New York Grants & Scholarships
When it comes to getting money for college, students in the state of New York have a lot of options. These include, but are not limited to:
- Need-based grants
- Merit-based scholarships
- Money for those whose parents died in the line of duty
- Aid to those studying a specific career
- University-specific financial aid
However, before a person can be eligible for any of these, there are some steps they need to take.
STEP ONE: FIND A SCHOOL
Most forms a state aid require that a student list a school on their application. Therefore, it is important to carefully research any school you are considering before you begin applying for grants and scholarships and settle on one.
This can be done by visiting the school, reading information available on their website, or speaking with a representative from the college. However, don’t feel that this information has to be set in stone.
Once your application has been processed, changing the school code is a simple matter of visiting the New York HESC (Higher Education Services Corporation) website or calling their office.
In addition to recording a school, many awards require that a person declare a major. Although this information, too, can be changed, some forms of aid are specific to a certain career. Therefore, if you change your major midway through the process, you may find that the amount of money you receive changes as well.
STEP TWO: ESTIMATE YOUR COLLEGE EXPENSES
You will need to know this information when applying for grants and scholarships. Be sure to find out not only the cost of tuition and fees at your chosen school, but the amount you can expect to pay for housing, food, and books.
These numbers can be found by visiting the dorms and any other student housing in the area, talking to a school counselor, or conversing with other students.
STEP THREE: GATHER INFORMATION NEEDED FOR THE APPLICATIONS
Applications for state college aid require that a person list a lot of financial information. In order to ensure that you have what they are asking for, you will need the following:
- A copy of either your W-2 or your end-of-year pay stubs
- Records of any income you received last year that was not taxed
- Income tax forms for yourself, your parents, and your spouse if you are married
- A record of the amount of money in your bank account
- A list of other assets you have and their worth, including stocks and bonds and real estate (other than your home)
In addition to this personal information, it is important to gather information about the due dates of the various applications you plan to fill out. This varies between types of financial aid, and can even change from year to year. Make sure that you have the current deadlines, and write them on a calendar.
STEP FOUR: FILL OUT THE FAFSA
All forms of state aid require that a person complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. They use a lot of the same facts contained on it to make decisions about your state college money package.
Make it a priority to have this completed by the earliest deadline on your due date calendar. Otherwise, you may find that you have absolutely no aid available to you.
STEP FIVE: BEGIN APPLYING FOR STATE AID
After you have completed all of the above steps, you are finally ready to fill out applications for state grants and scholarships. For students in the state of New York, the following options are available:
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program provides more free college money than any other state program. To be eligible for it, a person must:
- Be a citizen of the United States (or eligible non-citizen) and a legal New York resident
- Go to an approved New York college
- Have a diploma from a U.S. high school, a GED, or a passing grade on a federal ATB (Ability to Benefit) test
- Take twelve or more credit hours every semesterBe enrolled in a program of study that is registered with the state as TAP eligible
- Declare a major within 30 days of the deadline
- Maintain a “C” average
- Owe a minimum of $200 annual tuition
- Not have failed to pay a student loan or any other state award
- Meet certain income qualifications
The amount of money a person can get from TAP depends on the academic year for which they are requesting it, the type of college they are attending, the tuition at that school, personal and family income, whether or not they are a dependent, and how many other family members are in college. To apply for it, simply complete the FAFSA on the HESC website.
At the end of the application, you will be prompted to apply for TAP. The first step will be to get a HESC Personal Identification number, which you will use as a signature on your form. Once that is obtained, you will be able to fill out the application. The information from your FAFSA will already be filled out, so simply follow the directions given.
There is also a part-time TAP available. It has the same requirements as the full-time TAP, other than the credit requirements. These are six to twelve per semester or four to eight per trimester.
NEW YORK STATE AID FOR PART TIME STUDY
This grant can give a student as much as $2,000 a year to study part time at certain New York colleges. However, it can only apply to tuition. Therefore, a person can not get more money from this award than the amount of tuition charged at the college they are attending.
The most important requirement for the APTS is that a student meet the income guidelines. This includes both taxable income and pension income from the year before the application is completed. These restrictions are:
- Dependent students must have a family income of no more than $50,550
- Independent students can not exceed an income of $34,250. This includes both their income and their spouse’s income if they were married by December 31 of the year before.
- Students who are independent, but have dependents themselves, can not have more than $50,550 worth of income for themselves and their spouse
Other requirements are the same as the TAP, with the following exceptions:
- Credit requirements are 3 to 12 credit hours per semester or 4 to 8 per trimester
- Minimum tuition requirements are $100 per year
- You are not required to declare a major
- You can not have depleted your TAP eligibility
To apply for this grant, a student should contact the educational facility they plan to attend for an application. It is important to apply as soon as you can, because each school only has a certain amount of ATPS funds available.
NEW YORK STATE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY PROGRAM
This program supplies funds to students who are underprivileged in some way, either academically or financially. Most colleges and universities in New York have an Opportunity Program admissions office, and students who are interested in this type of aid should contact the one at their chosen college to obtain more information about the program and fill out an application.
NEW YORK LOTTERY LEADERS OF TOMORROW SCHOLARSHIPS
The LOT scholarship awards $5,000 dollars, paid in increments of $625 per semester, to one senior from every high school in New York. This includes both public schools and private schools. It is available to students who have graduated from high school with a “B” average, shown leadership skills, participated in extracurricular activities, and donated time to community service.
