State Aid Programs for Veterans and Others in the Military

A. Tuition Benefit for Active NYS National Guard Members
B. Army National Guard (ARNG) Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) Program
C. Vietnam Veterans and Persian Gulf Veterans Tuition Award (VVTA & PGVTA)
D. Regents Awards for Children Of Deceased or Disabled Veterans
E. 4/03 Support for Military Families
F. More State Benefits for disabled veterans
G. Military Service Recognition Scholarship
A. Tuition Benefit for Active NYS National Guard Members-

The New York State Recruitment Incentive & Retention Program is available for active members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, and the New York Naval Militia. It provides tuition assistance for active Guard members enrolled in a first degree or program of study. The award covers tuition after all other financial aid has been applied to the tuition charges. Students must apply for federal  (FAFSA) and state aid (TAP) and file a DMNA 96-1 form, which can also be obtained from their individual National Guard unit. Tight deadlines are enforced, so plan your paperwork ahead and allow time for corrections. Continuation of the award will be dependent on good military standing, on making satisfactory progress toward the degree, and on maintaining good academic standing for financial aid purposes. Reservists in good standing in US Naval Reserves or USMC Reserves who are New York state residents should see their units about joining the NY Naval Militia. Questions can be directed through your unit, or to the Education Office in Watervliet, NY. EMAIL: education@ny.ngb.army.mil or TELEPHONE: (518) 272-4032/6349

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B. Army National Guard (ARNG) Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) Program 

(Previously known as the ACES Program)The New York Army National Guard receives approximately $180,000 in Army National Guard (ARNG) Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA)each year to help our soldiers pursue their civilian education goals. ARNG FTA can be applied to a course or program taken at a regionally or nationally accredited, public or private, college, university, vocational, technical or trade school located inside or outside of New York. etc

Soldiers can receive up to $250 per semester hour. The amount cannot exceed the tuition cost for a course. The maximum annual cap per soldier is $4,500. The ARNG Federal TA program may also fund clock hours for vocational and technical training courses and certificates offered by non-degree-granting accredited institutions. A formula is used to convert the clock hours to credit hours and the semester hour spending cap is then applied.

Soldiers pursuing a first professional degree may apply for ARNG FTA. First professional degrees are awarded in the fields of Architecture, Certified Public Accountant, Podiatry (D.P.M.), Dentistry (D.D.S. or D.M.D.), Medicine (M.D.), Optometry (O.D.), Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Pharmacy (D. Phar.), Law (J.D.), and Theology (M. Div or M.H.L.).

Doctoral degree programs can not be funded by ARNG Federal TA.

Applying for funding?

To apply for ARNG Federal TA soldiers must submit DA Form 2171, prior to the start of their course. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access these forms.)

  1. View and print a blank copy of DA Form 2171
  2. View and Print a blank copy of the FTA Statement of Understanding To apply for ARNG FTA mail DA Form 2171(s) to the following address:

Division of Military and Naval Affairs
Education Services Office
Watervliet Arsenal
Watervliet, NY 12189-4050

Once the Education Services Office staff approves the DA Form 2171, notification will be mailed to the school. The school will bill the education office and payment will be made directly to the school. It is the soldier's responsibility to follow the directions provided by the Education Services Office staff.

Any changes to an approved DA Form 2171-E (course information, school information or start/end dates) must be submitted in writing to the Education Services Office. Any invoice from the college/university that does not match the approved DA Form 2171-E will not be processed for payment. The soldier will be liable for any tuition incurred for courses that have not been approved by the Education Services Officer.

Can I use ARNG FTA and Montgomery GI Bill benefits for the same courses?

If you are taking 6 or more credits at the same time (usually the equivalent of two courses) AND you are also eligible to receive Selected Reserve - Montgomery GI Bill benefits the following information pertains to you. Soldiers taking 6 or more credits at the same time may receive ARNG Federal TA and MGIB benefits for the same class. However, the amount of Federal TA you can receive annually will be reduced as follows:

  • Soldiers who are eligible to receive Selected Reserve-MGIB benefits can receive up to $2,500 in Federal TA each year.
  • Soldiers who are eligible to receive both Selected Reserve-MGIB benefits and the MGIB Kicker Program are eligible to receive up to $1,500 in Federal TA each year.
  • Soldiers who are NOT eligible for MGIB programs may receive up to $4,500 in Federal TA each year.

Soldiers taking 6 or more credits at the same time who are interested in combining ARNG FTA and MGIB benefits for the same courses must inform the Education Services Office of this intention at the time of application for ARNG FTA funding.  US Army soldiers in reserve units can apply for the same benefit through their unit.

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C. Vietnam Veterans and Persian Gulf Veterans Tuition Award (VVTA & PGVTA)

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.

