ALBANY- On Wednesday, the New York State Senate passed a package of legislation designed to help students struggling to cover the cost of tuition. Among the bills passed in this critical package is S.7916A, proposed by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. This bill will increase income eligibility for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) from $80,000 to $110,000. TAP provides thousands of dollars to help eligible New Yorkers cover the cost of tuition.
“The Tuition Assistance Program is a lifeline for young men and women trying to better themselves and their prospects for the future,” explains Senator Toby Ann Stavisky. “For years we’ve seen what TAP has done for low income and working class families. As New Yorkers battle the financial stress of the COVID-19 health crisis and the current inflation squeezing families, we ought to be extending that support to our middle class as well. Investing in our students now, at this time of great need, is an investment into the future of New York.”
The Senate also advanced Stavisky bill S.4449, which will streamline the process for determining financial eligibility for students. Under this proposal, the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) will have 60 days once the application is completed to review a student’s aid application and make a determination on their eligibility.
“Students should not have to suffer in limbo after applying for loans, TAP awards or other aid,” says Senator Stavisky. “The longer the eligibility process drags on, the more strain falls on the student, their families and the institution they are hoping to attend.”
These two bills were part of a larger student debt legislative package advanced by the New York State Senate.