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Freedom of Information Requests (FOIL)

IMPORTANT

If you are requesting information regarding YOUR OWN TAP award, student loan, scholarship, loan forgiveness award, or other state or federal student financial aid, STOP!


Please call the HESC Call Center toll free at 1-888-NYSHESC (1-888-697-4372) or 1-518-473-1574 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Monday through Friday.

The toll-free number for HESC’s telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) is 1-800-445-5234.

You may also log on at www.HESC.ny.gov with your HESC personal identification number (PIN) and user ID to view, print and download your state and federal student financial aid information.

There is no charge for you to obtain your account information through the HESC Call Center.

Filing a FOIL Request

The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) allows the public access to records maintained by the government. To access records maintained by HESC, you may file a FOIL request electronically or in hard copy. When describing the records you seek, you must be specific. Requests that are too vague, or ask for records that do not exist cannot be filled.

Electronic Request For Records
Paper Request For Records

Deadlines

Within 5 business days of our receipt of your FOIL request, HESC will send you a letter of acknowledgement. This letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available. If the records will not be available within 20 business days, you will be notified of the date of their availability. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors.

Costs

HESC provides records free of charge as allowed by law. We may charge for: the cost of paper copies at twenty-five cents per page, the cost of storage devices or media provided to the requestor in response to the request, postage, the cost of response preparation in excess of two hours for charges associated with an outside contractor if one is required to prepare a response due to technology constraints. When a fee to respond to your request is anticipated, HESC will alert you and get your consent before fulfilling your request.

Inspection

Once you are notified that the records you requested under FOIL are available, you may avoid a copying fee, if one applies by inspecting the records at HESC. You will receive correspondence from HESC outlining this process if it is applicable to you.

Exceptions

Under FOIL, some records (or portions of records) may be withheld from the public. For example, FOIL may not be used to invade the personal privacy of others (information such as home telephone numbers, home addresses, and Social Security numbers, will not be released). FOIL may not be used for unfair business competition or to obtain trade secrets. Records may not be released if their disclosure would endanger the life and safety of others. Other records may be withheld, or redacted, under FOIL as well; if it is necessary for HESC to withhold records or portions of records you request, you will be informed of the reason(s) for doing so.

Committee on Open Government

The Committee on Open Government is responsible for overseeing FOIL. For further information on the Committee or FOIL, visit: http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html

Subject Matter List

View a current list, arranged by subject matter, of all records maintained by HESC.

Click here to submit your FOIL request.