NOTE: Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. Those students attending a vocational school or who are attending an approved undergraduate or graduate program part-time may apply for payment for the current academic year by completing the supplement.

See How to Apply for Payment below for additional details.

Award Amounts

For full-time study, a recipient shall receive an award of up to the full cost of undergraduate tuition for New York state residents at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. Full-time study is defined as twelve or more credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree-granting institution, or twenty-four or more hours per week in a vocational training program.
For part-time study, awards will be prorated by credit hour. Part-time study is defined as at least three but fewer than twelve credits per semester (or the equivalent) at a degree-granting institution, or six to twenty-three hours per week in a vocational training program.

2008 – 2009 Awards

For the 2008-09 academic year, awards will be set at 98% of tuition or $4,287.50, whichever is less. If a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award is also received, the combined academic year award cannot exceed tuition. Thus, the TAP award may be reduced accordingly.

Duration

Full-time Study
Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to eight semesters (four years) of undergraduate study. Awards can be made available for up to semesters of undergraduate study for enrollment in an approved five-year program or for enrollment in an approved program of remedial study.
Graduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to six semesters (three years) of graduate study.
Vocational Training Programs - Awards are available for up to a maximum of four semesters (two years) of study in an approved vocational training program.

Part-time Study
Undergraduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of eight semesters (four years) of full-time undergraduate study in a four-year program. Awards can be made available for up to the equivalent of ten semesters (five years) of full-time study for enrollment in an approved five-year undergraduate study.
Graduate Degree-Granting Programs - Awards are available for up to the equivalent of six semesters (three years) of part-time graduate study.
Vocational Training Programs - Awards are available for up to a maximum of eight semesters (four years) of part-time study in an approved vocational training program.

Approved programs are defined as undergraduate degree, graduate degree, diploma, and certificate programs at degree-granting institutions, or noncredit vocational training programs of at least 320 clock hours specifically approved by the New York State Division of Veteran's Affairs' Bureau of Veterans Education.

Eligible Veterans

Eligible students are those who are New York State residents discharged under honorable conditions from the U.S. Armed forces and who are:

  • Vietnam Veterans who served in Indochina between February 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.
  • Persian Gulf Veterans who served in the Persian Gulf on or after August 2, 1990.
  • Afghanistan Veterans who served in Afghanistan during hostilities on or after September 11, 2001.
  • Veterans of the armed forces of the United States who served in hostilities that occurred after February 28, 1961 as evidenced by receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal or a Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal.

These students must also:
Establish eligibility by applying to HESC.
Be New York State residents.
Be US Citizens or eligible noncitizens.
Be matriculated full or part- time at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution in New York State or in an approved vocational training program in New York State.
Have applied for the Tuition Assistance Program for full-time undergraduate or graduate study.

How to Establish Eligibility

Complete the New York State Veterans Tuition Award Supplement or contact HESC. Be sure to print the Web Supplement Confirmation, sign and return it along with the required documentation according to the instructions.

Questions regarding eligible service or how to document service should be directed to the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

How to Apply for Payment

Once you have established your eligibility, you must apply for payment. While you need only establish your eligibility once, you must apply for payment each year.

Apply for payment as follows:

Undergraduate and Graduate Full-time Study - Apply for payment by doing one of the following:

Apply online by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — the form used by virtually all colleges, universities and vocational schools for awarding federal student aid and most state and college aid — and then linking to the TAP on the Web application,

or

For veterans who do not anticipate filing a FAFSA, complete a Scholarship Grant Payment Application. For a copy of the application call HESC at 1-888-697-4372.

Undergraduate Part-time Study - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.
Graduate Part-time Study - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.
Vocational Training Program - Complete only the Veterans Tuition Award Supplement.

Applications must be completed by May 1, 2009 for awards for the 2008-09 academic year.

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D. Regents Award for Children of Deceased or Disabled Veterans-

The Child of Veteran Award is a financial aid program for children of veterans who are deceased, disabled, or MIA as a result of service. Child of Veteran awardees can receive up to $450 each year without consideration of income or tuition cost and this benefit may be granted for 4 years of full-time undergraduate study (or 5-years in a approved 5-year bachelor’s degree) The combined Child of Veteran Award and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) can never exceed the amount of tuition charges. A special application must be filed with the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (NYSHESC), Albany, NY 12255. Documentary evidence to establish eligibility is required with the application. The applicant must be: (1) the child of a veteran who died, or who has a current disability of 50 percent or more, or who had such disability at the time of death resulting from U.S. military service during one of the following periods:

Periods of Service
Conflict or National Emergency Period of Service

  • Afghanistan 09/11/02 - end of hostilities
  • Persian Gulf 08/02/90 - end of hostilities
  • Vietnam/Indochina 12/22/61 - 05/07/75
  • Korean Conflict 06/27/50 - 01/31/55
  • World War II 12/07/41 - 12/31/46
  • World War I 04/06/17 - 11/11/18
  • or as a Merchant Seaman during the period from 12/07/41 to 08/15/45
  • Panama 12/20/89 - 01/31/90
  • Grenada 10/23/83 - 11/21/83
  • Lebanon 06/01/83 - 12/01/87
For further information contact NYSHESC (see TAP applications procedures) and request a Child of Veteran Award.  Applications may be obtained by contacting the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372.

