Covid-Related Updates for Students, Parents, and Lenders
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is working to protect New York’s students and borrowers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. HESC has determined that impacted students receiving financial aid will not suffer negative consequences regarding their current or future awards.
HESC is providing answers to frequently asked questions for students, parents, and lenders/servicers. As we adapt our policies and operations to meet the challenges of COVID-19, we will continue to provide you with updated information.
FAQ updated as of April 20, 2023.
- Additional Resources
The frequently asked questions and answers below, updated regularly, provide students and parents with information on student financial aid during the public health emergency for COVID-19.
- Who are the students considered impacted by COVID-19?
- If you would have met all eligibility requirements for your NYS financial aid award but you were unable to complete courses for the term or earn fewer credits than required because one of the reasons below, you may be considered impacted:
- You became sick with the virus or were the primary caretaker of someone who was,
- Your campus closed and you did not have the means to continue your coursework in your home through the use of distance learning,
- You were unable to complete your credit-bearing experiential learning internship and no alternative coursework could be offered by your college, or
- You could not earn term credits because you were enrolled in a course that was cancelled because it could not transition to online instruction.
- I was a full-time student, but needed to drop classes because of COVID-19, will I still get my award payment?
- If you were deemed by your college to be impacted by COVID-19 and were eligible for a NYS grant or scholarship for the term and charged tuition, but had to drop a class, you will still receive your payment.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
- I submitted my TAP application, but after printing it I noticed I put the wrong Social Security Number for my mother/father/guardian. Can I fix this?
- If I drop a class because online learning is not viable, will I still receive my TAP?
- Yes. If your classes were converted to an online format in response to COVID-19 and you were unable to complete a class due to this alternative method of learning, you will still receive your TAP payment, even if this caused you to drop below full time.
- Do I need documentation to verify that I could not finish my classes due to COVID-19?
- Please contact your school regarding the documentation that may be needed and to receive further instructions.
NYS Part-time Scholarship Award (PTS)
- I am a recipient of a Part-time Scholarship and was impacted by COVID-19 and had to drop a class. Will I receive my award for the term?
- If you were initially eligible for the Part-time Scholarship, dropped a class and your college has deemed you impacted by COVID-19, you will receive your award for this term.
Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program (GOYF)
- Is HESC continuing to make Get on Your Feet (GOYF) payments during the COVID-19 emergency?
- As HESC responds to the impact of COVID-19, our ability to support some student loan borrowers is limited. As a result, all GOYF payments are temporarily suspended. We understand that borrowers are concerned about the impact of this on their loans. This suspension will not impact the total number of payments made on your behalf. HESC will still make a total of 24 payments toward your loans. HESC will notify you once payments, on your behalf, to your servicer, resume.
To assist federal student loan borrowers at this time, you may be eligible for student loan relief announced by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The DOE directive requires that all Direct Loan servicers charge 0 percent interest on student loans and requires servicers to grant administrative forbearance, for a period of 60 days, beginning on March 13, 2020. The administrative forbearance allows borrowers to temporarily stop making federal loan payments, without becoming delinquent. To request an administrative forbearance, you will need to contact your loan servicer directly. Once your servicers approves your request, you will not have any payments due for as long as the administrative forbearance is in effect. Click here for more information on this emergency relief for federal loan borrowers.
Other Loan Forgiveness Programs
- Are the dates to submit documentation for recent program applications be extended?
- Documentation is required no later than 15 days after the program application closes.
- Will I receive my loan forgiveness payment from HESC?
- As HESC responds to the impact of COVID-19 and works to resume normal operations, the processing of loan forgiveness payments will be delayed.
For the Regents Physicians Loan Forgiveness Program:
We are still waiting on guidance from Division of Budget regarding the Regents Physicians Loan Forgiveness Program. I am attaching a link to the State Education Department’s website, which will be updated when there is further guidance. Please continue to check their website for updates. http://www.nysed.gov/postsecondary-services/regents-physician-loan-forgiveness-program-lf
- I am a recipient of a Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and impacted by COVID-19. Will I receive my award for the term?
- If you are a Scholarship for Academic Excellence award recipient and your college deemed you to be impacted by COVID-19, you will receive your award for this term.
- I receive a Memorial Scholarship and my college is reducing my room and board charge. Will my scholarship change?
- If you are attending a SUNY or CUNY college, and were deemed by your college to be impacted by COVID-19, your award may need to be adjusted to meet the new cost of attendance. Your college will make that determination and adjust as necessary.
- Are Veterans Tuition Awards still paid if the student was impacted by COVID-19?
- If you receive a Veterans Tuition Award, and your college deemed you to be impacted by COVID-19, you will receive their award for this term.
- I need to submit my DD214 to complete my Veterans Tuition Award. Should I submit to HESC?
- Documentation may be submitted to HESC. However, as HESC responds to the impact of COVID-19, processing may be delayed while we work to resume normal operations.
High School Students
- I was planning to visit college campuses this spring before making my selection for the fall, but now can’t due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Can I visit a college without physically going there?
- Many colleges have virtual tours which you can find on their websites or through this virtual tour spreadsheet shared by our SUNY partners.
The frequently asked questions and answers below, updated regularly, provide lenders and service partners with information during the public health emergency for COVID-19.
- How can Default Aversion Assistance Requests (DAAR) and Claims be filed with HESC?
- Will HESC accept electronic images of collateral and any other required supporting documents?
- Will HESC offer any considerations regarding DAAR/Claim/Supplemental filing/refiling deadlines?
- To the extent possible, and upon pending approvals from the U.S. Department of Education, HESC will seek to consider the impact of the coronavirus public health emergency regarding DAAR/Claim/Supplemental filing/refiling deadlines. Updated guidance will be provided as it becomes available.
- Should lenders/servicers cease collection activity on HESC-guaranteed loans that are in repayment?
- Lenders/servicers should refer to ED’s Dear Colleague Letter GEN-17-08 to determine what actions are available to assist borrowers during this public health emergency.
A wide range of New York State and Federal Resources are available for students, borrowers and lenders/servicers impacted by coronavirus. We encourage you to visit these websites.
New York State Resources
- Updates from Governor Kathy Hochul
- What You Need to Know from the New York State Department of Health
- Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19 Vaccines
- CDC COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
- Guidance for Managing Stress and Anxiety During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- NYS Department of Financal Services Step Up For Students
- usa.gov/coronavirus — Learn how the federal government is responding to the outbreak.
- Federal student loan servicers — Servicer contact information for borrowers who want to ask questions, request a deferment or forbearance, etc.
- U.S. Department of Education COVID-19 information for schools and school personnel
- Information for Financial Aid Professionals website