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What's the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

Published July 2, 2024| minute read
Hadiya Iqbal

Senior Associate, JPMorgan Chase

    The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is a type of financial aid available for New York State residents. The program was designed to help New York residents pay tuition at an approved set of schools located in New York State.

    If you’re a New York State resident or are considering becoming a resident, it may be worthwhile to fully understand this program.

    Keep reading as we break down eligibility requirements, how much you can receive from the program, and more.

    TAP eligibility requirements

    To receive a TAP award, students must attend a State University of New York, a City University of New York, or a nonprofit independent degree-granting college.

    According to the eligibility requirements listed on the New York State government’s website, to qualify for a TAP award, you must:

    • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
    • Be a legal resident of New York State for at least 12 continuous months before the start of the term
    • Have graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as a GED, or passed a federally approved "Ability to Benefit" test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
    • Be enrolled in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing
    • Be enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits per semester
    • Not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default on any repayment of state awards
    • Comply with the terms of any service condition imposed by a New York State award
    • Meet certain income requirements
    • Be charged at least $200 in tuition per year
    • Study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York State

    Recipients may apply for Part-Time TAP which allows for partial TAP payments. Part-time students should meet the above requirements but may be registered for as few as six (but less than 12) credit hours rather than being enrolled full-time.

    For application purposes, it’s important to note some situations may prevent you from being considered a resident of New York, such as:

    • Your parents moved out of the state but claim you as a dependent
    • Your parents moved out of the state and gave you more than $750 in financial support
    • You moved to the state only to attend college
    • You established residency in the state less than 12 months before applying for TAP

    How much can you receive from TAP?

    Awards are based on a student’s financial need that’s based on various factors like whether the student has dependent family members and what their taxable income is. The award can range from $1,000 to $5,665 per year, which is pro-rated for part time students. Those receiving the highest possible award amount generally have tax dependents, whereas those receiving lower award amounts generally don’t have any dependents.

    The amount you may receive depends on the following:

    • The academic year
    • The cost of tuition
    • Your family’s combined state-taxable income
    • Private pension and annuity income, if applicable
    • Federal, state, and local pension income, if applicable
    • Whether you’re financially independent or dependent
    • Whether you have other family members enrolled in college

    Are there income limits?

    Families with New York State net taxable income (gross income less deductions and allowances for exemptions) of $125,000 or less may qualify to receive a TAP grant.

    How do you apply for TAP?

    First, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Second, submit the TAP application, which can be done online before the deadline, which is typically June 30th each year.

    Do you have to pay TAP back?

    TAP is a grant, so you don’t have to pay it back as long as you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

    Final thoughts

    For eligible students, applying for TAP may help make your New York State college education more affordable. Read through the requirements to make sure you qualify, and if so, consider applying.

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