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E. 4/03 Support for Military Families-

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides information regarding programs, and/or support groups for family members, friends, and co-workers of Military members. The NYS Family Readiness Program website has detailed information regarding:
A) Taking Care of You and Yours During Deployment
B) Tips for Parent/Caregiver Left Behind
C) Keeping the News Flowing - Communicating with a Military Member
D) Being a Long-Distance Parent.

You may also want to visit the Military Corner at www.hesc.com

Click here for more financial aid information

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F. More State Benefits for disabled veterans

Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities
New York State Education Department
The Mission of the Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) is to promote educational equity and excellence for students with disabilities while ensuring that they receive the rights and protection to which they are entitled; assure appropriate continuity between the child and adult services systems; and provide the highest quality vocational rehabilitation and independent living services to all eligible persons as quickly as those services are required to enable them to work and live independent, self-directed lives.  Disabled veterans are encouraged to apply to get extra benefits under the program.  Please go to the website http://www.acces.nysed.gov/ and identify yourself as a disabled veteran.

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G. Military Service Recognition Scholarship

The Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS) provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the armed forces of the United States or state organized militia who, at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990, while New York State residents, died or became severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities. The information contained in this fact sheet is for the 2008-09 school year. Check back for an update after the 2009-10 NYS budget is enacted.

General Information
MSRS provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of those who provided eligible military service in the armed services of the United States or state organized militia, at any time on or after August 2, 1990, while New York State residents and who:

  • died or became severely and permanently disabled as a result of injury or illness suffered or incurred; or are classified as missing in action in a combat theater or combat zone of operations; or who died as a result of injuries incurred in these designated areas; OR
  • died or became severely and permanently disabled as result of injury or illness suffered or incurred during military training operations in preparation for duty in a combat theater or combat zone of operations.

MSRS is also available to those who provided eligible military service in the armed services of the United States or state organized militia, at any time on or after August 2, 1990, while New York State residents and who became severely and permanently disabled as a result of injury or illness suffered or incurred:

  • in a combat theater or combat zone; OR
  • during military training operations in preparation for duty in a combat theater or combat zone of operations.

Note: New York State resident family members who were enrolled in undergraduate programs at a U.S. college or university located outside of New York State on Sept. 11, 2001 are also eligible for scholarship payment at that school, if still currently enrolled. Payment may not precede the establishment of eligibility.

Scholarship Amounts
MSRS provides funds to help meet the cost of attending college. The award covers up to four years of full-time undergraduate study (or five years in an approved five-year bachelor's degree program) and includes the following components:

  • At a public college or university (SUNY or CUNY): Actual tuition and mandatory educational fees; actual room and board charged to the student for students living on campus or an allowance for room and board for commuter students; and allowances for books, supplies and transportation.
  • At a private institution: An allowance equal to SUNY four-year college tuition and mandatory educational fees (or student's actual tuition and fees, whichever is less) and allowances for room and board, books, supplies and transportation.

Receipt of other grants and scholarships may reduce the MSRS award. The total of all aid received cannot be greater than the student's Title IV cost of attendance.

Note: Legislation enacting the 2008-09 New York State budget included changes to certain grant, scholarship and loan forgiveness programs to meet statutorily mandated savings. As a result, the award amount to each student will be reduced by 2 percent.


Eligibility
Students must:

  • Study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State.
  • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student taking 12 or more credits per semester.
  • Be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing.
  • Have at least a cumulative "C" average after receipt of two annual payments.
  • Not be in default on a student loan guaranteed by HESC or on any repayment of state awards


How to Apply
Complete and submit the Military Service Recognition Scholarship Web Supplement. Be sure to print the Web Supplement confirmation, sign it, and submit it, along with the required documentation, according to the instructions.

Once you have established your eligibility and are assigned an account number by HESC, you must do one of the following by May 1 of each academic year to request payment:

  • Current New York State residents – Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and TAP on the Web application. FAFSA and TAP applications and instructions are available on-line at www.hesc.com.
  • If you are not a resident of New York State – Contact the HESC Scholarship Unit at 1-888-697-4372 to request a Scholarship and Grant Payment Application.

Award Payment
HESC will make payments to schools on behalf of students upon certification of eligibility and submission of appropriate financial aid applications.

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* I understand that the CUNY web site for veterans is the source of the text shown on the Federal Aid and State Aid pages. *

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