New York Expands Tuition Assistance Program

Gov. Kathy Hochul raised the minimum tuition assistance a student can receive in the Tuition Assistance Program from $500 to $1,000 and expanded eligibility income thresholds.
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Published on May 14, 2024
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  • The Tuition Assistance Program awards qualifying full- and part-time students from $1,000-$5,665 for tuition.
  • New York projects the expansion will make almost 50,000 new students eligible for the program.
  • Undocumented and DACA students living in New York can qualify for the Tuition Assistance Program.

New York is expanding the income threshold for tuition assistance and the minimum amount a student can receive.

Gov. Kathy Hochul expanded the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) on May 3 as part of the fiscal year 2025 state budget. Students in the program will qualify for $1,000 minimum — up from $500 — starting in the 2024-25 academic year. The program is also now available to students from families making even higher yearly salaries than before.

New York began TAP in 1974, giving over 6 million students nearly $30 billion in tuition assistance since its inception. It's available to New York residents with citizenship and undocumented or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. Program award amounts now range from $1,000-$5,665.

New York estimates the changes will benefit about 93,000 students, including 48,000 newly eligible students.

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.

TAP raised several income limits, including:

  • The dependent student income limit from $80,000 to $125,000
  • The independent married student income limit from $40,000 to $60,000
  • The independent single-student income limit from $10,000 to $30,000

The state has slowly expanded the program over the last couple of years. In 2022, the state expanded the program to include part-time students on a prorated basis.

TAP is also making a difference in graduating New Yorkers at in-state schools.

The New York State TAP Difference Report found that TAP recipients are more likely to graduate than those who did not receive the tuition assistance. TAP recipients were also twice as likely to start at a four-year institution and two times more likely to complete their education at a four-year institution.

New York also offers the Excelsior Scholarship, which covers tuition for in-state U.S. citizens, Dreamers (a term based on never-passed proposals in Congress called the DREAM Act), or qualifying undocumented students from families making $125,000 or less per year.

The scholarship is available at any State University of New York and City University of New York system school and statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University.