New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) provides grants to students to assist them in paying tuition. The TAP program is administered by the NY State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC).

Application Form

The first step in the TAP application process is the completion of the FAFSA. When you get to the FAFSA on the Web Confirmation Page, there will be a link for New York State residents to complete an application for TAP.  You must submit a FAFSA and TAP application before June 30, 2018 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Residence and Citizenship

Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen and be a legal resident of New York State

To be eligible for TAP, students must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State for at least one year prior to the start of the term
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as 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 progrm of study and be in good academic standing with at least a “C” average as of the 4th semester payment
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits applicable toward the degree program, per semester to receive TAP
  • Not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default on any repayment of State awards
  • Be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award; and
  • Meet income requirement

Income Limits

Families with New York State Net Taxable Income (gross income less deductions and allowances for exemptions) of $80,000 or less qualify to receive a TAP grant.

Award Amounts

TAP awards range from $500 to $5165 a year.

Qualifying Program and credits

You must be admitted into a degree program and be matriculated.
You must register for at least 12 credits or equated credits, which are creditable toward your declared major.

Pursuit and Progress

You must make academic progress towards a degree. You must maintain a minimum GPA for each payment requested.

Additional information on TAP

  • If you are pursuing an associate’s degree you must declare a major before the beginning of your second year (before 31 credits)
  • If you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree you must declare a major before the beginning of your third year (before 61 credits)
  • HESC will Verify the income tax information on your TAP application with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
  • You are allowed a total of 48 TAP points for your entire undergraduate degree. You use six points for each full-time TAP payment. You may receive up to six semesters as an associate degree student. For some special programs you can earn up to 10 semesters and are allowed at total to 60 points
  • Disabled students may be eligible to combine coursework from more than one semester to meet the full-time attendance requirement (see your college for more information).

APTS is a grant from New York State for students pursuing a degree as a part-time undergraduate student. The amount of the grant is determined by CUNY and is based upon the availability of funds from New York State.

Application Form

To apply you must have completed the FAFSA, TAP application and the CUNY Financial Aid Supplement form.

Qualifying Program and credits

You must be a matriculated student

For this program at CUNY part-time study means being enrolled for at least 6 but less than 12 credits per semester.

Resident information

You must be a New York State resident

Eligibility

To be considered for an APTS award, students must:

  • Enroll part time as matriculated students in approved undergraduate degree programs or registered certificate programs at degree-granting institutions in New York State
  • Meet the program income limits
  • Be New York State residents and either United States citizens or qualifying non-citizens
  • Not have used up Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility
  • Maintain good academic standing
  • Not be in default on any Federal or State student loan or on any repayment of state awards
  • You must maintain a “C” average after having received the equivalent of two full years of payment of State-sponsored student financial aid
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, or earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), formally known as GED, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department

Income Limits

Eligibility for an APTS award is based on New York State net taxable income from the preceding calendar year.

  • If students were eligible to be claimed as tax dependents by their parents, family New York State NET taxable income can be as much as $50,550 to qualify for an award. Family income includes student AND parents’ income.
  • If students were not eligible to be claimed by their parents as tax dependents, their New York State NET taxable income (including spouse’s income) can be as much as $34,250 to qualify for an award. Spouse’s income must be included if they were married on or before December 31 of the previous calendar year.
  • If students were not eligible to be claimed by their parents but were eligible to claim tax dependents other than self and/or spouse, New York State NET taxable income (including spouse’s income) can be as much as $50,550 to qualify for an award. Spouse’s income must be included if they were married on or before December 31 of the previous calendar year.

Part-Time TAP is a new program from New York State that allows for partial TAP payments for students taking between 6-11 credit. This program is available to CUNY, SUNY and Not-for-Profit independent degree granting college students who meet the specified requirements. To apply you must complete a FAFSA and a TAP application.

