Governor Hochul Announces Launch of Tuition Assistance Program Eligibility for SUNY and CUNY Workforce Development Programs

February 2, 2024

From the office of Governor Hochul

TAP Expansion Provides Financial Aid to Non-Degree Students Pursuing High-Demand, Growing Fields 

283 TAP Eligible Programs Across 32 SUNY Campuses Beginning Spring Semester 2024; CUNY Pilot This Spring with 43 Courses Set for Fall 2024 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of the first-ever Tuition Assistance Program eligibility to cover hundreds of SUNY and CUNY non-degree programs that lead to jobs in high-demand, growing fields. The expansion builds on the support offered through TAP, New York State’s 50-year-old financial assistance program, which provides direct aid to students.

"Tuition assistance for workforce development opportunities will help ease a path to rewarding and successful careers for low- and middle-income families," Governor Hochul said. "Giving all New Yorkers the opportunity to obtain good paying jobs showcases my administration’s commitment to invest in our future workforce, our economy and a strong and prosperous future for all New Yorkers."

Beginning in the Spring 2024 semester, non-degree seeking students in 283 programs across 32 SUNY campuses may be eligible for TAP for the first time. SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. has provided each campus with a letter to send to all students who may be eligible for financial aid thanks to the Governor’s program. CUNY will also have a pilot program for five courses this semester, and is set to provide 43 courses in Fall 2024 semester. Students meeting eligibility requirements may be eligible for Part-time TAP for up to 11 credits per semester. More information about eligible SUNY courses is available here, and here for information about CUNY programs.

If students later matriculate toward a degree program, they will be granted full credit for the work they completed as part of this program.

SUNY Chancellor John B. King, Jr. said, "Governor Hochul continues to lead the crucial expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program to help more New Yorkers get the education and training they need to qualify for high-growth careers. There is a place at SUNY for every New Yorker, and we are proud to support students pursuing careers in high-demand, growing fields on their path to upward mobility and, hopefully, ultimately earning a college degree."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "This expansion of tuition assistance for non-degree programs is an incredible step toward equity in higher education. Tens of thousands of CUNY’s students are in non-degree classes, students who are taking steps to broaden their horizons and, in some cases, putting them on the path to enrollment. By making TAP available to them, we are encouraging New Yorkers to pursue professional credentials that lead to competitive jobs and offering them credit should they decide to matriculate. This is a win-win for New York, and we are grateful to Governor Hochul for investing in all our students."

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation President Dr. Guillermo Linares said, "By expanding TAP eligibility to include hundreds of non-degree programs in high-demand, growing fields, we are opening doors for non-matriculated students to gain the skills they need to enter the workforce and pursue fulfilling careers. This is an important step in promoting economic growth and addressing the critical labor needs of our state. Through TAP, we are investing in the future of our workforce and ensuring that all New Yorkers have the opportunity to achieve their full potential."

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "This expansion is a significant first step in modernizing TAP to meet the needs of today's students. By expanding TAP eligibility to students in non-degree programs we will create more opportunities for New Yorkers to get the education and training they need to launch fulfilling careers. It will provide an important economic advantage, helping students to enter the job market. Hopefully they will return to college and pursue a degree. I thank Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of TAP as we continue our push to ‘turn on the TAP’ for New York students."

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "More than 70% of students cite cost as the major barrier to attending college, and today’s expansion of the Tuition Assistance Program will mean that more New Yorkers can achieve their dream of attaining a higher education. Last year I was proud to work with Governor Hochul, Senate Chair Toby Ann Stavisky, and our SUNY/CUNY systems to include vital language in the FY2024 budget that enabled this expansion – and look forward to working to expand TAP to cover even more of these programs. Thank you to Governor Hochul, SUNY Chancellor John King, and CUNY Chancellor Felix Rodriguez for their work to ensure even more students can gain the skills they need to enter our workforce and thrive in the future."

For students who have already submitted their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and TAP application for the 2023-2024 academic year, TAP awards as reported by the student’s campus will be adjusted based on the number of enrolled credits. Other students interested in non-degree programs can fill out their 2023-24 FAFSA today and link directly from their FAFSA summary page to complete the 2023-24 NYS TAP application. Students who completed their FAFSA can apply by completing the TAP application here.

Eligibility for Part-time TAP for non-degree programs is consistent with other full-time and Part-time TAP awards, which includes residency and income requirements. TAP awards do not need to be repaid by any recipient. 

New York State TAP is one of the nation's largest need-based college financial aid grant programs. Since its inception in 1974, the Tuition Assistance Program has provided nearly $30 billion dollars to help more than 6 million New Yorkers to help make college more affordable and accessible. During the 2022-23 academic year, 234,000 New Yorkers were awarded more than $662 million in tuition assistance awards.  

New York’s generous investment in student financial aid, including TAP and Excelsior Scholarships, helped over 176,000 New York State residents. Fifty eight percent of full-time resident undergraduate students attended SUNY and CUNY tuition-free in 2022, including 52 percent at SUNY State-operated campuses and 67 percent at CUNY colleges. New York also enacted the Senator José Peralta DREAM Act in 2019, which provides undocumented New Yorkers and other students access to TAP and other New York State administered grants and scholarships that support their higher education costs. Students can learn more about that here

Expanding TAP has been part of the Governor’s broader push to invest in public higher education and improve access and affordability for every student, including expanding TAP for part-time students, reestablishing TAP for incarcerated individuals, and banning the practice of transcript withholding. Governor Hochul has also signed legislation expanding TAP to cover short-term non-degree programs, including microcredentials that supports students at community colleges and colleges of technology. 

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit suny.edu.


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