The New York Higher Education Services Corporation is the governing body for administering the state-funded scholarships and grants. The HESC also makes sure federal funds are properly disbursed. The New York college and university system is comprised of State University campuses (SUNY), Long Island University campuses, City University campuses (CUNY), rabbinical colleges, and private and technical colleges.
Students may choose to study in one of Manhattan's institutions and experience one of the world's most outstanding metro areas or they may choose upstate institutions or the diversity of a Long Island campus. Columbia, Fordham, NYU, Skidmore and Excelsior are some of the most familiar and notable college/university names in the country and all are located in New York.
General Scholarships and Grants
New York's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is one of the largest need-based student grant programs in the country. Eligible students must be state residents and enrolled in a state college or university within New York. Full-time students may receive up to $5000. Students attending less than full-time may apply for the Part-Time TAP. Apply by filling out the FAFSA.
The Aid for Part-Time Studies is flexible for non-traditional students. Applicants with child dependents may earn up to $50,000 per year and still qualify through this program. Grants up to $2000 are available per academic year. Students may apply directly through their college or university.
New York State Scholarships for Academic Excellence is a merit-based program that offers thousands of academically talented students $1500 incentives to study at in-state colleges and universities, renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study. Like every other state, New York has a purpose in keeping its talent close to home. Students must score high on state "regents exams" to be considered. GPA and class rank may be factors. Apply through your high school.
Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships are also designed to reward the academically talented students, but the program makes no stipulation about where a student may study. Byrd Scholars receive $1500 awards from federal funds, renewable for up to four years as well. Every year hundreds of top students in every state are chosen from their graduating high school classes to be among the honored scholars. The program is bundled with notoriety. Recipients are nominated and/or chosen by their school officials based on GPA, class rank, ACT/SAT scores and extracurricular interests.
The New York Lottery Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship is funded with proceeds from the New York State Lottery. The program is merit-based and focuses on strengths in leadership and community involvement, thus the name of the program. One graduating senior from each New York State public high school is awarded $1000 per academic year to study at a state college or university, for up to four years.
On September 11, 2001, thousands and thousands of New Yorkers were affected by the World Trade Center attacks. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives and left children and other dependents behind. Thousands more were wounded and disabled. Dependents who lost one or more parents, or whose parents or guardians were disabled and wounded may be eligible for the New York State World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship. Qualified students may receive up to the cost of tuition at a public institution in New York.
The Veterans Tuition Awards offer grants up to $1000 a semester for veterans attending any type of college or university, including technical colleges. These awards may be used for undergraduate or graduate studies. See more military scholarships.
Native Americans who can prove heritage to one of the federally recognized New York tribes - Cayuga Nation, Oneida Nation, Tuscarora Nation, St. Regis Band of Mohawks, Tonawanda Band of Senecas - may qualify for State Aid to Native Americans. Recipients may receive up to $2000 per academic year at a full-time state institution. See more Native American scholarships.
New York State Memorial Scholarships offer tuition waivers for the dependents of those Public Safety personnel who have lost their lives during the course of their duties. Children of New York firefighters, police and law enforcement, paramedics and EMTs may qualify to receive the cost of tuition at a public institution in the state.
New York State Regents Award for Children of Veterans provides significant tuition funding to those dependents of veterans who have been killed in action, are MIA or have been POWs. Also eligible are those dependents of certain veterans who have suffered severe and significant injuries and disabilities during armed conflict. Students interested in applying should make sure their situation complies with all criteria.
Specialized Studies Programs
Teachers and Health professionals benefit from most of the special studies programs. Many states, and New York is no exception, recognize critical shortage areas and have made proactive strides in offering incentives to students who pursue careers in teaching and health care and those who will teach or work in underserved areas.
Graduate level nurses who already have RN and LPN licenses and education may compete for the Senator Patricia McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship. The program is designed to reward professional nurses pursuing Masters degrees in nursing education - one of the critical shortage areas in nursing. Recipients may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 per academic year. See more graduate nursing scholarships.
Medical and dental students, who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds or are members of a minority group, may qualify for college tuition through the New York State Regents Health Care Opportunity Scholarship. Following graduation, participants must be willing to practice in a medically underserved facility in New York. See more medical scholarships.
Beginning in 2007, teaching students wishing to teach Math and Science subjects may qualify for the New York State Math and Science Teaching Incentive Program. Not only are teachers in short supply in general, but many states are recognizing that it is in subjects such as math and the sciences where qualified teachers are fewest. Full-time, undergraduate or graduate level students may apply. In return for tuition awards, those recipients must be willing to teach math or science in the New York State public school system. See more teaching scholarships.
New York State Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarships provide tuition for qualified disadvantaged and minority students who are pursuing careers in dozens of different professions. There are qualifying professions for every level of study. Recipients must exchange tuition forgiveness for work in their chosen professions in New York State.
The New York State Higher Education Services Corporation website has full information along with application forms for the scholarship described in this article.