The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,165. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.

TAP is also available for students attending a SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit independent degree-granting college on a part-time basis. To be eligible for Part-time TAP you must have been a first-time freshman in the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter, have earned 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive semesters, and maintain a “C” average. 

  • NYS TAP
  • NYS DREAM Act TAP Applicants

Eligibility:

An applicant must:

  • be a legal resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen;
  • have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State;
  • be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing with at least a "C" average as of the 4th semester payment
  • be enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits applicable toward the degree program, per semester;
  • be charged at least $200 tuition per year;
  • meet income eligibility limitations;
  • not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default on any repayment of State awards;
  • be in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.

* Credit-bearing courses in the student's minimum full-time course load (12 semester hours or the equivalent) must consist of courses applicable to the student's program of study as a general education requirement, major requirement, or elective.

Click here if you do not meet the above eligibility requirements.

 TAP Income Limits

Student TypeNYS Taxable Income Limit
Dependent undergraduate students or Independent students who are married and have tax dependents, or Independent students who are unmarried and have tax dependents, or beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, students who qualify as an orphan, foster child or ward of the court $80,000
Independent undergraduate students who are married and have no other tax dependents $40,000
Single independent undergraduate students with no tax dependents $10,000

Apply through the FAFSA

The easiest way to apply for TAP is through the FAFSA. Make sure you have completed your FAFSA!

New York State (NYS) residents attending NYS schools can link directly to the TAP application from the FAFSA submission confirmation page.

2019 20 FAFSA Confirmation Page with State Aid Link

Didn't Apply for TAP through the FAFSA? You Can Still Apply

If you exited the FAFSA before completing the TAP application – and you filled in your New York State address and a New York State college on the FAFSA – HESC will automatically receive your information in about three days.  HESC will then send you an email or postcard with directions to complete the TAP application online.

Received this notice from HESC? Apply now.

The Application Process Begins with Creation of Your HescPIN

At the beginning of the online TAP application, you will be prompted to create a HESC-specific user name and personal identification number called a HescPIN. You will use your HescPIN when "signing" your TAP application and when accessing your HESC account information in the future.

Need Help or More Information?

Contact HESC.

 

Eligibility

You may be eligible if:

  1. Your permanent home is in NYS and you are or have ONE of the following:
    1. U-Visa
    2. T-Visa
    3. Temporary protected status, pursuant to the Federal Immigration Act of 1990
    4. Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
    5. AND you meet ONE of the following criteria:
      1. You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and are applying for an award for undergraduate study at a NYS college within five years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      2. You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and are applying for an award for graduate study at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      3. You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and are applying for an award for undergraduate study at a NYS college within five years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      4. You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and are applying for an award for graduate study at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      5. You did not attend or graduate from a NYS high school, did not receive a NYS high school equivalency diploma, but are charged the NYS resident in-State tuition rate at a SUNY or CUNY college for any reason
  2. Your permanent home is outside of NYS and you are or have ONE of the following:
    1. U.S. citizen
    2. Permanent lawful resident
    3. Of a class of refugees paroled by the attorney general under his or her parole authority pertaining to the admission of aliens to the U.S.
    4. U-Visa
    5. T-Visa
    6. Temporary protected status, pursuant to the Federal Immigration Act of 1990
    7. Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
    8. AND you meet ONE of the following criteria:
      1. You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and are applying for an award for undergraduate study at a NYS college within five years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      2. You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years, graduated from a NYS high school, and are applying for an award for graduate study at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school diploma OR
      3. You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and are applying for an award for undergraduate study at a NYS college within five years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      4. You received a NYS high school equivalency diploma, and are applying for an award for graduate study at a NYS college within ten years of receiving your NYS high school equivalency diploma OR
      5. You did not attend or graduate from a NYS high school, did not receive a NYS high school equivalency diploma, but are charged the NYS resident in-State tuition rate at a SUNY or CUNY college for any reason
  3. You study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State;
  4. You are matriculated in an approved program of study and are in good academic standing with at least a "C" average as of the 4th semester payment
  5. You are enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits* applicable each term toward your degree program;
  6. You are charged at least $200 tuition per year;
  7. You meet the income eligibility limits;
  8. You are not in default on any state or federal student loans or in default on any repayment of State awards;
  9. You are in compliance with the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award.
  10. * Credit-bearing courses in the student's minimum full-time course load (12 semester hours or the education requirement, major requirement, or elective).

 TAP Income Limits

Student TypeNYS Taxable Income Limit
Dependent undergraduate students or independent students who are married and have tax dependents, or independent students who are unmarried and have tax dependents, or students who qualified as an orphan, foster youth or ward of the court at any time since the age of 13 $80,000
Independent undergraduate students who are married and have no other tax dependents $40,000
Single independent undergraduate students with no tax dependents $10,000

How To Apply

Students newly applying for NYS financial aid under the provisions of the DREAM Act must first apply for eligibility under the NYS DREAM Act before applying for TAP. If you have previously qualified under the NYS DREAM Act, you will simply need to add a new application to apply for TAP. 

Monitoring the Status of Your Application

Once you have submitted an application, it is your responsibility to monitor the status of your application and to make sure your application is complete. You will be able to monitor the status of your application online after submitting your application and uploading any required documentation.

Award Notification and Acceptance

You will be notified by email when a determination has been made regarding your eligibility for each award for which you have applied. If you are determined to be eligible for an award, your next step will be to accept the award!

For certain awards, you must sign a contract agreeing to live and/or work in New York State for a required number of years after graduation as a condition of receiving the award. If you decide not to accept an award with a post-graduation requirement, please indicate this on the contract.

Frequently Asked Questions

View commonly asked questions pertaining to the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

Term Definitions

  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS): allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. if during the time they were in the U.S. something catastrophic happened in their country of origin preventing their safe return – for example war, famine, natural disaster, or epidemic. TPS allows people to work legally and be protected from deportation.
  • T-Visa: allows the granting of lawful status to noncitizen victims of human trafficking, as well as their immediate family members, who assist in the prosecution of the trafficking. It allows people to remain and work temporarily in the U.S.
  • U-Visa: allows for the granting of lawful status to noncitizen crime victims who suffered significant physical or mental abuse (and their immediate family members) who assist in the prosecution of the crime. It allows people to remain and work temporarily in the U.S.
  • Without Lawful Immigration Status: living in the U.S. unlawfully either because lawful status never existed (including those with DACA status) or has ended.