To receive Part-Time TAP you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a New York State resident
  • Be admitted into a degree program
  • Earn 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive preceding semesters, for a total of 24 credits
  • Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average of 2.0 or higher
  • Register for at least six credit hours, but less than 12 credits
  • Maintain good academic standing

FACTS – Financial Aid Certification Tracking System

  1. How do I access FACTS?
    Starting August 4, 2017, users will access FACTS using one of the following methods:

    • FACTS link in the CUNYfirst Campus Solutions Self-Service menu
    • Sign In To FACTS link on this page
    • College’s web site FACTS link

    This change also presents FACTS users with the new CUNY Login page in which users access FACTS by entering their CUNY Login credentials:

    • CUNYfirst username followed by @login.cuny.edu and CUNYfirst password.

    FACTS link in the CUNYfirst Campus Solutions Self-Service menu

  2. What do I do if my FACTS information is incomplete after the August 4 FACTS upgrade?
    Some students may see incomplete FACTS information after the FACTS upgrade. It may take a while before all of this data migrates to the new FACTS system. If your FACTS data still seem incomplete, please notify the proper office on your campus.
  3. What is FACTS?
    The Financial Aid Eligibility and Certification Tracking System (FACTS) is a financial aid online tool designed to help students understand and monitor their eligibility for selected financial aid programs- New York State Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP) and scholarships. FACTS is a financial aid advisement system, not your official financial aid record. All official financial aid information is stored on the College’s Student Information Management System- CUNYfirst. For additional information about your official record, contact your College’s Financial Aid Office.Key Features
    FACTS’ goal is to aid and build students’ knowledge about financial aid requirements. To do this, FACTS was specifically designed to help CUNY students track their financial aid eligibility progress throughout their academic career. FACTS provides detailed explanations on how students’ academic program and progress meet the eligibility requirements to receive financial aid each semester.
    FACTS provide the following features and functionality:
    – Financial Aid Audit – displays eligibility indicator
    – Accessible on-line 24 hours/7 days a week
    – Transcript summary identify courses eligible for your degree and financial aid
    – Overall Financial Aid eligibility and certification information
    – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
    – Links to other Financial Aid Resources
  4. Where does the FACTS information come from?
    FACTS is built upon information drawn from a number of sources: Your College’s student information system provides specifics regarding your application and eligibility based on data such as NYS Residency, U.S. Citizenship status, Registration status, GPA and credits completed; information regarding courses applied toward your degree requirements is drawn from your College’s online Advisement tool. Information from all sources is updated on regular intervals. It is your responsibility to use sources in order to understand your Financial Aid requirements.
  5. What are the criteria to be eligible for TAP or APTS?
    1. Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
    2. Be a legal resident of New York State for 12 consecutive months
    3. Attend an eligible school or college located in New York State
    4. Meet the income eligibility criteria
    5. Register for courses that meet the degree requirements
    6. For TAP, enrolled as a full-time student (a combination of at least 3 academic credits and 12 credits or equated (billable) credits during the first semester, 6 and 12 credits respectively thereafter, in courses that meet the graduation requirements for your curriculum/major)
    7. For APTS, must complete the supplemental application and register as a part-time student enrolled in at least 6 academic credits and less than 12 credits or equated (billable) credits during the each semester.
  6. Where do I go if I have additional questions regarding my FACTS information?
    Contact your College’s Financial Aid office or Advisement office if you have any additional information regarding your FACTS record.
  7. How do I correct information appearing in FACTS?
    Information from the various sources is updated on regular intervals. Changes made to your academic/financial aid records generally appear in the FACTS system within 24-48 hours. If changes made are still not appearing in your record after 72 hours, contact your College financial aid office.
  8. Does scholarship information appear on FACTS?
    There are a limited number of HESC scholarships programmed in FACTS. For more information regarding additional scholarships, visit your College’s Financial Aid office or website.What types of Financial Aid programs appear on FACTS?
    Currently, FACTS includes the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), Aid to Part-Time Study (APTS), and select HESC Scholarships.
  9. How often is my FACTS record updated?
    Information from the various sources provides data used by the FACTS system which is updated during the semester. Changes made to your record generally appear in the FACTS system within 24-48 hours. For example, if you change your major, your FACTS audit should be updated approximately 48 hours afterwards. Degree requirement data is extracted from the College’s on-line advisement system.
  10. Where do I go to submit supporting documentation needed to fulfill requirements listed as outstanding on my FACTS?
    Some changes/updates may be made on line while other documentation is submitted <click here for specific college contact list>. Please visit your College’s website or advisor for more information.
  11. How often do I need to check my FACTS?
    It is important to check your FACTS record several times throughout the semester, but especially 72 hours after any changes are made to your record (such as documentation or grades submitted). For example, after registration review your online advisement system 24-48 hours afterwards to confirm that your courses apply toward your degree and check FACTS to determine your eligibility for the semester. It is your responsibility to understand the eligibility requirements for any awards that you are seeking and to monitor your record.
  12. When does my Financial Aid award appear on my College bill?
    FACTS reviews your eligibility for financial aid based on requirements, but your Initial monetary TAP award displays on your bill when an award amount is received by HESC, and after FACTS has confirmed eligibility. The College re-confirms all aspects of your eligibility once enrollment is corroborated later in the term.
  13. If FACTS says that I’m eligible for the award, does it mean payment will be applied to my bill?
    No. A FACTS audit will indicate eligibility for all CUNY students regardless of whether a financial aid application has been submitted. You must have applied and been approved by HESC to receive State Financial Aid awards.
  14. Can my eligibility change within any given semester?
    Yes, your eligibility can change during a semester. You must maintain the eligibility requirements for certification throughout the semester to receive any award. For example, if there are any changes made to your full-time status, major, HESC award amount, prior semester grades, etc. your original award status will change.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for TAP?

