International Students


Secondary school degree or equivalent from outside the United States?

  • If you are an undergraduate or graduate student applying for TAP, APTS, or other New York State financial aid for the first time
  • and if you do not have either a) a certificate of graduation (a high school diploma or recognized equivalent) from within the United States or from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands or b) an undergraduate degree from an approved college or university
  • then, the New York State Department of Education requires you to pass an Ability-to-Benefit exam as one of the requirements for TAP, APT, or other New York State financial aid.
  • Beginning with the summer term of the 2008-2009 academic year, for first-time eligibility, you must take and pass the Ability-to-Benefit exam by the last day of the drop/add period of the first semester for which you are applying for TAP, APTS, or other New York State financial aid.
  • Failure to take and pass the exam within the approved time period will make you ineligible for TAP, APTS, or other New York State financial aid.

College graduates from institutions in the United States or recognized colleges and universities outside of the U.S. are considered to meet the Ability-to-Benefit standards and are exempt from this requirement. The Admissions Office can tell you if your college or university degree from outside the U.S. is approved for exemption from the Ability-to-Benefit requirement.

For an appointment to take--or for further information about-- the required examination, please call or visit the Testing Center at 718-488-1392, LLC Building, 4th floor. For information about financial aid in general, please visit the website of the Office of Student Financial Services at For information about TAP, APTS, or other New York State financial aid requirements, you may also visit the Bursar’s website at