New York State Programs

Detailed information about the programs listed on this page may be found on the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC) website (http://www.hesc.ny.gov/).

New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) provides grant assistance for tuition to eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions. TAP grants are based on the applicant’s and his or her family’s New York State net taxable income.

NYSHESC determines a student’s TAP award amount based upon an award schedule. The amount is scaled according to type of school, tuition charge, and net NYS taxable income. The award schedule may be changed by subsequent NYS legislative action. All income data reported are subject to verification by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance and NYSHESC.

Undergraduate award amounts currently range from $500 to $5,165, depending on family New York State net taxable income and when the student receives his/her first TAP payment. Graduate students are not eligible for TAP.

Recipients must be in good academic standing (see “Academic Standing and Progress”) in accordance with the commissioner’s regulations and must not be in default of a loan guaranteed by NYSHESC.

Other New York State Programs

Scholarships for Academic Excellence

NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence provide up to $1,500 per year for up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State. 

This program provides scholarship assistance to outstanding New York State high school graduates. 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. Awards are based on student grades in certain Regents exams. Recipients can also receive other non-loan student aid, but the total cannot exceed the cost of attendance. 

American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship

American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship provides access to a college education for children, spouses, and financial dependents of individuals who died as a direct result of American Airlines Flight 587’s crash in Rockaway, Queens, New York on November 12, 2001.

2016-2017 recipients of this award received a maximum of $23,045 if living on campus and a maximum of $15,125 if commuting to college. Students choosing to live off campus when housing is available are paid at the lower commuter rate.

Receipt of other grants and scholarships may reduce the award. The total of all aid received cannot be greater than the student's cost of attendance determined for federal Title IV student financial aid purposes.

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s American Airlines Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship page.

Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute Scholarships

The Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarships, also known as Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS), provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the armed forces of the United States or state organized militia who, at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990, while New York State residents, died or were severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities. 

MERIT provides 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)

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute  MERIT Scholarships page.

NYS Math and Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships

New York State (NYS) Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships are offered to encourage students to pursue careers as secondary math and science teachers (grades 7-12). This program provides awards to students attending school at the undergraduate and/or graduate degree level in exchange for five years of full-time employment as secondary education math or science teachers. 

Recipients shall receive an annual award for full-time study equal to the annual tuition charged to NYS resident students attending an undergraduate program at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less.

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS Math & Science Teaching Incentive Program  page.

NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (NY-AIMS)

The New York State Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (NY-AIMS) provides high school graduates who excel academically with $500 in merit-based scholarships to support their cost of attendance at any college or university located in New York State. 

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS Achievement and Investment in Merit Scholarship (AIMS) page.

Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

The Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies.

Awards provide up to $2,000 per year for part-time undergraduate study at participating institutions in New York State. An APTS award cannot exceed tuition charges. 

Part-Time TAP

Part-time TAP helps eligible New York residents attending in-state postsecondary institutions on a part-time basis pay for tuition. 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 2016-17 academic year or thereafter
  • Have earned 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive semesters, for a minimum total of 24 credits earned
  • Maintain a minimum of a “C” average

New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships

The NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America  - at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on airline flights 11, 77, 93, and 175 - and the resulting rescue and recovery efforts.

Receipt of other grants and scholarships may reduce the WTC award. The total of all aid received cannot be greater than the student's cost of attendance determined for federal Title IV student financial aid purposes

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS World Trade Center Scholarship page.

NYS Memorial Scholarships for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers

The NYS Memorial Scholarship provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers (including NYS Correction Officers), and emergency medical service workers who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York.

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers, and Emergency Medical Service Workers page.

Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated in an approved program at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State. 

For full-time study, a recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for New York state residents at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour. Part-time study is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester.

For information on establishing eligibility and applying for a VTA, please visit HESC’s VTA page.

Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships

Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships provide financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of individuals killed as a direct result of the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Clarence, New York on February 12, 2009. This program will help families who lost loved ones cover the cost of attending college in New York State.

Flight 3407 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).

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship page.

Regents Award for Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans

Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans were created to provide financial aid to students whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency. 

The award is $450 per year. 

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans page.

Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP)

RIRP is a New York State program designed to recruit and retain quality personnel for the state military forces (Army and Air National Guard and Naval Militia). This competitive program will pay the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $4,350 per calendar year for eligible qualified applicants.

Students must apply for all federal and state financial aid, including the New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Full details on the program may be found at the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs (DMNA) website. (http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/index.php)

NYS Aid to Native Americans

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 may be eligible for an award through the Aid to Native Americans Program.

Awards are made to all eligible applicants. There is no qualifying examination. Awards are available for 2, 4 or 5-year programs. 

Eligible and/or certified American Indian students are eligible to receive grant awards of up to $2,000 per year for up to four years of full-time study (five years for specific programs requiring five years to complete degree requirements).

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS Aid to Native Americans page.

NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program

The NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program grants awards for child welfare workers employed at voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agencies licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Recipients must agree to live in NYS and work at a voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency licensed by OCFS for 5 years after graduation, and can use the award to get an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree.

For detailed application and award information, please visit HESC’s NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program page.

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

AmeriCorps is the national service initiative that provides funding for nonprofit organizations, agencies and educational institutions to run local programs that engage individuals from all backgrounds in community service activities. More than 2,500 AmeriCorps members serve annually in New York State, and more than 75,000 serve nationally. They address the most pressing education, public safety, homeland security, and human and environmental challenges facing our communities.

Award amounts are tied to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant.

Each AmeriCorps site is run locally, so recruitment strategies, living allowances, service projects and program service designs vary from one site to the next. 

To learn more about awards and how to apply, please contact the NYS Office for National and Community Service at
52 Washington St.
Rensselaer, NY 12144
or visit AmeriCorps online

Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

Application Procedures

Application is through the HEOP office at the independent institution of higher education at which the applicant is enrolled. Contact the Office of State Grants for additional information, 607-274-1267, or see the website. (http://www.ithaca.edu/osg/)

Selection of Recipients and Allocation of Awards

The applicant must be

  1. a New York State resident;
  2. a matriculated undergraduate student at an independent college or university in New York State; and
  3. academically and economically disadvantaged according to guidelines approved by the Board of Regents and the director of the budget.

Selection of eligible applicants for participation in HEOP is conducted by the institution or the HEOP program at the institution or both.

Award Schedule

The amount of financial assistance and other support provided to HEOP participants depends on need as determined by the institution and the program, within state guidelines.

Responsibilities of Recipients

Recipients must meet requirements for academic progress determined by each institution, within state guidelines. Each recipient must also apply for TAP, Pell, or other financial aid every year. HEOP-eligible students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal processor. Indicate on the FAFSA that the information is to be released to Ithaca College. HEOP-eligible students also must submit a New York State Express TAP Application (ETA). The FAFSA application is available at local high schools and colleges. The ETA is generated by NYSHESC and mailed to the student after the student files the FAFSA. In addition, first-time HEOP applicants must also file the CSS Profile application.

Vocational Rehabilitation Grants

Application Procedures

Persons with disabilities can obtain a list of locations where grant application information is available by contacting the New York State Education Department, Adult Career and Continuing Education Services Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) at

89 Washington Avenue

New York State Education Building Annex Room 580 EBA

Albany, New York 12234 

1-800-222-JOBS (5627)

or by visiting http://www.acces.nysed.gov/vr/college-higher-education