Reform the Tuition Assistance Program

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News Conference Demanding TAP Reforms

PSC President Barbara Bowen spoke alongside CUNY students, Dream Activists, and financial aid professionals at a March 25 news conference calling for reform of the State’s largest financial aid program, TAP. The event, held by NYPIRG, the PSC and other members of the Coalition to Reform the NY Tuition Assistance Program, called on the governor and the Legislature to pass the NYS DREAM Act this year and enact a platform of reforms that would align TAP with the needs today’s college students. TAP was designed for the “traditional” straight-from-high school-to-college students who went to college 40 years ago, not the wide variety of students in various life circumstances who now attend college. More than 400 student organizations from colleges and universities throughout the state have endorsed the platform, along with larger organizations including the NY State Youth Leadership Council, United University Professions, SEIU 32BJ, and the New York State School Counselor Association. Read the PSC’s resolution endorsing the TAP reform platform and an in-depth Clarion article about the needed reforms.

"Reformers Urge TAP Changes: Outdated Rules Penalize Many Students"

Clarion, February 2014

The State of New York created the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in 1974 to provide needs-based aid to the State’s college students. In the 40 years since, TAP has helped 4 million New Yorkers pursue higher education. But a new statewide coalition says that too many of today’s college students are not well served by TAP, and that the program is due for an update. Looking to build on TAP’s past success, the coalition is advancing several related proposals for reform. Read the full Clarion article.