What do I do now?

From HESC (Who over sees NYS Aid)



I don’t live with my parents and they don’t help me pay for school; why do I need to include their information?

Under the law, students are considered dependent upon their parents for TAP purposes unless they demonstrate that they are independent students. The following chart contains the requirements for independent status:


Married- The applicant must be married on or before December 31st of the calendar year prior to the beginning of the academic year for which application is made.

35 years of age or older-The applicant has reached the age of 35 on or before June 30th prior to the academic year for which application is made.

22 years of age or older-The applicant is an undergraduate student who has reached the age of 22 on or before June 30th prior to academic year for which application is made AND who meets the basic conditions.

Under the age of 22-The applicant is an undergraduate student who is not 22 years of age on or before July 1st of the academic year for which application is made AND who satisfies both the basic conditions and one of the special conditions.

Military Service-The applicant was enlisted in full time active military service, was honorably discharged from such service, and has not and will not be claimed as a dependent by either parent for purposes of either federal or state income tax. Applicant must provide a copy of their DD214 showing an honorable discharge.|

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Excelsior is a last payer financial aid.

Student must first apply for TAP

Common Reasons Why Students Lose New York State Award Payments

Tap Eligibility:

Not a NYS Resident

Most New York State student financial aid programs require that the recipient of an award be a NYS resident.

You are not considered a NYS resident, for NYS financial aid purposes, if:

  • Your parents moved out of NYS and continue to claim you as a dependent on their tax return.
  • Your parents moved out of NYS and provided you with $750 or more in financial support.
  • You established residency in NYS less than 12 months before applying for a NYS award.
  • You moved to NYS only to attend college.

TIPS to ensure you meet the residency requirement for your NYS award:

  • To be considered a NYS resident you would need to provide evidence of your residency such as a:
    • NYS voter registration card
    • NYS driver’s license
    • NYS tax return
    • Lease you have signed (for property not owned by a family member)
    • Utility bill in your name

Yes, but you don’t have to get TAP in order to be eligible for Excelsior.

“Why did you move to New York?”
“I grew up in Alabama. I wanted to get out of Alabama.”

That’ll pretty much satisfy any interviewer in New York.

You must apply for TAP to get Excelsior

If I am interested in the scholarship, what are my next steps?

  1. File your FAFSA at fafsa.gov.
  2. Continue to the NYS TAP application and complete.
  3. Apply for the Excelsior Scholarship at www.hesc.ny.gov/excelsior
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She can do this, but still won’t be an independent student for FAFSA (and CSS Profile). Her parents info will need to be reported on FAFSA and CSS Profile until she is 24 (or satisfies one of the other independent student criteria). Being self-supporting does not satisfy the independent student criteria for FAFSA and Profile, period.

Yes, but you don’t have to receive it in order to then be considered for Excelsior.

I think I see what the confusion is: you’re thinking of “independent” in an across-the-board way. But SUNY makes clear that you can be considered resident, and in-state eligible, even if you’re financially dependent on out of state parents. You can see how in the last link I posted above. The eligibility rule for Excelsior rests on residency, not dependency status.

Right (though Profile doesn’t matter here). The question is whether she can get the Excelsior, which will take care of part of her tuition and leave her with free tuition. sybbie is right in saying that she’d have to apply for TAP first, but then she’d apply for the Excelsior, and that one doesn’t rest on whether she’s FAFSA-independent, only on whether by NYS/SUNY/CUNY rules she’s a resident of NYS.

I will defer to sybbie719 for the read on NYS scholarships, they are an expert.

No You don’t have to receive it, but you have to apply for it (TAP) because Excelsior is a last payer that pays the CUNY/SUNY tuition balance after TAP and Pell

Excelsior Scholarship Program Award Amount*

A recipient of an Excelsior Scholarship may receive up to $5,500.

To determine the award amount, the 2016-17 resident tuition rate charged by SUNY ($6,470) or CUNY ($6,330) will be reduced by the amount of certain other student financial aid awards which an applicant has or will receive for the academic year, including a NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award and/or federal Pell grant.

The Excelsior Scholarship will cover any remaining tuition liability up to $5,500; and a tuition credit will cover any remaining tuition expenses not covered by the Excelsior Scholarship.

In case my earlier post was too subtle, let me share the forum rules: “College Confidential forums exist to discuss college admission and other topics of interest. It is not a place for contentious debate. If you find yourself repeating talking points, it might be time to step away and do something else. Some topics, such as politics, religion and moderation on the forums, lend themselves to debate. If a thread starts to get heated, it might be closed or heavily moderated.”

As a result, I have put the thread on slow mode in order that others can potentially add to the poster’s original question.

My generally philosophy of student posts is that responses should focus on the student’s question and to provide alternatives that they might have not thought of. Make your point, defend once if necessary, and then move on. Further questions of NYS rules can come from the OP, who as I said earlier, may have abandoned the thread.

If one hopes ro clarify rules for others doing research, let me say, IME, few users research before asking a question as seen by the many “Will I be rescinded” posts.


A poor teenage girl from a small town with no money, friends or connections goes to NYC alone to make her way in the world? That usually has a very bad ending.


He didn’t suggest that she go to NYC. Just the opposite.


One of the ways that a student can establish independence is to file as an emancipated minor, which must be done before the age of 18. In that case, the 24 year old age qualifier does not apply.

@girlrejected : were you able to deposit somewhere? Are you going to apply to colleges on the NACAC list?


It takes time…and a good reason…to be declared an emancipated minor. This is a HS senior who is either 18 already or very close to it. This option is likely not going to happen. What’s her good reason? “I don’t want to live in Alabama”??