversations advisors regularly have with students. As such, please do not hesitate to use, or refer your students to, the new TAP Certification Summary page.
Academic Waivers, Exceptions, or Course Substitutions
Please note, any academic waivers, exceptions, or course substitutions in majors, minors, or specializations for students must be submitted by the appropriate designee from the specific academic department. Exceptions should be sent to the Degree Audit Team within the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org for posting in Degree Works.
- TAP No Major Declared - by junior level status (57 earned credits)
To be eligible for a New York State Tuition Assistance Award (TAP) and/or NYS Scholarship, you need to be aware of New York State Education Department requirements that state you must be in a major that leads to a degree when you are entering your junior year (57 completed credits) or you will not be eligible for TAP/NYS Scholarship award(s). Please refer to the Academic Calendar for the semester deadline date. You will not be eligible for a TAP/NYS Scholarship award if you have junior level status (57 earned credits) and have not declared a major by the deadline date
You are strongly encouraged to seek assistance in making a decision about your major by contacting Academic Advising.
Once you have selected a major, the signature(s) of a departmental advisor is required on a Declaration of Major form. After you have obtained the appropriate signature(s), the form should be brought to the Registrar’s Office in the Administration Bldg., Room 276 (Phone 631-632-6175), no later than the deadline date noted on the Academic Calendar. Please do not select an area of interest (AOI), as they are not approved majors.
- No, due to FERPA regulations, we can only discuss eligibility for NYS Financial Aid with the student directly. Students can email us from their SBU email account, call, or visit the Registrar’s Office in person to address any questions or concerns. If a FERPA release form is submitted to the Financial Aid Office by the student, we can release information to the person/s listed on the form. More information about FERPA can be found here: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/registrar/policies/ferpa.php
In order to be eligible for New York State Financial Aid you must have graduated from High School in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED), have an Associate’s Degree from an accredited United States College or passed a federally approved Ability to Benefit Exam as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department. This requirement must be met by the add/drop deadline of the semester you are seeking aid.
This requirement can also be met by having completed minimally 24 college credits from a United States college (You must have completed with a C or higher, 6 credits in English Language Arts, 3 credits in Math, 3 credits in Natural Science, 3 Credits in Social Science, 3 credits in Humanities and 6 credits in your degree program (major) as determined by the University in which you are seeking the aid).
Students must declare a major by their junior year (57 completed credits or higher, including transfer, AP and test credits); General and Area of Interest are NOT valid majors.
Note: For the STEM scholarship, the major declared must be a NYS STEM approved major. A complete list of STEM approved majors can be found here: https://www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/financial-aid/types-of-financial-aid/nys-grants-scholarships-awards/nys-science-technology-engineering-and-mathematics-stem-incentive-program/stem-approved-academic-program-listing
For TAP and NYS grants and/or scholarships, changing a major means that your eligibility for the semester will be reviewed based on the newly declared major effective for the given semester.
For Excelsior, the same applies, however, your entire college record prior to the given semester will also be evaluated. The credits from prior semesters must be evaluated against the newly declared major to see if credit requirements are still being met and a student is still on track to graduate within 4 years.
No, students must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits that are ALL applicable to their degree, primary declared major only, SBC, DEC and skill requirements or elective credit pool if available. Courses that are for minors, specializations or concentrations may ONLY be counted if the primary major requires completion of one or you have elective credit room. The Excelsior Scholarship allows courses towards a second major to be counted towards full-time load as well.
The only exception to this rule is in a student’s final term (must have applied for graduation) they must be enrolled in 12 credits but only 1 credit needs to be applicable to the degree.
In a student’s prior to final term, they must be enrolled in 12 credits, but only 6 credits need to be applicable to the degree.
You can view the TAP/Excelsior Certification Summary Pages on SOLAR 24-48 hours after registration to see a list of which courses/credits are degree applicable and which are not. This information can also be viewed on Degree Works to see specifically where each course is applying towards your degree. Additionally, students can meet with an academic advisor to discuss scheduling courses to satisfy the full-time load requirement.
For a list of advising offices, please visit: https://www.stonybrook.edu/for-students/academic-advising/
No, For TAP and NYS grants and/or scholarships, credits that apply only to a second major will not count unless your first major requires the completion of a second major in order to graduate.
ONLY the Excelsior Scholarship allows credits towards completion of a second major to count towards the full-time load requirement.
- No. Credits that apply only to a minor, specialization or concentration will not count unless your first major requires the completion of one in order to graduate. For Excelsior they will count if the primary or second major require completion of one to graduate.
- No, courses that are prerequisites to courses required for your degree are not considered towards full-time load.
- No. Credits being considered must apply to the current major on record for the semester being reviewed for certification. Please see the major declaration deadlines for each semester on the academic calendar.
- If it is required that you retake a course in order to complete a necessary degree requirement, these credits will be considered. However, if you retake a course that is not needed or one in which you received a grade of C or higher previously, (transfer, AP and test credits included) those credits will not be included as part of the 12 credit minimum requirement.
- Not necessarily. A student needs to have earned at least 30, 60, or 90 degree applicable credits after the 1 st, 2 nd, or 3 rd year of college study to remain eligible for the NYS Excelsior Scholarship. AP and pre-matriculation college credits can be used to make up credit deficiencies, if necessary and enough are available. The Excelsior Certification Summary page on SOLAR will show, specifically, how credits are being applied.
- No. There is no 15 credit enrollment requirement for the NYS Excelsior scholarship. The full time enrollment requirement for all NYS aid is at least 12 degree applicable credits.
- No. Although you can petition to make changes to your schedule after the add/drop deadline for each semester, eligibility is reviewed with the schedule that was in place as of the add/drop deadline date. Please view the academic calendar each semester to see appropriate deadlines.
- It could. Although receiving a P or W grade would not impact the current semester that may have already been certified, it can make a student ineligible for TAP/Scholarships for the following semester. A percentage of 12 degree applicable credits must be pursued each semester without W or P grades. For more specific information, please visit www.hesc.ny.gov or contact our office.
- There is a TAP Certification Summary page as well as an Excelsior Certification Summary page available on SOLAR. These pages will list all degree applicable credits as well as other eligibility requirements. Please allow 24-48 hours for credits to display after course registration or changes.
- If you believe that a course should be considered degree applicable but it is not appearing as such on Degree Works and the TAP/Excelsior Certification Summary pages, please reach out to your major department. Your department can request to post an exception/correction to Degree Works (if appropriate) and if approved, this would be reflected on your Degree Works audit as well updated on the TAP/Excelsior Certification Summary pages 24-48 hours after processing. We encourage these issues to be addressed prior to the add/drop deadline to prevent a delay in certification.
- No. To be eligible for Excelsior, a student must be on track to graduate within 4 years of beginning their college career.
- No. If the credit requirement is not met, eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship cannot be regained.
- A student would not be eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship if there is or was any break in attendance.
- No. Excelsior is only available for fall and spring semesters, if eligible.
Higher Education Services Corporation