Back to Top
Resources & Recommendations

Resources & Recommendations

General Recommendations for campus staff administering Federal Title IV and New York State (State) aid.

Approved Programs

Responsibility of the certifying officer

As the designated representative of the campus, the certifying officer is responsible for:

Good Academic Standing

Campuses must notify the State Education Department when a modification is made to the NYS Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) chart used by the campus.  Note that minimum standards are required and any modifications would be the desire for an increase in the SAP requirements.

Eligibility for TAP and other State Administered Financial Aid Programs

To be eligible for TAP, a student must:

To be eligible for other financial aid programs administered by the State a student must meet requirements specific to each aid program in addition to:

United States citizen or eligible noncitizen
At the start of the term for which an award is requested, a student must be either:
  • a citizen of the United States; or
  • a permanent resident alien holding an I-151 alien registration card; or
  • a conditional entrant or a member of a group of refugees paroled by the Attorney General of the United States.  
  • Diplomatic, student or temporary visas do not constitute permanent resident alien status
Legal resident of New York State
  • Eligibility for State-sponsored scholarships and awards is limited to students who meet New York State residency requirements.
  • Institutional Responsibility. In determining if a particular student meets New York State residency requirements, institutional personnel should know on-campus information that might reflect on a student's residency. A diploma from a non New York State high school, an out of state address for parents or for billing purposes are examples of readily available information that would reflect negatively on a student's claim to New York State residency. Institutions must review eligibility for state awards for any student whose New York State residency is questionable. In many cases, the review will be simple and the institution will need only to document the decision. Cases that cannot be determined by college officials should be forwarded to HESC. The institution should use the Student Record Maintenance page on HESC's Website to request a Residency Questionnaire be sent to the student and refrain from taking any certification activity until the student's residency has been determined.

    Institutions should develop procedures to record the state in which the student attended and graduated from high school. Students who are non New York State high school graduates should not be certified until some review of their records, either by the school or HESC, is complete. It is expected that schools will review residency eligibility and make appropriate determinations before forwarding to HESC for review.
For more information see 
Graduated from a high school from within the United States

To be acceptable, the certificate of graduation or high school diploma must be from a secondary school that is recognized, authorized or approved by the state educational entity having jurisdiction. A student who has graduated from an out-of-state secondary school that is not recognized or authorized by the state where the school is located must choose one of the other options for establishing eligibility for financial aid.

In New York State, only public high schools and registered nonpublic schools are permitted by Education Law to issue high school diplomas. Students who have completed their education at a nonpublic school that has elected not to register with the State Education Department must choose one of the other options for establishing their eligibility for student aid.

Online High School diplomas

Recently, there have also been questions regarding the applicability of on-line high school diplomas in relation to meeting the requirement for a high school diploma under Education Law §661. Some on-line schools have tried to represent themselves as having national accreditation or accreditation by a postsecondary accreditation body. There is no national high school jurisdiction, nor is there any kind of multi-state or national accreditation of a high school. High school is solely under the jurisdiction of the state government (or the Department of Defense Education Activity for military dependents overseas), and those students who are residents of a state cannot circumvent the jurisdiction of the state where they reside unless they become residents of another state. The student must be under the jurisdiction of the State conferring the high school diploma.

If the individual is a resident of the state where the high school is located, then that state has jurisdiction over the individual’s high school completion. The Board of Regents does not approve correspondence study, including on-line, as equivalent to a high school diploma for New York State residents. Therefore, the acquisition of an on-line high school diploma is only an option for those individuals who are a resident of the state where such on-line high school is recognized by the state.

Until such time as the Board of Regents approves an on-line or correspondence study program as authorized to award a high school diploma, correspondence study and on-line diplomas are not valid for individuals who were New York State residents at the time they received the on-line diploma. The individual would have to have been a resident of the state issuing the on-line diploma. They would then need to reestablish residency in New York State prior to being eligible for TAP. Students who were residents of States -other than New York - when they received an online high school diploma and who later establish residence in NYS, should  have a document from the prior residential state’s State Education Department which indicates that a diploma presented by the online high school is a valid high school diploma for its residents. 

If you have any questions, please contact the New York State Education Department, Office of Postsecondary Access, Support and Success at (518) 474-3719 or via e-mail to

Be enrolled as a full-time student taking 12 or more credits (applicable toward the student’s degree program) per semester

To receive a full-time TAP award, a student must be enrolled for 12 or more credits that are applicable toward the program of study.

Repeat courses where a student received a passing grade, cannot be included as part of the 12 credit requirement.  A program of study that requires a specific grade in a course is allowable if the student did not meet that grade requirement.

Be matriculated in an approved program of study

See HESC’s TAP Coach – Matriculation 

Be in good academic standing

See HESC’s TAP Coach – Good Academic Standing

>> Back to Top

Student Financial Aid Services