Chapter 2: Institutional Information
2.00 Institutional Information
Students attending colleges, universities, nursing schools, and other postsecondary educational institutions approved to participate in the State's grant and scholarship programs are eligible to receive assistance through these programs. HESC, however, does not make direct payment to students. All awards are paid through the participating institution. Accordingly, HESC must obtain certain information and assurances from institutions that have elected to participate in the New York State grant and scholarship programs.
2.01 Participation Agreement
To participate in New York State-sponsored grant and scholarship programs, the institution must sign a Participation Agreement. The Agreement shall continue in full force and effect until either party terminates the Agreement.
The agreement is intended to assure institutions that state-sponsored financial aid programs will be administered consistently with the statutes and regulations governing them. It lists several institutional obligations and dictates that failure to comply with the terms of the agreement can lead to the termination of the institution's participation in these programs.
2.02 EFAN Agreement
To enhance the administration of financial aid through automation, HESC has established the Electronic Financial Aid Network (EFAN). The network consists of various electronic services including the ability to:
- inquire into the student loan or TAP databases;
- submit TAP college code and other information changes;
- receive and/or submit other data relating to student eligibility certification for TAP and other state awards;
- estimate TAP and Pell awards
To use these services, however, the institution must first have a signed EFAN participation, which is located the General Provisions of the HESC Master Agreement kept on file with HESC.
Information on this agreement can be obtained by contacting HESC Help Desk at 1-888-NYS-HESC.
2.03 Certifying Officer
Colleges and other postsecondary institutions participating in New York State-sponsored student aid programs are responsible for ensuring that program funds entrusted to their care are used consistent with the legislative purpose in establishing these programs. Institutions also must ensure the funds are used consistent with applicable regulations promulgated by the State Education Department, HESC and, where applicable, other state and federal agencies governing the administration of these programs.
To fulfill this responsibility, the institution's chief executive officer designates a staff member to serve as certifying officer. The institution' s chief executive officer may change who is designated as certifying officer at any time by notifying HESC' s Information Protection Office and TAP Payments Office in writing.
Responsibilities of the Certifying Officer
As the designated representative of the educational institution, the certifying officer is specifically responsible for:
- attesting to the accuracy of information submitted to HESC on student eligibility or ineligibility for an award;
- training and monitoring the activities of other institutional personnel directly involved in certifying student awards;
- providing policy guidance to other institutional personnel in activities related to certifying student awards (for example, faculty or other academic personnel who are responsible for determining good academic standing, etc.);
- ensuring that certification activities are carried out in a prompt and timely manner to facilitate delivering awards to students and returning overpayments to HESC; and
- if the certification process at the school is automated, the certifying officer is responsible for ensuring that the certification system is accurate and has been adequately tested as required by the EFAN Agreement.
2.04 Types of Eligible Institutions
The types of postsecondary institutions listed below are eligible to offer programs of study that are approved by the New York State Commissioner of Education or, where applicable, by the New York State Department of Health to receive state-sponsored scholarships and awards. However, institutions must be approved and operating in New York state for at least one year to participate in state-funded financial aid programs.
a. Collegiate Institutions
Collegiate institutions are those authorized by the New York State Education Department to offer a program of study leading to a degree or to a diploma or certificate that is creditable toward a degree the institution offers.
b. Noncollegiate Institutions
Study and training programs offered by a hospital school, a community college, a unit of the state university of New York, a unit of the city university of New York, or an institution chartered by the regents or by the legislature for the purpose of granting degrees, leading to licensure as a professional registered or practical nurse or to certification in an area of medical or health technology.
c. Registered Private Business Schools
Institutions authorized by the New York State Education Department to offer nondegree two-year business programs that are a minimum of 1,440 clock hours in duration and require more than 12 calendar months to complete.
d. One-year Requirement
As of April 1, 1996, schools must be approved and be operating in New York State for at least one year to be eligible to participate in state-funded student aid programs.
2.05 Academic Year
The academic year is from July 1 to the following June 30. Summer is considered the first term of the academic year for award payment purposes. A summer term may actually begin before July 1, and spring term may actually end after June 30. Term sequence is summer, fall, spring; or summer, fall, winter, spring.
