HESC’s New Initiatives Webinar Questions

HESC’s New Initiatives Webinar Questions

General questions:

Are all requirements for these new programs now posted on the HESC website?
You will find the requirements on hesc.ny.gov - NY-AIMS - Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness program. Requirements for the new Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship will be made available later this year.
Will NYSHESC be offering another webinar in coming weeks?
No additional webinars have been scheduled at this time.

 

NY-AIMS questions:

Does the student self-report their unmet need?
A student does not self-report his/her unmet need.  A student must submit a copy of the financial aid award letter from the college he/she will be attending in the fall.  HESC will use the information provided in the award letter to determine the unmet need (i.e., the cost of attendance, less federal aid awarded [excluding Parent PLUS loans], less state aid awarded, less institutional aid awarded, less the federal expected family contribution). Students will then be ranked, in descending order, on the basis of the calculated unmet need.
Will the NY-AIMS award be replacing the academic excellence award since both are for the same amount and carry similar criteria?
No, NY-AIMS awards do not replace the Scholarships for Academic Excellence award.
Who will determine the applicant's unmet need for NY-AIMS?
HESC will use the information provided on the financial aid award letter to calculate an applicant’s unmet need.
For AIMS, will students be awarded at the Community College level? If so, will they lose eligibility when they transfer to a 4 year school?
Students attending community college are eligible to receive the NY-AIMS award. Students who have received an associate’s degree and enroll immediately in a 4 or 5 year program will continue to receive the award.
Clarify the use of unmet need if a student can get funding if fully funded?
Unmet need is used to select those otherwise-eligible students who will be granted a NY-AIMS award. Unmet need is calculated and ranked in descending order. Students with the greatest calculated unmet need will be granted an award first and subsequent recipients will be selected in descending order of unmet need. Upon being selected, a recipient will be granted a $500 award, which may be used to offset his/her cost of attendance or be refunded back to the student if his or her education costs have been fully met.
Will you be calling each school to verify contents of the award letter?
HESC will not call colleges to verify contents of the financial aid award letter. NY-AIMS applicants must provide the financial aid award letter as part of the program’s required documentation.
In terms of private institutions, do they qualify for NY-AIMS if the total enrollment is 2,000 students?
Qualification for NY-AIMS is not dependent on the number of students enrolled in a college. NY-AIMS awards will be granted proportionate to the total number of eligible applicants accepted for undergraduate study at public and private institutions.  For example, if 55 percent of eligible applicants indicate planned enrollment at a public college, then 55 percent of the 5,000 awards (or 2,750) will be granted to students who will be attending a public college and 45 percent (or 2,250) will be awarded to students who will be attending a private college.
Will the NY-AIMS awards be posted on the Student Status Listings (SSL)?
Yes. The NY-AIMS awards will appear on all versions of the Student Status Listings.
How will students submit their college award letter to HESC?
Students will have the option to upload, fax or mail the award letter to HESC.
Can the student receive NY-AIMS and STEM at the same time?
Yes a student can receive both the NY-AIMS and STEM scholarships at the same time. 
Will the NY-AIMS Roster's and Remittance be paper, electronic?
Certification for the NY-AIMS award will be electronic.
Please re-explain the purpose of unmet need - when it doesn't matter?
HESC will use the information provided in the financial aid award letter to determine an applicant’s unmet need (i.e., the cost of attendance, less federal aid awarded [excluding Parent PLUS loans], less state aid awarded, less institutional aid awarded, less the federal expected family contribution). Applicants meeting all other eligibility requirements will then be ranked, in descending order, on the basis of the calculated unmet need. For the 2015-16 academic year, 5,000 eligible applicants with the greatest calculated unmet need will receive awards.
Is the school required to monitor and notify HESC if a recipient's unmet need changes e.g. after verification or if the student receives another scholarship etc.?
While it is recognized that changes may occur after an award determination has been made, HESC will calculate an applicant’s unmet need once based on information provided at the time of application. Therefore, changes to a student’s financial aid amounts occurring after this time will not be used to recalculate his/her unmet need.
If NY-AIMS is merit-based, why is a student’s unmet need required?
Because the number of awards to be made each year is subject to available funding, the program requires that students demonstrating the greatest unmet need receive awards first.
Does the student need to apply for TAP in order to be considered for AIMS?
Students are not required to apply for TAP to be considered for NY-AIMS.
You mentioned that Parent PLUS loans are not considered.  Please clarify whether Direct loans are considered as net costs on the award letter often do not include the DL?
Direct loans, if awarded, will be included in the calculation of unmet need.
What happens if a student is selected for AIMS but changes schools in August after being awarded?
A student who fails to attend or first attends a school other than the school used to calculate his/her unmet need will lose his/her NY-AIMS award.
What is the program code on the Student Status listing for NY-AIMS?
The program code for NY-AIMS is 57.
If a student takes a semester off, can they regain AIMS eligibility when they return?
A student who takes off a semester and returns to the same school will continue to receive the award upon his/her return.
I'm still confused about eligibility and use of the award letter to calculate eligibility since you indicated student will get NY-AIMS even if fully funded.
For applicants who have both achieved academic excellence, as defined in law, and met other program eligibility requirements, HESC will use the information provided in the financial aid award letter to determine the applicant’s unmet need (i.e., the cost of attendance, less federal aid awarded [excluding Parent PLUS loans], less state aid awarded, less institutional aid awarded, less the federal expected family contribution). Applicants will then be ranked, in descending order, on the basis of the calculated unmet need. For the 2015-16 academic year, the 5,000 eligible applicants with the greatest calculated unmet need will receive awards. Those receiving awards may use it to offset their educational costs or may have those funds returned if their educational costs have otherwise been met.
Federal aid awarded that helps determine unmet need - does that include Fed Direct Loans, Perkins loans and federal work study?
Federal aid awarded includes federal Direct Loans, Perkins Loans and federal Work Study.
If a student who is a recipient and is attending a public institution and transfers to another public institution, would they be able to retain eligibility since they are staying within the same sector that they were in when the awards were initially determined?
A student who changes schools from the one used to calculate his/her unmet need prior to completing his/her undergraduate degree will lose his/her NY-AIMS award, regradless of the sector of the new school. However, a student who has received an associate’s degree and enrolls immediately in a 4 or 5 year program will continue to receive his/her award.
Are student loans used to calculate unmet need and if so, will this include alternative loans?
Federal student loans, if awarded, are used to calculate unmet need (excluding Parent PLUS Loans). Alternative loans are not included in the calculation of unmet need.
Unmet need can be different, can be much higher at a private than at a community college.  How will HESC handle this?
In each year, new awards will be made proportionate to the eligible applicants accepted for undergraduate study at public and private institutions.
If you are going to rank students based on the highest need, are you going to wait until all applications are received so you can rank students?  Won't that cause schools to get late notification?
Eligible applicants will be ranked at the close of the application period, which is June 30, 2015.  Students who will be receiving the award will be notified in early August, and schools will be notified during the month of August.
To be eligible for NY-AIMS, what is the maximum tax income?
NY-AIMS is not a need-based program and, therefore, has no income requirements.
What will happen if award letter has no unmet need because we award parent loans?
Parent PLUS Loans will not be included in HESC’s calculation of unmet need for purposes of NY-AIMS.
To be eligible for NY-AIMS, if is not income based, what is it based on?
To be eligible for NY-AIMS, an applicant must:
  • have resided in New York State (NYS) for 12 continuous months;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • graduate from a NYS high school in the class of 2015;
  • enroll full time as a first time student in an eligible NYS college for the fall 2015 term; and
  • have achieved at least two of the following during high school:
    • have graduated with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 or above;
    • have graduated “with honors” on a New York State Regents diploma or received a score of 3 or higher on two or more Advanced Placement (or AP) examinations;
    • have graduated within the top 15% of his or her high school class.

