Higher Education Services Corporation, New York State

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All amounts are in dollars
Category Available
Change From
State Operations 122,610,000 160,391,000 37,781,000 7,000,000
Aid To Localities 872,149,000 878,829,000 6,680,000 7,000,000
Total 994,759,000 1,039,220,000 44,461,000 14,000,000

Full-Time Equivalent Positions (FTE)
Program 2008-09
Estimated FTEs
Estimated FTEs
FTE Change
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 320 312 -8
Guaranteed Loan Programs
    Special Revenue Funds - Other 380 370 -10
Total 700 682 -18

Note: Most recent estimates as of 12/16/08.


The Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) was established in 1974 to provide centralized processing of student financial aid programs. The Corporation administers the State’s Tuition Assistance Program, the Federal Family Education Loan Program and other State and Federal aid programs.

Budget Highlights

The Executive Budget recommends $1.04 billion All Funds ($896 million General Fund; $143 million Other Funds) in support of the Corporation. This is a net increase of $44 million (a $72 million General Fund increase and a $28 million Other Funds decrease) over 2008-09 funding levels. The Budget reflects an investment to help establish a new State student loan program and increased spending for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) driven by anticipated tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY, offset by reduced administrative spending by the Corporation.

The Executive Budget recommends a staffing level of 682 FTEs for the Corporation, a decrease of 18 from 2008-09 staffing levels. Virtually all employees are paid through funds received for the administration of Federal student loans.

Major budget actions include:

  • Establish the New York Higher Education Loan Program: The Executive Budget includes a $50 million General Fund investment to support the creation of a new affordable student loan program for New York State residents attending New York State higher education institutions. This program will help students fill the gap between the cost of college attendance and available financial aid by providing education loans of up to $10,000 annually at rates that are significantly below conventional private bank student loans. Increase TAP Funding for SUNY and CUNY Tuition Adjustments: The Executive Budget includes $44 million to support increased TAP awards resulting from the recommended tuition rate increases for SUNY and CUNY.
  • Increase TAP Full-Time Eligibility Threshold to 15 Credits and Expand TAP Eligibility: Currently, although students must earn an average of 15 credits per semester in order to graduate on a timely basis after eight semesters of study, students who earn as few as 12 credits per semester are eligible for full TAP awards. This disparity can result in students being short of the 120 credits required for graduation when they reach the current eight semester lifetime TAP eligibility limit. To remedy this, the 2009-10 Executive Budget defines full-time study as 15 credits per semester, converts the lifetime TAP eligibility limit from 8 semesters to 120 credits, and provides pro-rated TAP awards for students taking between 10 and 14 credits per semester. Combined, these measures are expected to produce savings of $31 million in 2009-10.
  • Treat Pension Income Equitably in TAP Eligibility Determinations: Currently, unlike income earned from private sector pension systems, income earned from public sector pension systems is not included in TAP award eligibility determinations. The 2009-10 Executive Budget eliminates this inequity by including all pension income in TAP eligibility determinations. This measure is expected to produce savings of $15 million in 2009-10.
  • Increase Academic Standards for Continued TAP Eligibility: The 2009-10 Executive Budget would increase minimum academic standards for non-remedial students to maintain TAP eligibility. Such students will now be required to have earned at least 18 credits and a 1.8 Grade Point Average (GPA) after two semesters of study. Current standards would remain unchanged for remedial students. These measures are expected to produce savings of $6.5 million in 2009-10.
  • Eliminate TAP for Graduate Study: The 2009-10 Executive Budget eliminates TAP award eligibility for graduate students. This measure is expected to produce savings of $3 million in 2009-10.
  • Eliminate Enhanced TAP Awards for Multiple Family Members: The 2009 10 Executive Budget eliminates the current enhancement in TAP award amounts for applicants who have multiple dependent family members in college. This measure is expected to reduce TAP spending by $6 million in 2009-10.
  • Establish Default Parity: Currently, students in default on Federal loans guaranteed by the Corporation are ineligible to receive TAP payments, but students in default on Federal loans guaranteed by organizations other than the Corporation retain TAP eligibility. The 2009-10 Executive Budget provides that all students in default on Federal loans would be ineligible for TAP awards, regardless of guarantor. This measure is expected to produce savings of $3.7 million in 2009-10.

2009-10 Executive Budget — Agency Presentation
Higher Education Services Corporation, New York State (PDF)