New York City Benefits

Free Tuition for Veterans at CUNY

Veterans who attend The City University of New York this fall will pay virtually no tuition under a new tuition benefits program that was enacted as part of New York State's budget for fiscal year 2008-09 and signed recently by Governor David A. Paterson.

According to the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs, awards for veterans who attend CUNY next fall will be set at 98% of tuition or $4,287.50, whichever is less. Tuition for New York State residents who are full-time students at the University's 11 senior colleges is $4,000 per year. Tuition for full-time students at CUNY's six community colleges is $2,800.

Information about the expanded veterans' tuition program and the City University's many services for veterans is available on the CUNY Office of Veterans Affairs website.

New York State Benefits

New York Expands Its Veterans Tuition Awards Program

New York has enhanced its veteran's tuition award program by increasing the maximum tuition award available to New York State's combat veterans to approximate the cost of undergraduate tuition charged by the State university of New York to New York State veterans. Veteran's tuition awards will be available for study at both private and public institutions in New York State in approved vocational, undergraduate and graduate programs. Veterans who served in Indochina in the Vietnam War, or who served in the hostilities in the Persian Gulf or Afghanistan, and were discharged under honorable conditions are eligible to receive a veteran's tuition award.

Additionally, individuals who served in the Armed Forces of the United States in hostilities that occurred after Feb. 28, 1961, as evidenced by their receipt of an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Navy Expeditionary Medal, or Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, and were discharged under honorable conditions, may also be eligible. More details of the expanded veterans' tuition program can be found at HESC's Web site's special military page, Military Corner.

Military Service Recognition Scholarship

The Military Service Recognition Scholarship (MSRS) provides financial aid to children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the armed forces of the United States or state organized militia who, at any time on or after Aug. 2, 1990, while New York State residents, died or became severely and permanently disabled while engaged in hostilities or training for hostilities. For more information, visit MSRS

Federal Benefits

Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post- 9/11 GI Bill is an education benefit program for individuals who served on active duty after September 10, 2001. Eligible veterans may receive a percentage of tuition, school fees, housing allowance, and stipend for books and supplies. Learn more about eligibility and benefits at the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH)

Qualifying student veterans pursuing higher education in New York City may utilize G.I. Bill housing allowances to subsidize the cost of renting an apartment.  It is illegal to discriminate aganst a student veteran wishing to use the G.I. Bill for the purposes of paying for housing. 

The New York City Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) and the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) aim to provide landlords and student veterans with helpful information about legal protections under New York law for tenants seeking to finance their rent with G.I. Bill housing allowances.

For more information, please review this information sheet on Housing Allowances provided by DVS and CCHR.

Other Resources

The College Database created an online guidebook for military veterans and their families. The free 20-page guide titled "Higher Education Resources for Veterans and Their Families", includes detailed research by Ron Kness, a 36-year military veteran and expert in the service-to-school transition. In addition to more than 150 resources with links and brief descriptions, the guide also has three pages dedicated solely to veterans education information and resources by state. For more information, visit the guide website.