Skip to Content
NYS CSEA Partnership for Education and Training Logo Tution Benefits Program 2021-2021

You may be eligible for state or federal student financial aid if you are enrolled in a college degree or certification program. The following resources may also be of interest to you:

Aid for Part-Time Study

The Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS) Program provides grant assistance for eligible part-time students enrolled in approved undergraduate studies. Awards provide up to $2,000 per year for part-time undergraduate study at participating institutions in New York State. You must be matriculated in an approved program of study, enrolled in 3 to 11 credit hours, and meet eligibility requirements. Contact your school's financial aid office or visit for more information.

Excelsior Scholarship

The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free. Visit for more information.

Federal Pell Grant Program

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's, graduate, or professional degree. PELL Grants are based on financial need as demonstrated on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA applications are available either in college financial aid offices or online at

Federal Tax Benefits for Education

If you, your spouse, or a dependent are taking college courses or other post-secondary training, you may benefit from the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. These programs are federal tax credits to help offset the costs of higher education. Visit for more information on federal tax credits.

NYS Claim for College Tuition Credit or Itemized Deduction

The college tuition credit is a tax credit allowed for the qualified college tuition expenses paid for an eligible student. The credit is available to full-year New York State residents only. The college tuition itemized deduction may offer you a greater tax savings if you itemized your deductions on your federal return. See publication IT-272 at for more information.

The AFSCME Free College Benefit

AFSCME has partnered with Eastern Gateway Community College and Central State University to offer the AFSCME Free College Benefit program so you and your family members can earn an associate or a bachelor's degree for free. The AFSCME Free College Benefit combines PELL grants and employer tuition assistance with AFSCME's "last dollar scholarship." Together, these funds cover your full tuition amount for participating online degree programs at Eastern Gateway Community College and Central State University. For more information about this program, visit

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,165. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back. Contact your school's financial aid office or visit for more information.

For more information about any of the financial aid programs described in this section, call (518) 486-7814 (Press Option 1) or (800) 253-4332 (Press Option 1), or email a Partnership advisor at


Link to Partnership's home page