Anticipated Change: Boosting Tuition Assistance Program

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Photo by Laura Dicker

By LUCIA CHABERT

The New York TAP grant, or Tuition Assistance Program, has neither decreased nor increased in more than ten years. However, lawmakers in Albany have recently expressed their interest in boosting the funding for the grant, which would highly benefit Mville students as well as the institution.

TAP, which is offered exclusively to New York State residents, is one of the country’s largest state based grants, helping students meet their financial needs for over thirty years. Based on factors such as combined family income, tuition costs, and the number of family members enrolled in higher education, the grant awards students with a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $5000, which goes directly into the student’s tuition. In an interview, Financial Aid Director, Robert Gilmore, stated that “it is a phenomenal program that has the ability to do a lot of good in the state.” Not only does the program encourage students to pursue their education in the New York State area, but it also pays the state back through taxes. 

According to Gilmore, approximately 540 students, one third of the student body, currently receive TAP funding. “It would impact both the school and the students,” said Gilmore. “Any increase in TAP will decrease money from students’ pockets.” Not only does this ease the students’ financial burden, but it also simplifies the school’s money collecting process. “Because we receive it directly from TAP, we don’t have to work that hard to get our money,” declared Gilmore. On the other hand, Gilmore, who has worked in financial aid for twenty years, remains skeptical, “they always talk about it, but they never do it,” and encourages students to “talk up” the program in the hopes of generating action and making a change.

 

To learn more about the program and taking action, visit

http://www.nystudentaidalliance.org/fund-students-first/its-time-increase-tap-max