Term refers to the instruction period within the academic year, including any time allocated for examinations. It includes semesters and trimesters. All awards administered by HESC are payable on a term basis.
2.07 Academic Calendar
The academic calendar is how terms are arranged in an academic year for providing instruction, evaluating good academic standing and calculating tuition liability and financial aid awards. The following types of term arrangements are used:
The regular academic year consists of two terms, each lasting at least 15 weeks. Typically there are fall and spring terms. A summer term or various summer sessions may also be offered.
The regular academic year consists of three terms, each lasting at least 10 weeks. Typically there is a fall, winter, and spring term. A summer term or various summer sessions may also be offered.
c. Summer Term
If an institution offers a summer term, the term type for the summer session will be similar to the term type by which the school operates during the regular academic year. For example, at a semester-based institution the summer term will be considered a semester.
If an institution has more than one summer session, sessions are combined to form a single term for award payment purposes.
d. Accelerated Study
Beginning in academic year 2006-07 and thereafter, to be eligible for a full-time or half-time accelerated TAP payment, students must be enrolled fulltime in the prior term and must also have earned 24 semester hour credits or the equivalent in the prior two semesters or the equivalent. The 24 semester hours must be credits earned at the same institution and applicable to the student’s program of study. Transfer credits cannot be used to meet this requirement. The equivalent of three credits in non-credit remedial hours in each semester (2 credit equivalents per trimester) can be included to meet the 24-prior-credit requirement. The student must meet the 24-credit prior study requirement each time an accelerated award is sought.
At institutions where the summer term is not part of the regular academic year (SUNY, CUNY, and most independent colleges and universities), the summer term is always the accelerated term. At schools that have continuous enrollment and the regular calendar allows students to attend three semesters or four quarters/trimesters in a calendar year, the accelerated term is the third semester or fourth quarter/trimester.
2.08 Term Payments
Grant and scholarship programs administered by HESC provide prorated annual awards that are paid on a term basis. Term payments are based on the institution's academic calendar and are calculated as follows:
2.09 Payment Term For Nondegree Registered Business School
A student's annual TAP award must be prorated and paid by term. Institutions offering programs in which students are eligible for TAP awards must designate the type of term structure on which the program is organized. This requirement applies to degree granting and non-degree granting institutions.
Regulations of the State Education Department require that non-degree, registered private business schools must organize their academic calendars on either a "semester" basis, which consists of academic periods of 15 to 18 weeks in duration; or on trimester basis, which consists of academic periods of at least 10 weeks but less than 15 weeks in duration. These two basic term types are subject to further adjustment depending on whether the State Education Department has determined the program of study to be accelerated or non-accelerated. Accordingly HESC has developed and will assign the following payment term types for award purposes:
a. Payment Term Type I:
b. Payment Term Type II:
- Regular school year consists of two terms of 15 weeks or more.
- The program is designated as "accelerated" by the State Education Department and a third term is offered.
- The annual award is divided by two to arrive at the amount of the term payment:
- An additional term payment may be paid for accelerated study
- The maximum amount a student could receive in a year would consist of the annual award for two terms plus an additional term award for the accelerated term.
c. Payment Term Type III:
- Regular school year consists of three terms of 15 weeks or more.
- The program is designated by the State Education Department as "non-accelerated".
- The annual award is divided by three to arrive at the amount of the term payment:
- The maximum amount a student could receive in a year would consist of the annual award over three terms.
d. Payment Term Start Dates
- Regular school year consists of three terms of 10 weeks or more.
- The program is designated as "accelerated" by the State Education Department and may include a fourth term of study.
- The annual award is divided by three to arrive at the amount of the term payment:
- An additional term payment may be paid for accelerated study.
- The maximum amount a student could receive in a year would consist of the annual award for three terms, plus an additional term award for the accelerated term.
Programs organized on a clock-hour basis and offered at registered business schools frequently have several start dates.That is, groups of students may begin a program several times during the year and these start dates may or may not coincide with the start of a traditionally organized term.
The following charts illustrate the monthly parameters that will be used to determine a student's first payment term (Summer, Fall, Winter, or Spring). Subsequent payment terms follow in sequence from the first payment term for continuing students.
