New York State Military-Related Awards
Preparing for College
If you are a veteran or currently in the military, there are programs to help you start or continue a college education. Many college campuses have dedicated counselors and advisors to help military personnel and veterans begin, transfer or transition to college.
Start at DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support), a Department of Defense agency that helps veterans and active-duty military personnel get started on a college or vocational program. Here you will:
- Learn about available educational benefits, based on your branch of service and status.
- Learn how to earn college credit for your military experience.
- Access your official military educational transcript to use for applying to college.
Paying for College
New York state veterans, active-duty service members, or members of their immediate families have higher education benefits that can help pay for college.
The Department of Veterans Affairs Post-9/11 GI Bill® and the Montgomery GI Bill® provide funding for college degree and certificate programs for those who are:
- Active duty military
- Honorably discharged veterans
- Discharged with a service-connected disability
Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
A student who is not eligible for a Pell Grant, but 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.
New York State Veterans and Families Benefits
Military and veterans education benefits may not cover all college expenses. Remember to apply for all the federal and state student aid you are eligible for by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA). If you are a New York State resident and plan to attend a college or university in New York, you may be eligible for New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
|Veterans Tuition Awards||Provides awards for full-time and part-time study to eligible veterans matriculated at an undergraduate or graduate degree-granting institution or in an approved vocational program in New York State.|
|Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) (also known as the Military Service Recognition Scholarship)||Provides financial aid to children, spouses, and financial dependents of those who, while New York State residents in service in the U.S. Armed Services or state-organized militia, at any time on or after August 2, 1990, died, became severely and permanently disabled, or was classified as missing in action in a combat zone while engaged in or training for hostilities.|
|NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans||Provides $450 per year to 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 percent 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 or classification as missing in action.|
|Recruitment Incentive and Retention Program (RIRP)||RIRP provides college financial aid, up to $4,350 per year, to any active service member who has successfully completed advanced individual training or commissioning and other requirements of the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs. Information and applications for this program may be obtained from the NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs.|
Military Residency Waiver
The New York state residency eligibility requirement for recipients of awards administered by HESC is waived for a member of, or for the spouse or dependent of a member of, the armed forces of the United States who is on full-time active duty and is stationed in this state.
The combined tuition benefits available to a student cannot exceed the student’s total tuition costs. Tuition payments received by a student under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® (Chapter 33 veteran benefits) and Yellow Ribbon Program are considered duplicative of any VTA and/or TAP award. Students receiving tuition assistance through these programs may, and in most cases will, have their state VTA and/or TAP payment reduced or denied due to these other benefits; however, payments received under the Montgomery GI Bill® do not duplicate the purpose of the VTA and/or TAP.
The Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship, also known as 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 August 2, 1990, while New York state residents, died, or became severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities.
Contact HESC’s Scholarship Unit at 888.NYS.HESC (888.697.4372), or chat online with NYS-HESC.