FY 2025 Enacted Budget Modifies Tuition Assistance Program Qualifications to Increase Minimum Award to $1,000 and Raise Student Income Limits.

Governor Kathy Hochul today celebrated the historic expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program included in the FY 2025 Enacted Budget to make higher education more affordable and accessible. The Governor also released the New York State TAP Difference Report, which highlights the significant role the New York State Tuition Assistance Program plays in broadening college access, boosting completion rates, and fostering educational equity particularly among low-income families and first-generation college students. Governor Hochul celebrated the TAP expansion today at Farmingdale State College where she also announced $431,000 for new, modernized air traffic control simulation technology to further the institution’s commitment to meeting the critical workforce needs of the aviation industry in New York State.

“Higher education can transform New Yorkers’ lives, helping students develop the skills they need to pursue their dreams,” Governor 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.” 

The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) is one of the nation’s largest need-based college financial aid grant programs. Since its inception in 1974, it was provided nearly $30 billion to help more than 6 million New Yorkers attend college.

The FY 2025 Enacted Budget increases the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000. Additionally, the Budget increases the dependent student net taxable income (NTI) limit for TAP eligibility from $80,000 to $125,000, the independent married student NTI limit from $40,000 to $60,000, and the independent single student NTI limit from $10,000 to $30,000. These changes are estimated to benefit roughly 93,000 students in public and private colleges and universities, including 48,000 students newly eligible for TAP. 

The New York State TAP Difference Report is the first study that examines the six-year outcomes for students who have benefited from TAP. Highlights of the report include:  

  • TAP recipients were more likely to graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to students who did not receive TAP.  

  • TAP recipients were found to be twice as likely to begin their college education at a four-year institution, and two times more likely to complete their education at a four-year institution.  

  • More TAP recipients stayed at New York State schools, with the greatest difference among upward transfers from a two-year to a four-year school. TAP: 89 percent; non-TAP: 62 percent. 

  • TAP advanced educational equity. TAP recipients saw reductions in the gap in six-year completion rates between disadvantaged and advantaged subgroups.  

  • 60 percent of TAP recipients for the academic years 2013 and 2014 completed their four-year degrees in six years, as compared to 26 percent who did not receive TAP. 

Read the full New York State TAP Difference Report and learn more about how the New York State Tuition Assistance Program has helped shape the futures of thousands of students in New York State by helping to bring access to higher education within reach. More information or how to apply for TAP is available here.  

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, “The New York State Tuition Assistance Program has been instrumental in transforming the lives of countless students across the state, making higher education not just a dream but a reality for those who thought it unattainable. This report underscores New York State’s dedication to developing pathways for all students to thrive in higher education frameworks, irrespective of their economic background or first-generation status.” 

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, “New York’s Tuition Assistance Program, along with help from federal and institutional aid, has made it possible for 52% of SUNY’s resident students to attend college tuition free. This report shows how vital TAP is for student success and upward mobility, and now that Governor Hochul and the legislature have doubled the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000, and increased income thresholds, we are looking forward to writing the next chapter of student success for New Yorkers.”

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, “Thousands of CUNY students stand to benefit from the historic expansion of TAP included in the FY25 Enacted Budget. The State’s robust financial aid program is more critical than ever to the ability of New Yorkers of all backgrounds to pursue their educational goals, achieve their career dreams and climb the socioeconomic ladder. We thank Governor Hochul for her unwavering support of higher education and the continued expansion of this vital program.”

New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said, “The Board of Regents, Education Department, and I commend Governor Hochul and the Legislature for continuing to provide the resources needed for all students to succeed in school and beyond. New York will reach its full potential when all students have equitable access to educational opportunities, and TAP plays a critical role in making that vision possible.”

Farmingdale State College President John Nader said, “Once again, Governor Hochul has delivered unprecedented results for higher education and for New York’s college students. The expansion of TAP eligibility is most welcome news. It is another big step in making a college more affordable for working and middle class New Yorkers. Her commitment to access and affordability is clear. She has delivered historic increases in support for the SUNY system and higher education. Now, thanks to the Governor’s leadership, thousands of our students will find Farmingdale Stater College to be an even greater value.”

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, “The enacted budget includes major improvements to TAP and students should take advantage of these increases. Thousands of dollars are left untouched because high school seniors do not apply for these grants. We ‘Turned on the TAP’ and I urge those eligible to apply.”

State Senator Monica Martinez said, “Expansion of New York’s Tuition Assistance Program will allow more New York students to TAP into much-needed additional financial aid. In combination, TAP’s increased income eligibility limits and minimum award amount will make the cost of investing in education more affordable. Income should not limit people from achieving their fullest potential, and these improvements will help ensure it won’t.” 

Assemblymember Kimberly Jean-Pierre said, “As an advocate for educational advancement and equity, I applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to expanding the Tuition Assistance Program. This enhancement is a major step forward in our collective effort to ensure that higher education is within reach for more New Yorkers, especially those from low-income and underrepresented communities. By increasing the financial thresholds and awards, we are not just opening doors to college for nearly 50,000 additional students, but we are also investing in the future of our state’s workforce and economy. The TAP Difference Report clearly shows that when we make education more accessible, we uplift entire communities and build a stronger, more inclusive New York. I’m looking forward to the access to higher education this will bring to prospective students in our community.” 

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, “This year’s enacted budget makes significant investments necessary in New York’s higher education programs; keeping our colleges and universities nationally and internationally competitive, transforming student affordability and TAP for the first time in a quarter century, and continuing our progress on ushering in a new era for Higher Education. As I’ve said before, nearly 70 percent of students report cost as the most significant barrier to higher education. With New Yorkers citing affordability as their number one concern, this year’s investments in TAP will allow a new generation of students and families the opportunity to pursue their dream of attaining a higher education. Thank you to Governor Hochul, Senator Stavisky, and Speaker Heastie for working to make these investments and recognizing the need to invest wisely in our future via our higher education system.”

New York City Public Schools Chancellor David C. Banks said, “The New York State Tuition Assistance Program is an invaluable resource to many New York City Public School students who dream of higher education. By helping put college within reach, New York State is working alongside us to create bold futures for our young people.”

CICU President Lola W. Brabham said, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of The New York State Tuition Assistance program, one of the largest state-run programs in the country. TAP has been the major vehicle for student success in higher education, with over six million New Yorkers benefiting from it in their pursuit of a college degree. TAP is unmatched in its simplicity, efficacy, and reach. The program is crucial to ensuring that students can attend and graduate from college. The Independent Sector applauds Governor Hochul and the State Legislature for expanding this vital program and signing into law a bold expansion to ensure that TAP continues to be transformational for millions of students and their families.”

Association of Private Colleges President Donna Stelling Gurnett said, “For fifty years TAP has been transforming the lives of New York students by making the dream of a college degree possible. This historic investment by the Governor will allow even more students to pursue a degree and develop the skills they need to fill the employment pipeline and keep New York among the best places in the country to do business with a highly educated workforce.”

Student Speaker Marco Iorio, an electrical engineering technology major with a dual minor in legal studies and applied mathematics, said, “Here at Farmingdale State College and across New York State, financial assistance is not merely about funding education, it’s about empowering students and providing the tools to help them to excel both academically and financially. It’s about equity and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their economic background, has the access and resources to pursue higher education without the crushing burden of student debt.” 


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