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New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Scholarships

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) administers both state and federally funded student financial aid programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Some programs are administered solely by HESC, while others are administered jointly with other state agencies. See the Grants, Scholarships and Awards Quick Reference pages for information on eligibility and award amounts.

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 $5,000. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.

Effective for the 2007-08 academic year and thereafter, TAP is available for students attending SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit independent degree-granting colleges on a part-time basis. To be eligible for Part-Time TAP you must have been a first-time freshman in the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter, have earned 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive semesters, and maintain a “C” average.

To be eligible for TAP, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State
  • Study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State (NYS)
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student taking 12 or more credits per semester
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing
  • Have declared a major no later than within 30 days from end of the add/drop period:
  • in the first term of your sophomore year in an approved two-year program; or
  • in the first term of your junior year in an approved four-year program
  • Meet good academic standing requirements as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year
  • Not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC or on any repayment of state awards. NOTE: The enacted 2010-11 New York State budget mandates a student must not be in default on a student loan made under a NYS or federal loan program
  • Meet income eligibility limitations