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.


  • TAP, New York’s signature financial aid program, is structured to progressively serve New York’s lowest income families. The program supports students across the state’s entire higher education ecosystem.
  • Since its inception more than 50 years ago, TAP has enabled more than five million New Yorkers to realize their college dreams.
  • The maximum TAP award for our state’s poorest students has increased only once (and then by only 3 percent) in the past almost 20 years. It now stands at $5,165.
  • The minimum TAP award has remained stagnant at $500 for almost 20 years (since 2000).
  • The maximum income for TAP eligibility has also remained stagnant at $80,000 since 2000, failing to keep pace with modestly rising family income levels or the needs of working families.
  • The Adjusted Gross Income limit to receive maximum TAP is only $7,000.
  • More than 337,000 students receive TAP, and 68,000 of them (20.1 percent) attend private, not-for-profit colleges. Those 68,000 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 come from families that earn less than $20,000 a year; nearly three-quarters (72 percent) have family incomes below $40,000.
  • Since 2013, TAP support for Independent College Students has declined from $221 million in 2013 to a projected $185 million in 2019. The number of students receiving TAP at Independent institutions has also declined from 74,277 students in 2013 to a projected 59,185 in 2019.
  • New York has not kept pace with comparable states in supporting financial aid for its neediest students in private colleges. California’s Cal Grant (A) provides a fixed amount of tuition aid at private colleges ($9,084). With income ceilings of $88,900 and $114,300 depending on family size.


2019-20: TAP Program Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1.074 billion. TAP Program alone is $947.70 million. 

2018-19: TAP Programs Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1.097 billion. TAP Program alone is $955.58 million. 

2017-18: TAP Programs Overall (TAP, Excelsior, ETA): $1.110 billion. TAP Program alone is $1.004 billion.

2016-17: $1.040 billion

2015-16: $1.021 billion

2014-15: $976.68 million