Once it has been determined that an applicant meets the eligibility criteria listed above, HESC will calculate the applicant’s unmet need. The ranking of the unmet need will determine which otherwise eligible students will receive awards.

 

GOYF Loan Forgiveness Program

Can you please re-explain the GOYF impact from undergraduate degree to masters or professional degree?
A GOYF applicant, to be eligible, must not have earned higher than bachelor’s degree at the time of application. However, a GOYF recipient for whom payments have been made, and who subsequently re-enrolls in school to pursue a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree will be eligible to reapply to receive the remainder of his/her 24 payments made upon completion of such degree.  
Will there be a GOYF Loan for students that graduated before 2014-15?
The program, as currently structured, is only for students who have graduated in 2014-15 or thereafter.
Are payments made monthly?
Yes. Payments will be made monthly.
For those students who finished their undergrad this past month and are planning to attend grad school this fall, will you be tracking application receipt dates in the event that you cannot process all the applications prior to the start of the fall semester?
A student who pursues his/her graduate studies immediately upon completion of his/her undergraduate study without first entering into repayment is ineligible for an award under the GOYF Loan Forgiveness Program.
What is the maximum loan amount that can be forgiven?
There is no maximum loan amount under this program. The program will make the scheduled monthly payment under the eligible borrower’s income-driven repayment plan for up to 24 months.
Do those two years of Get on Your Feet payments qualify toward the required payments needed for public service loan forgiveness?
Yes. GOYF payments qualify toward the required payments needed for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

 

Master-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship

With the Masters-in-Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship, what are the consequences to the student if they are unable to secure a teaching a job?
Failure to teach in a public school, as required by law, will result in the conversion of the full amount of the award to a student loan; however, award recipients who are unable to secure a teaching job may be eligible to postpone conversion or temporarily suspend repayment upon showing extreme hardship.
Have you defined what a top student is?
The final definition of a top student has not yet been determined.
What criteria will be used to determine the top 500 graduate students?
The final criteria for selection of the 500 students has not yet been determined.
Please confirm that the NYS Masters in Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship is NOT available to students attending a private college in NYS.
That is correct. A recipient must be enrolled in a graduate program at a SUNY or CUNY college or university to be eligible for the Masters in Education Teacher Incentive Scholarship.

 

New Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Students with Disabilities

What about the TAP chart for students with disabilities?
The new SAP chart for students with disabilities as defined under the ADA will be on the HESC website shortly.
Student has to self -report their disability. How?
There has been no change to the process for reporting a disability. A student with a disability as defined under the ADA must work with his or her school. The school must certify the student as disabled via the HESC website.  The student does not report his or her disability to HESC.
A student’s disability is not shared college wide. Privacy is an issue. Financial Aid would not have access to those records.
Each school should already have a procedure in place for identifying and certifying students who meet the ADA requirements.
We need more guidance on the "reporting the disability" to the college.  Can the student just tell FA "I have a disability?" or does it have to be on official record with the college?
There has been no change to the process for reporting a disability. A student with a disability as defined under the ADA must work with their school. The school must certify the student as disabled via the HESC website.