State Financial Aid Programs


CUNY students applying for the following programs must complete the TAP/APTS application as well. Applicants will be directed to the TAP website after they have filed a FAFSA online.

Tuition Assistance Program

Application Procedures: Applicants must complete the TAP application.

The Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) determines the applicant’s eligibility and notifies the applicant directly of their eligibility.

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards: The Tuition Assistance Program is an entitlement program based on financial need.

The applicant must:

  1. Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen

  2. Be a legal resident of New York State

  3. Study full time (at least 12 credits per semester) at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State

  4. Have graduated from a U.S. high school, or have a GED, or have passed a federally-approved exam Ability-to-Benefit (ATB)

  5. Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing

  6. Be charged at least $200 tuition per year

  7. Not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC and not be in default on any repayment of state awards

  8. Meet income eligibility limitations

  • If dependent, have a NYS net income below $80,000

  • If independent, have a NYS net income below $10,000

The current definition of independent status is as follows:

  1. Thirty-five years or older on June 30, 2020; or

  2. Twenty-two years or older on June 30, 2020 and not

    a)a resident in any house, apartment, or building owned or leased by parents for more than 2 consecutive weeks in calendar years 2017, 2018 or 2019.

    b) claimed as a dependent by parents on their federal or state income tax returns for 2017 and 2018.

  3. Under 22 years of age on June 30, 2020, and meeting all other requirements of (2) above, and able to meet at least one of the following requirements:

    a)Both parents deceased, disabled or incompetent

    b) Receiving public assistance other than Aid as a Dependent Child (ADC) or food stamps

    c) Ward of a court

    d) Married on or before December 31, 2019

Undergraduate students may generally receive TAP awards for four years of study. Students enrolled in approved five-year programs may receive awards for more than a total of eight years of undergraduate and graduate study. For LaGuardia, a two-year associate degree college, you may only receive up to six tap payments.

Award Schedule: The amount of the TAP award is scaled according to level of study, tuition charge, and net taxable income. The income measure is the family’s (or independent student’s) New York State net taxable income, and (for dependent students) support from divorced or separated parents. This income is further adjusted to reflect other family members enrolled full time in post-secondary study.

Academic Requirements for State Aid

When NYSHEC notifies you of the TAP award, this is an estimate award that will be applied to your tuition at registration. Each semester the TAP Certifying Officer reviews your academic record to determine if you are eligible to receive the TAP award based on rules and regulations established by the State Education Department.

In order to maintain eligibility for state aid, students must be:

  • registered as full-time.

  • registered for courses required for their major.

  • making satisfactory academic progress and program pursuit. In each semester, if they wish to receive an award, they must meet the following standards in the semester prior to the current payment:

  • academic progress: successfully pass a specified number of credits and

  • achieve a specified cumulative grade point average (see chart below).

    16

  • Pursuit of Program: Students must have completed a certain minimum number of credits or equated credits. See chart below:

    17

“Remedial student” is defined as a student: (a) whose scores on a recognized college placement exam or nationally recognized standardized exam indicated the need for remediation for at least two semesters, as certified by the college and approved by the New York State Education Department (SED); or (b) who was enrolled in at least six semester hours of non-credit remedial courses, as approved by SED, in the first term they received a TAP award; or (c) who is or was enrolled in an opportunity program (HEOP, EOP, SEEK, and CD).

In addition to the academic requirements described, students must also meet certain residency requirements, citizenship requirements, have graduated from a U.S. high school or have a GED or have passed a federally-approved exam (ATB), and financial program criteria.

Students who do not meet the criteria will be decertified for the following semester. Students may, however, file an appeal through the Academic Standing Committee. The decision of the committee is final.

Part-Time TAP Program (PTAP)

Many students in the past, because of family and/or employment obligations, could not attend college full-time. Part-time students may be eligible for assistance from New York State.

  • A student is eligible for participation in the (PTAP) program if he/she meets the following criteria:

  • Satisfies all program requirements for Tuition Assistance Program awards except the full-time attendance requirement

  • Enrolled as a first-time freshman during the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter

  • Earned 12 credits or more in each of the two consecutive semesters

  • Has a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0 and is enrolled for at least 6 but less than 12 credits, in an approved undergraduate degree program. Contact Student Financial Services to see if you qualify.

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

Application Procedures: Application is made through the CUNY Financial Aid Supplement form. This program is open to eligible students who meet income requirements and who are taking 3.0 to 11.5 credits. Students must make academic progress toward a degree in accordance to the NYS TAP/APTS program pursuit and academic progress requirements and must not have exhausted TAP eligibility. Since funds are restricted, applicants are advised to apply early.

Excelsior Scholarship

New York State offers The Excelsior Scholarship to eligible residents with an adjusted gross income of $125,000.00 or less. Students must completed the 2020-2021 FAFSA and TAP applications before completing the Excelsior Scholarship application online at www.hesc.ny.gov. Students must earn 30 credits per year and agree to live and work in New York for the time period equal to the number of years they received the scholarship.

Application Procedures: Applicant must complete a FAFSA, TAP and Excelsior Scholarship application.

New York State Higher Education Service Corporation will process the applicants’ application.

Other Grants, Scholarships and Awards (New York State Residents)

  • AmeriCorps Education Award

  • Child of Veteran Award

  • Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship

  • Memorial Scholarships (for children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers and emergency medical service workers)

  • Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS)

  • NYS Scholarship for Academic Excellence

  • New York Lottery Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship

  • NYS Volunteer Recruitment Service Scholarship Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarship State Aid to Native Americans

  • Veterans Tuition Award (veterans of Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan)

  • World Trade Center Memorial

Information about grants, scholarships and awards available to New York State residents can be found at https://www.hesc.ny.gov/

College Discovery (CD)

Application Procedures: Application is made by completing the appropriate section of the admission form available from the Admissions Office, and returning the form to the University Application Processing Center of The City University of New York. The free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the NYS TAP application and CUNY Financial Aid Supplement form must also be completed. Students must be registered as full-time students.

Award Schedule: The amount of financial assistance and other support provided to CD participants is dependent on financial need as determined by the CUNY Office of Student Financial Assistance and/or the individual college CD programs, within State guidelines.