Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that for the first time in 14 years, New York State will increase funding for the maximum Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award. With this increase, New York State has allocated more than $1 billion for grants and scholarships for New York students who pursue higher education at a public or independent college or university in the State. Last year, TAP served nearly 400,000 students across the State.
New York was built on the promise of opportunity for all, and with this dramatic increase in the Tuition Assistance Program we are helping hundreds of thousands of students pursue world-class educational opportunities, Governor Cuomo said. TAP helps to make college more affordable for students across the State, and as we mark its 40th anniversary, I am proud that New York is investing in our future leaders by raising the level of grants and scholarships to a record $1 billion.
The maximum TAP award is now $5,165, available to New York State residents who attend any public or private college or university in the State. This represents a $165 increase in the maximum award, from $5,000 per student since 2000.
Additionally, students who qualify as an orphan, foster child or ward of the court for the purposes of federal student financial aid programs will now be considered dependent students for the purpose of determining their TAP awards, making them eligible for the maximum award. This means some of the highest-need students will receive an additional $2,140 per year.
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Dean Skelos said, Senate Republicans have always made it a priority to help hardworking, middle-class families and students afford the cost of a higher education. This increase in the maximum TAP award will provide critically important assistance so young students can attend college, achieve success in the classroom and pursue career opportunities in New York.
Senate Majority Coalition Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein said, This is a significant investment into our children's future that will no doubt provide them with the financial resources they need to succeed. By making college more affordable, we are equipping a new generation of future leaders with the tools they need to compete in a 21st century economy.
Senator Kenneth LaValle said, "With hardworking, middle-class families struggling to meet the rising cost of higher education, it's essential that the State be a partner in helping young people afford college so they can realize their dreams. I am pleased to have worked with the Governor and our partners in the Assembly to increase the maximum TAP award to assist even more families throughout New York State."
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said, "Preparing students to be successful in todays highly-skilled workforce means making crucial investments in higher education. With the leadership of Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick, the Assembly made securing the first TAP award increase in 14 years a top priority. This will truly help make obtaining a college degree more affordable, and in doing so we are investing in a bright future for our students and for the state of New York."
Assembly Member Deborah Glick said, The members of the Higher Education Committee and our colleagues in the Assembly Majority have always maintained a steadfast commitment to increasing access to a quality education. As part of this years budget, we make a critical investment in the form of increased TAP awards, making higher education more affordable for students who demonstrate potential but need financial support. This investment will assist so many New Yorkers striving for a college degree, opening the door to higher education and helping them pave their own path to success.
New York has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that its students have access to a college education, said Elsa Magee, Acting President of the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the administrating agency of New Yorks grants and scholarships. The State tuition awards our students receive support them in their pursuit of a postsecondary education and position them to be active and skilled members of our States workforce.
In 2012-2013, more than 372,000 New Yorkers attending college were awarded $931 million in TAP funds to help pay their college tuition costs, averaging $3,049 per student. To learn more about New Yorks Tuition Assistance Program and other scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness programs offered by the State, visit the HESC website at HESC.ny.gov.