Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Information

roconnel@oswego.eduAn award certificate from Higher Education is not a guarantee the student will receive the award. Please read all information carefully.

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a New York State funded program that provides grant assistance to help eligible full-time undergraduate students meet their tuition charges. Students who are disabled as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be eligible for a partial TAP award, if enrolled for at least three credit hours.

Students initiate the TAP Application process by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can fill out the FAFSA online (www.fafsa.ed.gov), request one from the financial aid office, or call 1-800-433-3243 to receive a form.

After filing the FAFSA online, New York State residents can link to their Tap application, which is prefilled with their FAFSA data and, any applicable, historical data from HESC'S system. If the application is not done online the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) will mail a preprinted Express TAP Application (ETA) to students, based on the information provided. (If a student indicates that they do not want the information from the FAFSA released to the state, he/she will not receive an ETA.)The student should carefully review the information to make sure it is correct. HESC considers the first NYS institution listed on the FAFSA the school of attendance. The student is to make any necessary changes, update information, and then mail the ETA back to HESC, with required signatures. The HESC website (www.hesc.org) is available to help answer any questions that the student may have.

A student in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC or is in default on any repayment of State awards, will not be eligible for TAP.

HESC will process returned ETA forms and then issue denial letters, requests for additional information, or award certificates. An award certificate containing basic information (school of attendance, award amount, and academic year of assistance) is mailed to an approved student.

It is the student's responsibility to review his/her certificate to ensure that personal information and school of attendance is accurate. The Oswego college code is 0935 for undergraduates and 5420 for graduate students. The student can make corrections on the HESC website or contact HESC at 1-888-697-4372. This certificate is not a guarantee that the student will receive the award noted.

A student can receive no more than four academic years (sixteen semesters) of TAP awards. An undergraduate student enrolled in a four-year program can receive payments for a total of four academic years (the equivalent of eight semesters).  An undergraduate student enrolled in an approved education opportunity program (EOP) can receive a total of five academic years (an equivalent of ten semesters) of payments as an undergraduate.  Half time summer TAP awards equal payment of one half of a semester. HESC tracks the number of payments each student has received and once the limit is reached will not approve further applications. HESC places approved students on term payment rosters. As rosters are created, they are submitted to the school of attendance for certification.

Certification refers to the school's responsibility to determine eligibility based on a student fulfilling specific criteria.

The school cannot certify a student for a particular semester until the date that the student would have incurred full tuition liability for that semester (the end of the add/drop period). The certification process is completed by performing a review of relevant information that the school has on record for each student listed. The school must immediately inform HESC of any discrepancy found in regards to information provided to HESC by the student.

To be eligible for a HESC approved TAP award the student must:

1) meet one of the United States citizenship requirements

2) meet NYS residency requirements

3) be considered a full-time student

a) enrolled for 12 hours of matriculated credit (repeated courses in which the student has already received a passing grade may not be included)

b) an ADA student enrolled for at least 3 hours of matriculated credit may be eligible for a partial TAP award

d) a student attending the summer semester may be eligible for a partial TAP award, if enrolled for at least 6 hours of matriculated credits and was considered a full time student the previous semester, and earned a total of 24 credits the previous two semesters

4) have a matriculated status and have declared a major by the start of their junior year

5) be in good academic standing

a) pursuit of program (credits attempted, based on prior TAP award)

b) satisfactory academic progress

1. accumulated GPA (Grade Point Average)

2. earned credit hours

6) maintain a c-average (2.0 GPA) after having received TAP for two academic years (the equivalent of 4 semesters)


Additional factors reported to HESC that may alter the amount of previously approved TAP award are:

* Duplicate Benefits: Additional monetary assistance designated specifically to meet tuition costs.

* Adjustment Of actual tuition charge: Any adjustment of full time tuition -- visiting student, ADA student, Graduate Assistant, withdrawal prior to 100% tuition liability, dropping course prior to 100% liability