2.10 College Codes
The college code is a unique four-digit number that identifies a particular institution, the level of study, undergraduate or graduate, or a particular program of study within an institution. HESC's TAP Payments assigns the code when an institution is approved for participation in New York State's grant and scholarship programs. The code affects how HESC calculates the student's award, and it determines where HESC will send the student's award.
Whenever possible, HESC assigns a single college code to a particular institution. In some instances, different codes may be required for the same institution to identify branch campuses, different levels of study, distinct academic disciplines or programs offered on a different term structure.
For institutions offering undergraduate and graduate programs, the undergraduate and graduate codes are indicated on HESC's School Code List. If the student reports being enrolled at the graduate level on the application, that institution's graduate code number is automatically selected when HESC processes the application. When an institution offers several distinct graduate level programs, it is often necessary to assign separate graduate level college codes for each program and list them separately.
The college code assigned for paying New York State grants and scholarships is not used for the student loan program. A separate and distinct institutional code is assigned for the loan program.
When the national processor processes student applications, the appropriate college code is derived from information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The processor will use the code for the first New York State school listed on the FAFSA. A complete TAP college code list is available on HESC's Website for students who want to change their college code. Students can make changes using the electronic change form within HESC's Web pages.
2.11 College File
HESC maintains an electronic record, viewable on HESC's Web pages, for all institutions participating in the state's grant and scholarship programs. These records constitute the college file, which HESC updates each academic year.
Information in the college file includes the following:
- college code,
- college name and address,
- certifying officer,
- academic calendar,
- grant and scholarship programs for which the institution is approved, and
- tuition charges, indicated by term.
The information in the college file is used to:
b. TAP Payment Survey on the Web
- calculate student awards and generate award certificates;
- produce payment rosters for the institution; and
- produce institutional mailing lists.
The TAP Payment Survey on the Web displays the most recent school information contained in the college file. TAP Certifying Officers are required to view the data displayed and update information ie: tuition charges, academic calendars etc., for the coming academic year.
The TAP Payment Survey can be updated only
by TAP Certifying Officers. Other authorized staff can view the College File but cannot update the information.
2.12 College Costs
In many instances, college costs affect the award calculation under the various grant and scholarship programs HESC administers. As a result, it is particularly important that the institution provide HESC with accurate cost information.
HESC uses the institution's tuition charge, prorated by term, to calculate TAP and STAP awards. It is also an element in the student budget used to calculate cost of attendance.
For award payment purposes, HESC defines tuition as the charge levied by the institution for the instructional services provided to the student or for the evaluation and supervision of related academic activity, which is required as an integral part of the student's program of study. It does not include any educational or administrative fees.
b. SUNY College Fee
The college fee the State University of New York levied pursuant to an April 1, 1964, financing agreement with the New York State Dormitory Authority is considered a component of tuition for TAP or STAP certification. HESC adds it to the tuition charge and calculates student awards based on this combined charge.
c. Nonresident Tuition at Public Colleges
Generally students who attend New York State public colleges and are charged nonresident tuition are not eligible for TAP or other state awards. However, students subject to nonresident tuition charges can be eligible for TAP and other state awards if they otherwise meet New York State residency requirements for student aid but the public college is required by state law to charge nonresident tuition. The school may certify these students for a TAP award based on the nonresident tuition charge. However, if the student is subject to nonresident tuition as a result of negligence (for example, if an otherwise eligible student at a community college neglects to obtain a county certificate of residence), the school can only certify the student for a TAP award based on resident tuition charges.
d. Calculating Term Tuition Charges
HESC requires institutions participating in the state grant and scholarship programs to report term tuition charges. The methods institutions use to calculate term tuition charges are:
If a student contract specifies the tuition for an entire program of study and the total amount of study to be provided, the term tuition is the total tuition for the program divided by the number of terms required to complete the program of study.
If the institution levies an annual tuition charge without regard to credits or terms, the term tuition charge is the annual tuition charge divided by the number of terms in the regular academic year for which attendance is normally expected or required.
