Appendix G: Certification Instructions for Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

 

Note:  This program has not been funded since 2011 when the Continuing Appropriations Act eliminated awards for scholarship support to students under this program.

The Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship Program provides federally funded grants to states to award scholarships to outstanding high-school graduates who show promise of continued excellence.

In New York State, the State Education Department is responsible for the selection of scholars; the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation is responsible for making payments to eligible recipients.

The 1992 Amendments to the Higher Education Act expanded the program from one to four years and subsequent federal regulations have set forth continuing eligibility criteria as well as disbursement requirements. This scholarship provides for an annual award of $1500 each academic year prorated by term. Awards will be prorated at $750.00 per semester or $500.00 per trimester. Awards for subsequent years will depend on funding provided in the federal budget.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Is a U.S. citizen, national or permanent resident.
  • Was a legal resident of New York State at the time of selection.
  • Is not in default on a Federal Student Loan or other obligations as provided under 34 CFR 75.60
  • Maintains satisfactory progress as determined by the institution of higher education the scholar is attending, in accordance with the criteria established in 34 CFR 668.14 (e) of the Student Assistance General Provisions regulations. (Federal regulation which governs Title IV programs.)
  • Files a Statement of Selective Service Registration Status
  • Enrolls full-time for the first year of study *


*There is provision for a waiver of the full-time enrollment requirement after the first year of study if justified by unusual circumstances. The New York State Commissioner of Education has established the following guidelines for granting the waiver: 

Waiver of full-time attendance

(must attend full-time for the first year or qualify for a leave of absence, one year duration)

  1. Illness;
  2. Such other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education upon application by award recipient.

 

Leave of Absence for up to 12 months

(postponement or interruption) due to:

  1. Illness;
  2. Financial circumstances
  3. Active service in the Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Service in the national welfare in a program such as the Peace Corps; or
  5. Such other reasons as may be approved by the Commissioner of Education upon application by the award recipient.


An extension of the 12-month suspension period will generally not be granted. Each request will be reviewed by the New York State Commissioner of Education on an individual basis.

Disbursement Requirements

Schools should ensure that the amount of financial aid (Federal Financial Assistance) does not exceed the total cost of attendance. If the financial aid exceeds the cost of attendance:

Loans must be reduced first

Since a Federal Pell Grant cannot be reduced on the basis of the receipt of Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships, the scholarship should be reduced prior to the Pell Grant if the amount of these programs exceeds the cost of attendance.

Certification of Eligibility

Students who were awarded a Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship and have indicated attendance at your institution for the current academic year are included on a Consolidated Scholarship Roster (CSR) for each term. Certification of students’ eligibility for this scholarship should be returned to New York State Higher Education Services Corporation no later than 30 days from the date of the CSR.

Student eligibility/ineligibility should be indicated by placing either “Y“ for yes-eligible or “N” for not-eligible in the Cert Code column. If you have determined that the student's total Federal Financial Aid exceeds the student's cost of attendance, you must reduce the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship award on the CSR. Reductions to the Scholarship award should be made on the CSR in the Award Amount field. Lastly, the CSR must be signed and dated by a designated school official and returned to New York State Higher Education Services Corporation within 30 days of the receipt of the CSR. (The TAP Certifying Officer must sign for schools located in New York State.)

Payment

Scholarship payments for the student(s) on the CSR will be sent to the school during the term. Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) or checks will be made payable to the college for the total value of the awards on the list. If it is determined that a student on the CSR is not eligible for an award, an amount equal to the award must be refunded within 30 days of the receipt of payment. Please return any refund checks to:

HESC
TAP Cashiers Unit
15th Floor
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255

Contact Information Update

Please complete and return the following contact information with your completed CSR to insure efficient processing of the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship payment.

College Name: ______________________________________
Contact: ___________________________________________
Contact Title: ________________________________________
Direct Phone No:_____________________________________
E-mail Address: ______________________________________

Please submit certified Consolidate Scholarship Roster to:

Certification Unit
Higher Education Services Corporation
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255

If you have any questions regarding certification, please call 1-888-697-4372.