NY expands TAP minimum to $1,000 to help make college more affordable

Posted 3 May 2024 at 12:21 pm

Press Release, Governor Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated the historic expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program included in the FY 2025 Enacted Budget to make higher education more affordable and accessible.

The Governor also released the New York State TAP Difference Report, which highlights the significant role the New York State Tuition Assistance Program plays in broadening college access, boosting completion rates, and fostering educational equity particularly among low-income families and first-generation college students.

Hochul celebrated the TAP expansion today at Farmingdale State College where she also announced $431,000 for new, modernized air traffic control simulation technology to further the institution’s commitment to meeting the critical workforce needs of the aviation industry in New York State.

“Higher education can transform New Yorkers’ lives, helping students develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams,” Hochul said. “We are taking significant steps to ensure all New York students have access to the financial support they need to continue their education and become the next generation of leaders in our state.”

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is one of the nation’s largest need-based college financial aid grant programs. Since its inception in 1974, it was provided nearly $30 billion to help more than 6 million New Yorkers attend college.

The FY 2025 Enacted Budget increases the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000. Additionally, the Budget increases the dependent student net taxable income (NTI) limit for TAP eligibility from $80,000 to $125,000, the independent married student NTI limit from $40,000 to $60,000, and the independent single student NTI limit from $10,000 to $30,000. These changes are estimated to benefit roughly 93,000 students in public and private colleges and universities, including 48,000 students newly eligible for TAP.

The New York State TAP Difference Report is the first study that examines the six-year outcomes for students who have benefited from TAP. Highlights of the report include:

  • TAP recipients were more likely to graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to students who did not receive TAP.
  • TAP recipients were found to be twice as likely to begin their college education at a four-year institution, and two times more likely to complete their education at a four-year institution.
  • More TAP recipients stayed at New York State schools, with the greatest difference among upward transfers from a two-year to a four-year school. TAP: 89 percent; non-TAP: 62 percent.
  • TAP advanced educational equity. TAP recipients saw reductions in the gap in six-year completion rates between disadvantaged and advantaged subgroups.
  • 60 percent of TAP recipients for the academic years 2013 and 2014 completed their four-year degrees in six years, as compared to 26 percent who did not receive TAP.