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.

NOTE: Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. Those students who are attending an approved undergraduate or graduate program may apply for payment for the current academic year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then linking to the TAP on the Web application.

Students attending a vocational school do not have to file the FAFSA or TAP on the Web application.

See How to Apply for Payment  below for additional details. 


What Are The Award Amounts?
  • 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. Full-time study is defined as twelve or more credits per semester (or the equivalent) in an approved program at a degree-granting institution, or twenty-four or more hours per week in a vocational training program.
  • 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 (or the equivalent) in an approved program at a degree-granting institution, or six to twenty-three hours per week in a vocational training program.
How Much Are The 2014-15 Awards?

For the 2014-15 academic year, awards will be set at $6,195 or tuition, whichever is less. If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. Thus, the TAP award may be reduced accordingly. NOTE: Tuition payments received by a veteran under the Chapter 33 Program and Yellow Ribbon component will be considered duplicative of any VTA award students may have received. However, payments received under the Montgomery GI bill do not duplicate the VTA award.

Combined tuition benefits available to a student cannot exceed the actual tuition. Students attending high tuition schools may be eligible to receive both the Federal and State benefits. Additionally, students whose “Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable” under the Chapter 33 Program is less than 100% of tuition may also receive both Federal and State benefits.

What Are Duplicative Benefits?
The combined tuition benefits available to a student cannot exceed the student’s total tuition costs. Tuition payments received by a student under the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33 veteran benefits) and Yellow Ribbon program are considered duplicative of any VTA and/or TAP award. Students receiving tuition assistance through these programs may, and in most cases will have their State VTA and/or TAP payment reduced or denied due to these other benefits. However, payments received under the Montgomery GI bill do not duplicate the purpose of the VTA and/or TAP.


Note: Students attending high tuition schools may be eligible to receive both the Federal and State benefits. Additionally, students whose “Percentage of Maximum Benefit Payable” under the Post - 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33 veteran benefits) Program is less than 100% and students continuing to receive benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill may also receive both Federal and State benefits.

What Is The Duration?

Full-time Study

  • Approved Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to eight semesters (four years) of undergraduate study. Awards can be made available for up to ten semesters of undergraduate study for enrollment in an approved five-year program or for enrollment in an approved program of remedial study.
  • Approved Graduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to six semesters (three years) of graduate study.
  • Approved Vocational Training Programs - Awards are available for up to a maximum of four semesters (two years) of study in an approved vocational training program.

Part-time Study

  • Approved Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of eight semesters (four years) of full-time undergraduate study in a four-year program. Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate program which normally requires five academic years of full-time study.
  • Approved Graduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of full-time graduate study.
  • Approved Vocational Training Programs - Awards are available for up to a maximum of eight semesters (four years) of part-time study in an approved vocational training program.

Approved programs are defined as undergraduate degree, graduate degree, diploma, and certificate programs at degree-granting institutions, or noncredit vocational training programs of at least 320 clock hours specifically approved by the New York State Education Department Office of College and University Evaluation. Contact your Financial Aid Office to determine if your program is approved for this award.

Am I Eligible?

Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 1, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

These students must also:

  • Establish eligibility by applying to HESC.
  • Be New York State residents.
  • Be US Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
  • Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
  • Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for all undergraduate or graduate study.
  • 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
  • Meet good academic standing requirements
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year
  • Not be in default on a federal or State made student loan or on any repayment of state awards
How Do I Establish Eligibility?

Complete the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplement or contact HESC. Be sure to print the Web Supplement Confirmation, sign and return it along with the required documentation according to the instructions.

Questions regarding eligible service or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

How Do I Apply?

Once you have established your eligibility, you must apply for payment. While you need only establish your eligibility once, you must apply for payment each year.

Apply for payment as follows:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Full-time & Part-time Study - Apply for payment by doing one of the following:
    1. Apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — the form used by most colleges, universities and vocational schools for awarding federal student aid and most state and college aid — and then linking to the TAP on the Web application, or
    2. For veterans who do not anticipate filing a FAFSA, complete a Scholarship Grant Payment Application. For a copy of the application call HESC at 1-888-697-4372.
  • Vocational Training Program - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.

All applications must be completed by June 30 of the academic year for which an award is sought. 

To learn more about programs and benefits for veterans visit the Division of Veterans Affairs.