Federal Pell Grant

The federal government operates this PELL program and the college is authorized to provide these funds to full-time and less than half-time matriculating students with exceptional need who have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Awards will range from $400 to $5,550 yearly. Total funding is based on congressional authorization. Grants are awarded based on financial need and educational costs. Students must maintain normal academic progress. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), here.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

This federal SEOG Grant program is available to full-time matriculating students who have exceptional need. Awards range from $100 to $4,000 per academic year and are made based on financial need. The severity of the need ultimately determines the value of the FSEOG. Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), here.

Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

A student whose parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and died as a result of service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. The student must be ineligible for a Federal Pell Grant due only to having less financial need than is required to receive Pell funds, and be under 24 years old, or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of the parent’s or guardian’s death. The grant award is equal to the amount of a maximum Pell Grant for the award year – not to exceed the cost of attendance for that award year.

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College & Higher Ed Grant (TEACH Grant)

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. If, after reading all of the information on this fact sheet, you are interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the financial aid office at the college where you will be enrolled.

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was disbursed. Note: TEACH Grant recipients will be given a 6-month grace period prior to entering repayment if a TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Federal Veteran's Affairs Post 9/11 Yellow Ribbon Program

St. Thomas Aquinas College is proud to announce its participation in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Yellow Ribbon Program. The college’s participation in the program includes a scholarship that will enable some veterans, depending on the type and amount of their GI bill education benefits, to earn a college degree for free. The VA has capped the tuition payment at $17,500 for new students for the 2012-13 year. There are some students who qualify for a higher rate based on agrandfather clause in the VA program.

The College will accept the $17,500 funding from the VA and and provide funding up to the 2012-13 tuition costs for the qualified veteran in this program. There are other GI Bill programs that the College also accepts and will work with the veteran to achieve the best possible financial aid package. For full details, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 845-398-4098.

Federal Work Study Grant

Work Study is a federal grant program that provides an opportunity for qualified students to receive a job through the College. Students choose their place of employment but the award is only payable through the work study program. Students work 8 hours per week in order to be paid a paycheck that is subsidized by the federal work study program. This enables students to work on campus and continue to be involved in other campus activities.

NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The NYS TAP program helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,000. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.

Effective for the 2007-08 academic year and thereafter, TAP is available for students attending SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit independent degree-granting colleges on a part-time basis. To be eligible for Part-time TAP you must have been a first-time freshman in the 2006-07 academic year or thereafter, have earned 12 credits or more in each of two consecutive semesters, and maintain a “C” average.


To verify New York State student aid applicants' income and tax return information, HESC runs a process with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (NYS Tax) called the Income Verification Program (IVP). Through IVP, data provided by the student to HESC is compared with NYS Tax data for confirmation that the student and/or parent filed income taxes for the requested tax year and that the correct taxable income amount is being used to determine the student's TAP award. 

If IVP is attempted but a match is not made on the student and/or parent income tax return information, HESC emails the student with instructions to log into their HESC account to review their TAP application information for any errors that may have caused the income verification to fail, and make corrections as needed. Below are the instructions for students to resolve income verification issues. 

Student Instructions

1. Log in at hesc.ny.gov/myaccount

2. Click on the "Review My NYS Financial Aid Information"

3. Click "Details" next to the last TAP update date

4. On the details page, go to "Review/Update" button where you can make changes to the TAP application 

Tips for Fixing the Most Common Errors that Cause Income Verification Problems 

Parent information:

- Review the last name and Social Security Number provided for their parent (s) and ensure it matches what is listed on the parent NYS tax returns 

- The parent's last name used to file taxes may be different than what was listed on the student's FAFSA

Student tax return type:

- Review the student tax return type listed on their TAP application 

- If the student did not file taxes for the requested tax year, then they may correct the form type to "Will not file any taxes"

Parent tax return type:

- Review the parent tax return type listed on their TAP application

- If the parent did not file taxes for the requested tax year, then they may correct the form type to "Will not file any taxes" 

What to do if Information is Correct

If the information on the TAP application is correct and there are no edits to be made, the student or parent must contact the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to request assistance. Their contact information can be found online at https://www.tax.ny.gov/help/contact/

NYS Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP)