When you have completed the FAFSA-on-the-Web, the confirmation page will give you a link to the TAP-on-the-Web application for New York State financial aid. Before completing the TAP application, you will be asked to establish a PIN (Personal Identification Number) for TAP. This PIN will allow you to complete your application later, access your application information, or make changes, if necessary.

After establishing your PIN, you will be able to complete your TAP application. The TAP on-line form will be pre-filled with some of the information from the FAFSA you completed on-line. Review this data, supply any missing information, and submit the form. Follow the instructions provided.

How much TAP am I eligible for, and when will I receive it?

Your school will give you an estimate of your TAP award. The information you provide is verified and the TAP award subject to change if there are any discrepancies in income, cost of attendance, family members in school, etc. Use the TAP Estimator on www.hesc.ny.gov to determine an estimate of your award. The school must verify your eligibility and certify your award.

Once the school certifies you are eligible and meeting all of the school requirements, the TAP funds will be sent to the school.

I received TAP last year, do I have to apply again?

In addition to the FAFSA application you must also file a TAP applicatin every year.

How much TAP can I receive each semester?

The amount of TAP you receive depends on your family income, the number of family members attending college full-time, the number of semesters you have received TAP, and the size of the annual appropriation for the program. Maximum TAP awards can be equal to but not greater than the full tuition charge at the college. State budgetary restrictions can further limit TAP awards to a portion of your tuition. A PTAP award will be based on your part-time credit load and will be calculated as a proportional fraction of the normal full-time TAP award.

For how many semesters can I receive TAP?

For an associate degree you may receive TAP for up to 6 semesters. You will be limited to 6 semesters of TAP even if you change majors or transfer to another community college. When you enroll in a 4 year college program at a senior college, you will become eligible for an additional 2 full-time semesters of TAP bringing your undergraduate total to 8 semesters. If you are enrolled in a special program, such as SEEK, you may receive up to 10 semesters (or the equivalent) of TAP as an undergraduate.

Can I get TAP for repeating a course?

If you repeat a course that you previously passed, you may not count the repeated course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes. This means that in order to receive TAP in a semester where you may be repeating a course you passed previously that you have, in addition to the repeated course, at least 12 credits or equated credits of non-repeated courses. If you repeat a course that you previously failed, you may include that course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes.

Can I get TAP for remedial courses?

Remedial courses may be counted towards either full-time or part time enrollment for TAP purposes. However, to qualify for TAP, you must always be registered for a certain number of degree credit courses

Where could I go for more information about my TAP award?

The HESC Customer Communication Center can be reached by telephone toll-free at 1-888-NYS-HESC (1-888-697-4372) or 1-518-473-1574. The Customer Communication Center answers general inquiries. If you are calling about your TAP grant or student loan, please have your account number ready. You could also reach them on the web by going to www.hesc.ny.gov.