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. Across more than 40 years, five million New Yorkers have used TAP to help meet their college expenses. For more information, click here.

KEY POINTS

  • The maximum TAP award was stagnant at $5,000 for over a decade, and then rose by 3 percent in 2013-14 to its current level of $5,165. Since then, the maximum award amount has not changed, failing to keep pace with inflation and student need.

  • The maximum income for TAP eligibility has also remained stagnant at $80,000 for nearly two decades, failing to keep pace with modestly rising family income levels or the needs of working families.

  • More than 336,000 students receive TAP, and 72,000 of them (21 percent) attend private, not-for-profit colleges. Those 72,000 Independent Sector students represent 43 percent of the New York State resident undergraduates enrolled in private, not-for-profit schools in the state. 

  • Half of Independent Sector undergraduates who receive TAP support come from families with incomes less than $20,000; nearly three-quarters (72 percent) have family incomes below $40,000.

  • Because TAP awards and income standards do not undergo periodic adjustment, fewer students can benefit from it than in previous years. For example, the inflation adjusted median family income in New York State increased by 7 percent between 2005 and 2017, however the TAP upper income limit has remained at $80,000 since 2000.

NEW YORK STATE BUDGET

2019-20: TAP Program Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1,073.50 billion. TAP Program alone is $947.70 million. 

2018-19: TAP Programs Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1,096.86 billion. TAP Program alone is $955.58 million. 

2017-18: TAP Programs Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1,109.61 billion. TAP Program alone is $1,003.61 billion.

2016-17: $1,039.60 billion

2015-16: $1,021.40 billion

2014-15: $976.68 million