The HEOP program is for NYS residents admitted to the College through the HEOP program. Students must meet the criteria of the program which is that they would not normally be admitted under regular academic decision guidelines (this criteria can change from college to college); and they must meet the financial criteria established by the NYS HEOP Office (this criteria does not change from college to college). The grant awards vary, according to need and available funds, but the students that are accepted into the program typically receive a very high percentage of their tuition costs covered through grants as commuter students and a high percentage of their room and board charges covered through grants as resident students. The College accepts a limited number of students into this program, since the college also subsidizes each student in the program. Students typically receive PELL, SEOG, NYS TAP, NYS HEOP, and College support. Students must apply early for this program and the College's HEOP Office will determine their eligibility after the college application is completed. Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and should do so earlier in the year.

Visit the HEOP page for more information about the program.

NYS Grant Program for Math and Science Teachers

New York State (NYS) Math & Science Teaching Incentive Scholarships are offered to encourage students to pursue careers as secondary math and science teachers (grades 7-12). This program provides awards to students attending school at the undergraduate and/or graduate degree level in exchange for five years of full-time employment as secondary education math or science teachers.

Recipients shall receive an annual award for full-time study equal to the annual tuition charged to NYS resident students attending an undergraduate program at the State University of New York, or actual tuition charged, whichever is less. The maximum annual award for the 2011-12 academic year is $5,295. New applicants will be ranked by GPA and total credits earned. If there are more applicants than available funding, awards will be paid according to rank.

NYS Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships

Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarships provide financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of individuals killed as a direct result of the crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Clarence, New York on February 12, 2009. This program will help families who lost loved ones cover the cost of attending college in New York State.

NYS Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships

Flight 587 Memorial Scholarships provide financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of individuals killed as a direct result of American Airlines Flight 587’s crash in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens, New York on the morning of November 12, 2001. In the spirit of the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship, this program will help the 266 families who lost loved ones cover the cost of attending college in New York State.

NYS Military Service Recognition Scholarships

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.

NYS Memorial Scholarships

Memorial Scholarships for Families of Deceased Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters, Police Officers, Peace Officers and Emergency Medical Service Workers provide financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, peace officers*, and emergency medical service workers who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York.

NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence

NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence  provide up to $1,500 per year for up to five years of undergraduate study in New York State. Awards are based on student grades in certain Regents exams. Recipients can also receive other non-loan student aid, but the total cannot exceed the cost of attendance. To apply, see your high school guidance counselor.

NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship

The NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship guarantees access to a college education for the families and financial dependents of innocent victims who died or were severely and permanently disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States of America and the resulting rescue and recovery efforts. For more information, visit the link to The NYS World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship.

NYS Aid to Native Americans

Are you an enrolled member of a New York State tribe or the child of an enrolled member of a New York State tribe? You may be eligible for an award through the Aid to Native Americans Program. Enrolled members of a New York State tribe and their children who are attending, or planning to attend, a college in New York State and are New York State residents. Awards are made to all eligible applicants. There is no qualifying examination. Awards are available for 2, 4 or 5-year programs.

NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans

Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans were created to provide financial aid to students whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified times of national emergency. Students whose parent(s) served in the U.S. Armed Forces during specified periods of war or national emergency and, as a result of service, either died, suffered a 40% or more disability was classified as missing in action, or was a prisoner of war. The veteran must currently be a New York State resident or have been a New York State resident at the time of death. The award is for $450.

NYS Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

Are you a New York State resident interested in high quality opportunities in community service activities in exchange for an education award? AmeriCorps is the national service initiative that provides funding for nonprofit organizations, agencies and educational institutions to run local programs that engage individuals from all backgrounds in community service activities. More than 2,500 AmeriCorps members serve annually in New York State, and more than 75,000 serve nationally. They address the most pressing education, public safety, homeland security, and human and environmental challenges facing our communities.

NYS Veterans Tuition Awards

Veterans Tuition Awards (VTA) are awards for full-time study and part-time study for eligible veterans matriculated in an approved program at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational training program in New York State. Students previously approved for this award must apply for payment each year. Those students who are attending an approved undergraduate or graduate program may apply for payment for the current academic year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then linking to the TAP on the Web application.