New York State Student Aid Programs

TAP is a tuition grant awarded to eligible New York State residents. You may receive a maximum of six full-time semesters of TAP at a two-year college. Awards are based on New York State net taxable income.

Learn more about TAP

The Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies. To be considered for an APTS award, you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State
  • Have graduated from a 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
  • Be enrolled as a part-time student (3-11 credits)
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Not have exhausted Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) eligibility
  • Not be in default on any Federal or State student loan or on any repayment of state awards
  • Meet income eligibility limitations

To apply for APTS obtain an application from the Financial Aid Office located in Room 101. Since funds are limited, you are encouraged to complete the application and return it to the college by the end of the first week of classes for processing.

Learn more about the APTS program

New York State Native American Aid is available to enrolled members of a New York State tribe and their children who are New York State residents and attend Tompkins Cortland.

You are eligible to receive grant awards up to $2,000 per year for up to four years of full-time study (five years for specific programs requiring five years to complete degree requirements). If you are registered for less than 12 credit hours per semester will be considered part-time and will be funded on a prorated basis.

If funding is available, you may receive aid for summer course work. Any aid you receive for summer school study is deducted from your maximum entitlement for four years of full-time college study.

Applications must be postmarked by July 15 for the fall semester, by December 31 for the spring semester, and by May 20 for the summer session. There are no fees for submitting an application. You must apply for each semester (not annually). Specific eligibility criteria, information and applications can be found at the Native American Education Unit. Learn more about NYS Native American Aid.

The NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America and the resulting rescue and recovery efforts.

Requirements:

  • Be children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased or severely and permanently disabled victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States or the subsequent rescue and recovery operations. This includes victims at the World Trade Center site, at the Pentagon, or on flights 11, 77, 93, or 175.
  • Be survivors of the terrorist attacks who are severely and permanently disabled as a result of injuries sustained in the attacks or the subsequent rescue and recovery operations.

Additionally you must:

  • Study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student taking 12 or more credits per semester
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Not be in default on a State or federal student loan or on any repayment of state awards.

World Trade Center Memorial Scholarships provide funds to help meet the cost of attending college. The award covers up to four years of full-time undergraduate study (or five years in an approved five-year bachelor's degree program) and includes the following components:

  • Tuition: The actual amount of your tuition at Tompkins Cortland Community College.
  • Non-tuition Costs: These include room, board and allowances for books, supplies and transportation up to the average cost at SUNY colleges. The Commissioner of Education sets the non-tuition cost allowances each year.
  • Residence: If you live on campus you will receive a higher room and board allowance than a commuter student. 

Receipt of other grants and scholarships may reduce the WTC award. The total of all aid received cannot exceed your Title IV cost of attendance.

Learn more about the NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free.

Eligibility
An applicant must:

  • be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
  • have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
  • have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $125,000 or less;
  • be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
  • be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
  • if attended college prior to the 2018-19 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
  • be in 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;
  • be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by a NYS award that you have previously received; and
  • execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.

Catching Up on Credits
A student who is not on track to complete an Associate’s degree in two consecutive years or Bachelor’s degree in four consecutive years (which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits each academic year) can catch up on missing credits to become eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship. If you successfully earn additional credits during a term or academic year and get back on track to completing your degree on time, you will be eligible to receive an Excelsior Scholarship for the remainder of your undergraduate degree program.

Opportunity Programs
If you are in an opportunity program, the Excelsior Scholarship program allows five years  to complete your degree on time (which requires completion of the equivalent of 24 credits each academic year).

Five-Year Undergraduate Programs
If you are in an undergraduate program of study normally requiring five-years, the Excelsior Scholarship program allows five years  to complete your degree on time (which requires completion of the equivalent of 30 credits each academic year).

Students with Disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
To be eligible for an Excelsior Scholarship, students with qualified disabilities under the Americans With Disabilities Act who attend less than full time must register with their college office for students with disabilities.

If you are a student with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Excelsior Scholarship program requires that you be continuously enrolled and complete the number of credits you attempted each semester to fulfill the requirement for on-time degree completion. If you have not earned credits for all courses attempted, you can catch up on missing credits if you successfully earn additional credits during a Summer and/or Winter session(s) and get back on track for credits that were not previously completed.

Students with disabilities determined to be ineligible who can demonstrate good cause for completing fewer credits than attempted and/or a break in attendance may appeal the decision by completing and submitting the Excelsior Scholarship Program Appeal Form to Excelsior.Appeals@hesc.ny.gov.

For more information, visit NYS Student Financial Aid Programs and Students with Disabilities.

Award Amount
A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship may receive up to $5,500.*

To determine the award amount, the 2016-17 resident tuition rate charged by SUNY ($6,470) or CUNY ($6,330) will be reduced by the amount of certain other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the academic year, including a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award and/or federal Pell grant. The Excelsior Scholarship will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $5,500; and a tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition expenses not covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.

*Note: Any award payment 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.

Duration
A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship is eligible to receive award payments for not more than two years of full-time undergraduate study in a program leading to an associate's degree or four years of full-time undergraduate study, or five years if the program of study normally requires five years, in a program leading to a bachelor's degree.

To receive award payments after the initial application year, an Excelsior Scholarship recipient must annually complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the NYS Student Aid Payment Application each year.

Applying
Check HESC for updates on deadlines and to be notified when the application becomes available.

 Learn more about the Excelsior Scholarship Program

Education Law §6456 defines the population of students eligible to receive funding under the FYCSI. There are four important matters to be aware of:

  1. FYCSI funding is available to all students who meet the definition of Ed Law §6456 and are enrolled at a SUNY or CUNY college or university OR at a private college or university that hosts* a HEOP project.*A student attending a private college or university is not required to be enrolled in its HEOP program to be eligible of FYCSI funding.*

  2. An eligible student includes any student – including undocumented youth – who is currently a resident of New York state and who is an orphan or spent time in foster care at any time after their 13th birthday.

  3. Institutions of higher education (IHEs) must award FYCSI funds to eligible students based on their need, as determined by the IHE. FYCSI funds can be used for costs necessary for eligible students to attend college, as listed in Ed. Law §6456 and 8 CRR-NY 153-3.4(c), including but not limited to:
  • tuition and fees
  • books
  • transportation
  • meals and housing, including recess/intersession/winter break/summer break supplemental housing
  • summer college preparation programs
  • advisement, tutoring, and academic support
  • medical expenses including vision, dental, behavioral and primary health care which is not otherwise covered by an eligible student's health plan

For questions contact the Financial Aid Office