Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers

This program is intended to provide financial aid to children and spouses of firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers and emergency medical service workers who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York.

* Correction Officers are defined as peace officers in the criminal procedures law, therefore surviving spouses and children are eligible for this scholarship.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an award the student must:

  • meet one of the United States citizenship requirements;
  • meet New York State residency requirements;
  • enroll as a full-time student;
  • enroll in an approved program of study in a New York State postsecondary institution;
  • have a matriculated status;
  • be in good academic standing; have at least a cumulative "C" average after receipt of two annual payments;
  • not be in default on any guaranteed student loan HESC administers;
  • be enrolled as an undergraduate student; and
  • be the child or spouse of a police officer, peace officer, firefighter, or volunteer firefighter who died from injuries sustained in the line of duty while employed by New York State or any of its political subdivisions.
  • First-time recipients of an award as of the 1996-97 academic year must have graduated from high school, have a GED or other equivalent of a high school certificate or have received a passing score on an approved ability-to-benefit test.


The student can receive payment for four years of undergraduate study or five years of undergraduate study if enrolled in an approved five-year baccalaureate program or an approved educational opportunity program.

Award Calculation

The Memorial Scholarship award will equal the applicant's actual tuition cost or the State University of New York (SUNY) undergraduate tuition, whichever is less. Students attending institutions with tuition charges higher than SUNY's may, if eligible, receive additional TAP assistance.

Memorial Scholarships also provide funds to meet the nontuition costs of attending college. At SUNY and CUNY (City University of New York) colleges, the annual award would equal the nontuition cost of attendance less any federal Pell Grant and any other federal and state-funded scholarships or grants. Approved nontuition costs include room and board, a books allowance, supplies and transportation. At a private college, the award would equal the average of the nontuition costs at SUNY colleges less any federal Pell Grant or other federal and state-funded scholarships or grants.

For students who do not live on campus, the Commissioner of Education has set the room and board allowance. The Commissioner of Education also sets annually the allowance for books, supplies and transportation for all students.

Application Procedure

Applicants for this award must submit a special eligibility application - Memorial Scholarship for Families of Deceased Police Officer and Firefighter Supplement - which is available from HESC by request. This supplement establishes students eligibility for this award and is submitted only when the student initially applies for this award. Students must also submit an application for the award by May 1 of the academic year for which assistance is being sought.

For additional information and applications, you may contact HESC’s Grants and Scholarships Unit at the address and telephone number listed below.

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation
99 Washington Avenue
· Albany, New York 12255 · (888) NYS-HESC