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Our Best Answer: What are the eligibility requirements for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)?

Eligibility Requirements for TAP

To be eligible for New York State's Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), you must:

  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be a legal resident of New York State
  • Study full time (at least 12 credits per semester) at an approved postsecondary institution in New York state
  • Have graduated from a U.S. high school or have an HSE/ GED or have passed a federally-approved exam (ATB)
  • Be enrolled in an approved degree program of study and be in good academic standing; have a least a cumulative “C” average after receipt of two annual payments
  • Be charged at least $200 tuition per year
  • Not be in default on a student loan or owe any repayment of state awards
  • Meet income eligibility limitations:
    • If dependent, have a NY State net income at or below $80,000
    • If independent, have NY State net income at or below $10,000 if single; $80,000 if single with tax dependents; or $40,000 if married with no other tax dependents (Independent status for federal aid programs does not mean that you'll also meet the criteria for state aid)

You can apply for TAP if you have a bachelor's degree and want to pursue an associate degree.

Non-U.S. High School Graduates: In addition to applying for TAP and getting approved, you must demonstrate that you have been tested to meet New York State eligibility for state aid. The process is called Ability to Benefit or ATB-testing. If you need to take the ATB Test, please contact the Testing Office.

Enrollment: To be eligible for TAP, you must be full time or have at least 12 credits toward your selected major. TAP eligibility is based on how you plan out your schedule which includes both Session I and Session II each semester. For example, you can register for 6 credits in Session I and at the same time for 6 credits in Session II to make yourself full-time at 12 credits for the entire semester. This can make you eligible for TAP provided that all the credits are in the major. You can also register for 9 credits in Session I and at the same time for 3 credits for Session II to become a full-time student and be eligible for TAP as long as the classes combined are in your major.

If you are a part-time student, there are other options for state aid:

  • Part-Time TAP (PTAP)
  • Aid for Part-Time Study (APTS)

After receiving the first payment of TAP, grade point average and earned credits will be included in evaluation to determine whether you are eligible for further payments. Find out more about Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). If you withdraw from a class in your present schedule, you will remain eligible for TAP for that semester. However the withdrawal can affect the next or future semesters of receiving TAP. You should talk to a financial aid counselor regarding your situation.

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