In addition, applicants must be citizens of the United States, or qualifying non-citizens, residents of the state of New York, and intend to go to a school in New York that takes part in the TAP program. Students must be selected by their high school in order to receive this award.
NEW YORK STATE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE
New York high school students who receive high grades on certain Regent’s exams may be eligible for this scholarship as long as they graduate from high school, go to school full time in an approved study program at a New York college or university, are in good standing academically, and haven’t defaulted on a HESC loan.
The award is given to 8.000 students, 2,000 of which receive $1,500 and 6,000 of which receive $500. It is given first to the top student from each high school, and the remaining awards are given to other exceptional students. Once it is awarded, it must be used within seven years and can be revoked if a student begins college at a school outside the state of New York. Application is made through the guidance counselor at the applicant’s high school.
ROBERT C. BYRD HONORS SCHOLARSHIPS
This is one of the few New York scholarships that can be used to study at colleges outside the state of New York. The award is for New York high school students who have demonstrated academic excellence.
They must graduate with a Byrd GPA of 95.00 and receive at least an 1875 on the SAT test. If the SAT was not taken, an ACT score may be used, and it must be at least 28 in order for a person to qualify for this scholarship. The award amount can be up to $1,500 a year and may be renewed for four consecutive years. An application can be obtained from the high school guidance counselor.
The state of New York awards scholarships to dependents of people who died or were permanently disabled in the line of duty or as a result of certain tragic events that occurred in the state. These include:
- Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships
- Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships
- The NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
- Scholarships for families of deceased firefighters, police officers, emergency workers, and peace officers
- The Military Service Recognition Scholarship (for families of members of the armed forces who died or became permanently disabled during combat or training for combat on or after August 2, 1990)
These scholarships generally cover all educational expenses for up to four years at a public university or the equivalent at a private one. This includes not only tuition and fees, but room and board, books, supplies, and transportation. Requirements for each of them are similar and include:
- Studying in New York
- Earning a high school diploma or the equivalent
- Taking at least twelve credits
- Maintaining a “C” average
Applications for these awards can be received by contacting the HESC office.
THE NEW YORK STATE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING INCENTIVE SCHOLARSHIP
Students who plan to become math or science teachers at a secondary school may be eligible for this award.
In exchange for signing a contract in which they agree to work for five years as a secondary math or science teacher, they are given a scholarship equal to their tuition, or the tuition which would be charged to a New York resident attending the State University of New York, whichever amount is less. In order to be eligible, a student must attend a college in New York, enroll in a program that would lead to a math or science teaching career, have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, and sign a service contract.
The award is not available to students who already have a service obligation. To apply for the scholarship, contact the scholarship department of the HESC office.
THE SENATOR PATRICIA K. MCGEE NURSING FACULTY SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship is provided as an incentive for registered nurses who want to teach nursing education. It is available to registered nurses licensed to practice in New York who enroll in a master’s or doctoral program that will allow them to become nursing faculty in the state of New York.
They must agree to work for four years teaching nursing at a New York educational institution or adjunct clinic. In addition, they are required to complete their graduate studies within three years or repay the amount they have been given. Application is made through the HESC Scholarship Unit.
VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT SERVICE SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships are used for volunteer fire and ambulance companies to gain and keep volunteers. It is available to those who are willing to be an active volunteer during the time they are receiving the scholarship, have lived in New York for at least a year, take six or more credit hours, don’t have a bachelor’s degree, and go to school within 50 miles of the volunteer organization. For the 2009-10 school year, it can only be received by those who have received it in prior years. However, that may change in the future.
Returning scholarship holders must fill out the FAFSA and the TAP in order to continue receiving this scholarship.
NEW YORK STATE AID TO NATIVE AMERICANS
Members of New York State tribes and children of those members are eligible to receive this award. They can receive as much as $2,000 a year for four years, as long as they study at a New York institution. This includes summer courses when there are enough funds. Applications can be obtained from the HESC office, and must be renewed every semester.
NYS REGENTS AWARDS FOR CHILDREN OF DECEASED AND DISABLED VETERANS
This award is a little bit different than the memorial scholarships in that it applies to children (rather than all dependants) of service men and women who died during specific periods of war or national emergencies. In addition, the amount is only $450 per year rather than covering all college expenses. The application process is somewhat different as well. Applicants must fill out the Children of Veterans Award Web Supplement by May 1 of the year they are asking for the award and return it with all documentation requested on the form.
SEGAL AMERICORPS EDUCATION AWARD
Anyone who engages in community service under AmeriCorp for at least one term and is enrolled in the National Service Trust is eligible to receive this award. Members of AmeriCorp serve their community by working to meet the most urgent educational, safety, and environmental needs.
In return, they are eligible to receive money to pay for education, training, or to repay student loans. To apply for the money, a person can either visit the AmeriCorp website or write to the NYS Office for National and Community Service.
VETERANS TUITION AWARDS
Veterans of the Vietnam, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan or other eligible periods of combat may receive this award. They must enroll in an approved program of study at an approved New York educational facility.
Applicants are required to fill out the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplement, which is available through HESC, to establish their eligibility. In addition, those who are planning to attend any program other than a vocational training program must file the FAFSA and the TAP.
In addition to all of the above forms of aid, many New York colleges have their own financial aid packages. To apply for these, students should visit the financial aid office at their chosen educational facility.
As you can see, almost any New York resident who needs money for college should be able to get it. They simply need to be willing to fill out the required forms, starting with the FAFSA, and study at a college in New York.