HESC Counselor Newsletter - January 2024


REMINDER: The 2024-25 New York State Tuition Assistance Program Application is open!

The 2024-25 TAP application opened on November 1 for students to apply.

  • The application is available at ny.gov/TAP
  • Now that the 2024-25 FAFSA is open, students should submit the FAFSA before the TAP application.
  • Students will need to create a HESCPIN using their email address and a unique password in order to access the TAP application. Students who have an NYS Driver’s License, non-driver ID, or Student ID will be asked to include that information when creating their HESCPIN account.
  • Students who saved their TAP application before the FAFSA was released must now submit their FAFSA by February 15, 2024. Failure to do so will result in the saved TAP application being deleted. Students will then need to submit a new TAP application.

If a student listed at least one New York State school on their 2024-25 FAFSA, they can use the link at the end of the FAFSA to return to and submit their TAP application for processing. If you have any questions about TAP, contact [email protected]

NYS Dream Act program eligibility application is now available for the 2024-25 academic year. 

Remember, the application is available year-round. Visit: www.hesc.ny.gov/dream

The 2024-25 FAFSA is now open!
FSA has now opened the 2024-25 FAFSA full-time. The application is available 24/7 except for normal routine site maintenance. Students do not need to rush to fill out the form immediately. FSA has said it will not transmit results to schools until later in January, so students have additional time to prepare and file their FAFSA. Here is what students, families, and schools need to know:

  • Although the FAFSA is now open full-time, there are still known issues FSA is working to resolve. You can find those issues on the FSA Issue Alerts page.
  • Anyone required to report information on the FAFSA is now called a “contributor.” Each contributor will need their own unique StudentAid.gov account (FSA ID).
  • All contributors will be required to consent to the Direct Data Exchange (DDX). This allows the IRS to share financial information directly with the Department of Education and colleges listed on the FAFSA.
  • FSA will not release student data to institutions until the end of January 2024. No exact date has yet been given for the data release.
  • After all sections of the online FAFSA form are completed and submitted, the student will receive a confirmation email noting their submission date, their estimated Student Aid Index (SAI), and estimated Federal Pell Grant eligibility. However, the student will not receive a FAFSA Submission Summary until the FSA processes the FAFSA, beginning in late January.

StudentAid.gov accounts for Individuals without a SSN:
The 2024-25 FAFSA will require all contributors – regardless of their citizenship status – to have a StudentAid.gov account to access and sign the FAFSA form. See the full December 22, 2023 announcement for more details and a complete step-by-step guide to the account creation process.

Upcoming Financial Aid Presentations and Workshops
Understanding the financial aid process can be challenging. HESC continues to have events throughout January and February 2024 to help counselors, students, and their parents navigate the financial aid system, in addition to providing them with the necessary resources to access and complete the financial aid applications. 

FAFSA & TAP Application Completion Workshops
HESC is offering one-on-one FAFSA/TAP completion events to help students and parents complete their 2024-25 FAFSA and TAP applications. Due to limited space, only one event registration will be open at a time.

Thursday, January 18 @ 4-7pm
Tuesday, January 30 @ 4-7pm
Thursday, February 1 @ 4-7pm

What Seniors Need to Know about Financial Aid for College
During these presentations, we review how the financial aid system works, the sources of financial aid: federal, state, institutional, and private scholarships, how to apply for aid, and important deadlines.

Tuesday, January 16 @ 6pm
Thursday, January 23 @ 6pm
Tuesday, February 6 @ 6pm
Thursday, February 8 @ 6pm

Creating Your StudentAid.gov Account (FSA ID)
Your StudentAid.gov account is the first step to getting access to federal student financial aid. Join us for this 15-minute walkthrough presentation to get your account today.

Friday, January 19 @ 4pm
Monday, January 22 @ 4pm
Friday, January 26 @ 4pm
Monday, January 29 @ 4pm

HESC Virtual Drop-in
Encourage your students to drop in and connect with HESC experts to get answers to all their financial aid questions during one of our virtual drop-ins.

Wednesday, January 17 @ 2-6pm
Wednesday, January 24 @ 2-6pm
Wednesday, January 31 @ 2-6pm
Wednesday, February 7 @ 2-6pm

Virtual Discussion Panel
Join HESC on January 25 @ 6pm, for the College Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities event, where we'll provide valuable information on the numerous financial aid programs available to New York State students with disabilities. Our financial aid experts will review the programs and answer any questions you have on navigating the financial aid process.

The FAFSA Completion Initiative allows HESC to share specific, limited information about FAFSA form completion with high schools and school districts, helping you to encourage and assist students in completing and filing a FAFSA form. HESC will also be providing TAP filing status data, which will greatly enhance the effectiveness of the initiative for New York State resident students.

To access your school’s report, your school will first need to complete, sign, and return a Data Access and Security Agreement.

Have questions? We’re here to help!

If you have questions regarding the TAP/FAFSA or about any upcoming event, please contact [email protected].         

Get Connected to the Resources Students Need
HESC Text can send students and parents text messages with vital information on financial aid, crucial deadlines, and valuable resources to help put them on the right path toward their college careers. Sign-up is quick and easy at www.hesc.ny.gov/hesctext