What is the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

The tuition assistance program (TAP) is a type of financial aid available for New York State residents. Eligibility requirements and other details about TAP are outlined below.

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Eligibility Requirements

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

You must also meet these eligibility requirements to qualify for a full-time Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) award:

  • Be a resident of New York.
  • Have lived in the state continuously for one year.
  • Have graduated from a U.S. high school or completed the GED.
  • Attend a postsecondary school in New York.
  • Be enrolled in an approved program.
  • Take a minimum of 12 credit hours toward the program per semester.
  • Maintain a minimum “C” average as of your fourth semester in school.
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Owe at least $200 in tuition for the year.
  • Not be in default on federal or state loans.
  • Not be in default on state awards.
  • Meet income limitations.

Recipients may apply as full-time students or for part-time TAP as a part-time student. Part-time students must meet all of the above requirements and must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours in two consecutive semesters.

For application purposes, it’s important to note which situations 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.

How Much Can You Receive From Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

Awards range from $500 to $5,165 per year. The amount you can 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?

Yes. If you make more income than the limit that applies to you, you can’t apply for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). There are several limits depending on your tax status and number of dependents:

  • Students who are married and have tax dependents: $80,000.
  • Unmarried independent students with tax dependents: $80,000.
  • Students who qualify as orphans, foster children, or wards of the court: $80,000.
  • Married independent undergraduate students with no other tax dependents: $40,000.
  • Single, independent students with no dependents: $10,000.

How Do You Apply?

First, you need to submit your FAFSA®. Second, you need to submit the TAP application, which can be done online.

Do You Have to Pay Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) Back?

TAP is a grant, so you don’t have to pay it back. Unlike a loan, it’s free money that you can use to pay for college.

For eligible students, applying for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is as essential as completing the FAFSA®. Both are free to apply for, and both provide grants that you won’t need to pay back.

“Apply for New York State TAP.” New York State, http://www.ny.gov/services/apply-new-york-state-tap.
Gillis, Carly. “Here’s Literally Everything You Need to File Your FAFSA®.” Frank, Frank, 26 Jan. 2018, blog.withfrank.org/literally-everything-need-file-FAFSA/.
“Part-Time TAP.” NYS Higher Education Services Corporation, www.hesc.ny.gov/pay-for-college/apply-for-financial-aid/nys-tap/part-time-tap.html.