Who is eligible?

To be eligible for TAP, a student must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State (that is, you must have lived in the State for at least one year prior to the first term for which you are seeking payment)
  • Have a high school diploma from a U.S. high school, a recognized GED certificate, or receive a passing score on an approved ability-to-benefit test
  • Not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC and not be in default on any repayment of state awards
  • Meet income eligibility limitations
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study
  • As a full time student, study a combination of at least 3 academic credits and 12 billable credits the first semester, 6 and 12 respectively thereafter, in courses that meet the graduation requirements for your curriculum/major at an approved postsecondary institution in New York
  • Maintain good academic standing and meet program pursuit standards

Regaining Award Eligibility

When a student does not meet the requirements outlined on the good academic standing chart either by failing to reach program pursuit and/or academic progress standards in any given semester, further NYS awards to the student are suspended. For State aid purposes the student can be said to have lost good academic standing and is therefore ineligible for his or her next award.
There are a number of ways a student may regain eligibility:
  • A student can combine two or more semesters’ work to regain good academic standing, provided that only one of those semesters is paid for through State support.
  • A student may be eligible for a waiver. If the college approves a waiver, the student may continue in the State aid program without interruption.
  • A student who transfers is automatically eligible for State aid in the first semester at the new college even if the student has not met the good academic standards at the college from which he or she transferred.
  • A student who is readmitted into his or her college after an absence of at least one calendar year can become eligible providing he or she meets the college’s readmission requirements.

Eligibility-Related Issues

Students who apply for State awards for the first time after having already attended college are placed on the good academic standing chart in step number one, as being certified for their first payment. Because of this, a student’s academic performance prior to applying for State aid does not enter into consideration in certifying a student for the first payment.

This principle also applies to college credit earned by high school students.

Unresolved (Incomplete) Grades at Time of Certification

In the case where a student has met program pursuit and academic progress standards, but has received an incomplete grade, the student can be certified as eligible for the following semester. If the incomplete grade is subsequently changed to a failure and the student’s GPA falls below the minimum level required for eligibility, the student retains the current award but would be ineligible for continued payments unless work completed during the State-supported semester is sufficient to raise the student’s GPA to at least the required minimum.

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