- What does it mean to be a “NYS resident” for purposes of receiving this award?
- To be a NYS resident for purposes of receiving this award, applicants who consider NYS their permanent home and who are either a U.S. citizen, qualified paroled refugee, or permanent resident alien must have resided in New York State for 12 continuous months prior to the term for which the award is being sought.
Applicants who qualify for the award under the NYS DREAM Act must meet one of the eligible citizenship/immigration classifications as well as the high school or tuition charge requirements.
- Why am I being questioned for residency?
- Student applying as NYS residents must meet specific requirements to establish NYS residency. NYS residency is required to receive a TAP award and HESC may ask students for information to demonstrate residency if there is any inconsistent information provided on your FAFSA or TAP application.
To meet NYS residency requirements for student aid, applicant must:
- currently be a resident of NYS, and
- have been a resident of NYS for at least 12 months immediately preceding the first term for which the award is being sought, or
- have been a resident for the last two semesters of high school, or
- have been a resident of NYS at the time of entry into the armed forces, Peace Corps, or AmeriCorps Vista and re-establish NYS residency within six months of release from active duty.
- Do I need to complete the FAFSA to apply for TAP?
- If you are eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), you must complete both the FAFSA and the NYS TAP application.
If you are not eligible to receive federal student aid (also known as Title IV aid), you must simply complete the NYS TAP application under the provisions of the NYS DREAM Act.
- How do I apply for TAP if I missed the direct link from the FAFSA form?
- If you are a NYS resident and did not complete the NYS TAP application after filing your FAFSA, you will receive an email from HESC – usually within three to four days of completing the FAFSA – with instructions on how to complete the TAP on the Web application, provided you selected at least one NYS college on the FAFSA.
- I received TAP last year. Do I have to apply again?
- Yes. TAP recipients who wish to receive continuing payments must apply each year to verify that they continue to meet the program’s eligibility requirements. If eligible to receive federal student aid, TAP recipients must also annually complete the FAFSA.
- How much TAP am I eligible for?
- Your TAP award is determined by HESC after information submitted on the application, such as income, is verified.
To get an idea of your potential TAP award, use the TAP Award Estimator.
After your TAP application is processed, HESC will notify you by email to log into your HESC account to view the status of your TAP award.
- My school estimated my TAP award on my award letter and my account shows I will be getting less. Why did it change?
- The TAP award estimate in your award letter was based on information you provided at the time of application. HESC determines your actual TAP award based on verified information, including your income as verified by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. As a result, the actual award may differ from your college’s estimate. The college is notified of your actual award.
- What are the income limits for TAP?
- Is pension income included in the calculation of a TAP award and should it be reported on the TAP Application?
- Yes, pension income is included in the calculation of a TAP award, and therefore, should be reported on the TAP Application. Pensions of New York State, local and federal governments as well as any private pension and annuities are to be included in the calculation of income used for determining TAP award eligibility and must be reported on the TAP Application.
- Is pension income that is exempt from New York State or federal taxation included in the calculation of a TAP award and should it be reported on the TAP Application?
- Yes, pension income that is exempt from New York State or federal taxation is included in the calculation of a TAP award and must be reported on the TAP Application.
- How is a TAP award calculated if an applicant has pension income only and was not required to file a New York State tax return?
- HESC calculates the TAP award using the pension income included on the federal tax return as reported on the FAFSA using the standard deduction and claimed exemptions.
- I have received an electronic award notification telling me that my application was processed. What information should I review?
- You should check to be sure that all of the following information on the electronic award notification is correct:
It is important to review and correct any errors so your TAP award payment will not be delayed once you start school. Corrections are made online in your HESC account through Student Access.
- Name, address and social security number
- Social security numbers reported for your spouse and your parents, if applicable
- College code
- Only one college code is listed
- Change it if it is not for the college you will attend
- Your marital status, and your parent’s marital status, if applicable
- Income tax filing status for you and your parents, if applicable
- Choices include: will not file, will file NY return, will file federal only
- Other family members attending college
- How long does it take to process my TAP application once I submit all required documentation?
- The processing of a TAP application may take three to five weeks.
During certain times of the academic year processing times for "Requests for Information" and "Change Forms" may vary depending on additional review needed for income verification or residency review. Your award should be considered an estimate until your college has certified your eligibility for TAP.
- I don't live with my parents and they don't help me pay for school; why do I need to include their information?
- Under the law, students are considered dependent upon their parents for TAP purposes unless they demonstrate that they are independent students. The following chart contains the requirements for independent status:
- What are the basic conditions an applicant must meet to be considered independent?
- The basic conditions are:
- has not resided and will not reside with parents for more than six weeks; and
- has not and will not receive financial assistance or support valued in excess of $750 from parents; and
- has not and will not be claimed as a dependent by either parent for purposes of either federal or state income tax.
- What are the special conditions to qualify as an independent student, and what proof do I need to send?
- Condition: You are a ward of the court (not including status as an inmate).
Documentation: Copy of a court order making you a ward of the court or appointing a guardian other than your parents.
Condition: You are receiving public assistance under your own budget and not as a dependent of your parents.
Documentation: Budget statement or other documentation from a social service official showing receipt of public assistance other than food stamps or unemployment insurance. NOTE: Housing Assistance/Budget Letter must be in student’s name.
Condition: There has been an involuntary dissolution of your family resulting in relinquishment of your parents’ responsibility and control.
Documentation: A sworn and signed statement from a person other than yourself or your parents (such as a member of the clergy, a social worker, a legal aid representative, or an official at the facility or institution which has accepted responsibility for your control or care) relating to your family circumstances. The statement must include the specific reasons for relinquishment of parental responsibility and control (such as abandonment by the parents, mental and/or physical abuse by the parents, or parents being neither citizens nor residents of the United States), your relationship to the person making the statement, and how that person has direct knowledge of your family circumstances.
Condition: Both parents are deceased.
Documentation: Copies of death certificates for both parents.
Condition: Both parents have been certified as having a total and permanent disability, or have been declared incompetent by judicial action.
Documentation: Medical certification and court orders. Documentation for both parents is required.
- I am not going to the school I originally planned. How can I change my school information?
- You may make school code changes online by visiting your HESC account through Student Access. Alternatively, you may make a change to the school code and/or student address by calling the HESC Customer Communication Center at 888-NYS-HESC (888-697-4372) and speaking with a representative. School code changes may also be made using our automated telephone system or through live chat.