Veterans Tuition Awards

Tuition Award for Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, or other eligible combat veterans pursuing an undergraduate, graduate degree or vocational training program.

  • Award covers cost of tuition, not to exceed the cost of tuition at a state-operated SUNY. 

  • Available to students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree or in an approved vocational training program in New York State

  • Available for full-time and part-time study

  • Be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term


Students in undergraduate and graduate programs: 

Be sure to complete your FAFSA and apply for TAP first.

Complete the FAFSAApply for TAP

Once filed, complete the following application:

Veterans Tuition Award Application

Students attending a vocational school:

Complete the NYS Payment application only



Covers the cost of tuition, not to exceed the cost of tuition at a state-operated SUNY, or actual tuition whichever is less.

  • Combined tuition benefits cannot exceed the actual tuition. 

  • Veterans receiving a Chapter 33 Program benefit or Yellow Ribbon component will not be eligible for a VTA award if tuition is covered by those programs. 

  • Veterans receiving benefits under the Montgomery GI bill are eligible to receive VTA. 

  • The total of all aid received cannot be exceed the student's cost of attendance.

  • For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour. 



For degree granting programs:

   Must complete the FAFSA and TAP application or Dream Act application each year for payment.


For vocational students:

   Must complete a NYS payment application or Dream Act application each year for payment.


Dependent on Length of Program

Undergraduate Study 

  • 2 years for students pursuing their associate degree full-time. / 4 years part-time. 

  • 4 years for students pursuing their bachelor’s degree full-time / 8 years part-time.

  • 5 years for approved five-year degree programs / 10 years part-time.

Graduate Degree

  • 3 years of graduate study for full-time students / 6 years for part-time students. 

For Vocational Training Programs

  • Up to 2 years of study in an approved vocational training program for full-time students / 4 years for part-time students.




Any award payments received may have tax implications. Any questions regarding this should be directed to a tax professional, the Internal Revenue Service, or the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

Undocumented and other immigrant students: before submitting your application material, apply for eligibility under the NYS DREAM Act.

To receive the Scholarship, you must meet the following residency requirements: 

  • You are a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • You are a legal resident of New York State and have resided in New York State for 12 continuous months.

Not a citizen or eligible noncitizen? Learn more about the NYS DREAM Act application.

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

Approved Vocational Training Programs

Below is the current list of participating vocational schools:

  • Albany-Scoharie-Schenectady-Saratoga BOCES
  • Alliance Computing Solutions
  • Apex Technical School
  • Cambridge Business Institute
  • Charles Stuart School
  • Compu21 
  • CUNY Hostos Community College
  • Digital Film Academy
  • Emerging Technologies Institute
  • International Culinary Center
  • Laguardia Community College
  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Madison Oneida BOCES
  • New York Automotive & Diesel Institute
  • Onondaga Cortland Madison BOCES
  • Orange County Community College
  • Oswego County BOCES
  • Southern Westchester BOCES
  • Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES
  • Western Suffolk BOCES

Please have your school’s financial aid office contact HESC at [email protected] if they are not listed above. 

To be eligible recipients cannot be discharged under dishonorable conditions from the U.S. Armed Forces and:

  • a Vietnam Veteran who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975; or
  • a Persian Gulf Veteran who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990; or
  • an Afghanistan Veteran who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001, or
  • a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces 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.

Confirm your school is in the list of participating schools contained in the Approved Program section.

High School, GED, or Ability to Benefit

  • Graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED), or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test. 


College & Program 

Once in college, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in NYS or in an approved vocational training program full- or part-time.
    • Full-time study: 12 or more credits per semester (or the equivalent) in an approved program at a degree-granting institution, or 24 or more hours per week in a vocational training program.

    • Part-time study: At least three but fewer than 12 credits per semester (or the equivalent) in an approved program at a degree-granting institution, or six to 23 hours per week in a vocational training program.

  • Be in good academic standing.

  • Charged at least $200 tuition per year.

There are no income limits for this Scholarship.

Financial Status

To receive the Scholarship, you must:

  • Be in good standing (a non-default status) on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award, AND
  • Be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by any NYS award that you have previously received.

Have Questions? 

Schedule a Call
HESC is here to answer your questions or help you with a specific issue. 

Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Request an Appointment