CUF research sparks state policy changes to tuition assistance program (TAP)

Impact - May 2024

CUF research sparks state policy changes to tuition assistance program (TAP)

The state's FY 2025 budget formally authorizes the expansion of the tuition assistance program (TAP) to part-time students, which CUF has recommended for more than a decade. The state also increased income thresholds for TAP, which the Center has recommended in several publications over the years.

Tags: higher education economic opportunity low income

Years of research and advocacy by the Center for an Urban Future have contributed to a major change in New York State's tuition assistance program (TAP), which will expand access to higher education for many more low-income and working New Yorkers. The state's FY 2025 budget formally authorizes the expansion of tuition assistance to part-time students. CUF has been recommending this key change for more than a decade, including in our January 2022 report, Supporting CUNY's 79,000 Part-Time Students, a follow-up op-ed in the Albany Times-Union, and most recently in testimony before the State Legislature in November 2023 on "Strengthening New York State's Tuition Assistance Program."

The state's FY 2025 budget also raises the income thresholds for TAP eligibility, increasing the limit for married students living independently from $40,000 to $60,000 and for unmarried students from $10,000 to $30,000.  We have recommended these changes in several publications, op-eds, and testimonies as key to better supporting college access and success for lower-income and working New Yorkers, In our November 2023 testimony, we called on legislators to “raise the TAP award income limit for independent single students without children” in order to help thousands of working adult students afford the costs of college.