If the institution levies a tuition charge per-term for a range of credits, the term tuition charge is this amount plus any additional charge for credits exceeding the specified range.
Per Credit Tuition.
If the institution charges tuition on a per-credit basis, the term tuition is the per-credit tuition charge multiplied by the number of credits for which the student has registered.
e. Cost of Attendance
Several scholarship and fellowship programs that HESC administers (Scholarships for Academic Excellence, Regents Health Care Scholarships, Regents Professional Opportunity Scholarships, etc.) require using cost of attendance to determine the award amount. For scholarship payment, the cost of attendance consists of the cost per academic year for tuition, required educational fees, books, transportation, room and board, and laboratory and other expenses, as defined below. The cost of attendance allowances for the Memorial Scholarships differ from the allowances cited below. To view the Memorial Scholarship annual educational expenses select Memorial Scholarship Allowances
The actual tuition the institution charges the student.
Library, registration, laboratory and diploma fees. Fees charged primarily for the pleasure, comfort or penalty of the student will be considered noneducational. Such fees include athletic, student publication, health and insurance, student activity, late registration and laboratory breakage fees and graduation assessment costs other than diploma fees.
An amount the institution determines to represent a reasonable cost for books.
An amount the institution determines to represent a reasonable cost for travel between the student's residence and the institution and for other travel required to complete a program of study.
Room and board.
An amount calculated as follows:
*A spouse is considered a dependent
Laboratory and other instruction-related expenses.
An amount the institution determines to cover the student's costs for laboratory and other instruction-related expenses, including but not be limited to laboratory fees and the cost of all equipment and material that the institution requires to complete any course considered part of the approved program of study.
2.13 Standards for Good Academic Standing
The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require students to maintain good academic standing to remain eligible for state-sponsored financial aid. The regulations also specify that good academic standing requires the student to pursue a program of study as defined in regulations and make satisfactory academic progress toward a degree according to a standard developed by each institution and approved by the Commissioner. The institution must also develop a policy outlining the circumstances under which it may waive good academic standing requirements.
A discussion of the good academic standing requirements to determine student eligibility for an award is discussed in Chapter 3.
More specific information on Good Academic Standing is in Bulletin No. 81-12, "Revised Guidelines for Implementation of Regulations Concerning Program Pursuit and Satisfactory Academic Progress," issued by the State Education Department in 1981, located in Appendix C.
2.14 Interinstitutional Study
HESC may grant awards to students who enroll in interinstitutional programs of study in which they matriculate at one (home) TAP-eligible institution in New York State but attend courses at another (cooperating) TAP-eligible institution in New York State. Award eligibility is subject to all of the following:
- the student matriculates in an approved program at the home institution;
- the home institution grants prior approval for such study; and
- all academic work successfully completed at the cooperating institution is creditable toward the student’s degree program or program of study at the home institution.”
Eligibility and award amounts are based on the tuition of both schools. When the student is taking courses at two institutions, the home school combines tuition and credit hours from both institutions when assessing eligibility. Certification is based on the total credit hours and tuition liability. Certification is subject to the following conditions:
- Credit hours earned (transferred) at the cooperating institution must be creditable toward the student’s program of study at the home institution.
- Only tuition charges for transferable and creditable hours may be aggregated to arrive at a total tuition charge. The total tuition charge may exceed the home institution's standard per-term tuition charge.
- If the cooperating institution is out-of-state, all tuition and instructional fees must be paid to the New York State institution as described in the next section.
The institution of matriculation shall certify to the Corporation the student's eligibility to receive an award.
2.15 Out-of-State Study
Generally, state awards for study at an out-of-state institution are prohibited. However, exceptions are made in the following circumstance:
If the cooperating institution is outside of New York State, the institution must meet all of the previously described criteria for interinstitutional programs of study. In addition, the out-of-state program must be an integral part of the curriculum at the New York State institution. All tuition and instructional fees are to be paid to the New York State institution. The student is ineligible if the home institution merely performs the service of transmitting funds from the student to the out-of-state institution. Tuition must be payable to the New York State school and received by it in the same manner as tuition charged for any other program. If the student pays any tuition or educational fees to the out-of-state school, the presumption is that it is the institution of actual enrollment.