OHE

Office of Higher Education

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE NEW YORK
Deputy Commissioner
Office of Higher Education
Rm 977, Education Building Annex
Albany, New York 12234
Tel: (518) 486‐3633
Fax: (518) 486‐2254
E‐mail: jfrey@mail.nysed.gov
Date: August 25, 2010
To:

Chief Executive Officers/Presidents of Institutions of Higher Education

From: Joseph Frey
Subject: Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

The enacted 2010-11 New York State budget includes new provisions for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) which are set forth in Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2010. In particular, Chapter 53 establishes new standards of academic progress (SAP) for non-remedial students first receiving State aid in 2007-08 and thereafter. These standards take effect for students enrolled in the 2010-11 academic year. These standards, however, do not apply to students “enrolled in a program of remedial study approved by the Commissioner.”

At the September 13-14, 2010 Regents meeting, the Department will advance to the Board of Regents for its consideration emergency regulations to implement the requirements of Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2010 relating to students “enrolled in a program of remedial study approved by the Commissioner.”

The Department understand that the intent of the new law is to ensure that students receiving TAP funds and not needing remedial instruction or needing only a small amount of such remedial instruction demonstrate sufficient academic progress to complete their academic program in a timely manner. The intent is not to deny TAP to students who need remedial instruction.

However, a problem arises for some students who entered college on or after 2007-08 and were meeting the standards of academic progress established in 2006-07. Now they are faced with new standards which may preclude them from being eligible for TAP for the 2010 fall term. For example, for students in a baccalaureate program based on semesters, under the 2006 SAP students must have completed at least 21 credits by the end of the fourth term in order to be eligible for TAP in the fifth term. However, under the new 2010 SAP students now must have completed 30 credits by the end of the fourth term to be eligible for TAP in the fifth term. Some students are therefore put into a situation where they were not aware of the new requirements and could not possibly have time to take additional credit hours to meet the new standards in the 2010 SAP. A similar situation is also true for students pursuing an associate degree.

To remedy this situation, in the proposed emergency regulation, these returning students that “fall in the gap” between the 2006 and 2010 SAP, will be deemed to be remedial students for the 2010-11 year only and therefore can continue to be eligible for TAP under the 2006 SAP. The rationale is that these “gap” students are not progressing along their academic programs at a rate of success that the State finds acceptable for participation in the TAP program. They therefore are being given an academic year to achieve the level of academic performance necessary for participation in the TAP program.

The Department is recommending to the Board of Regents that “program of remedial study approved by the Commissioner” be defined in regulation as follows:

A student shall be deemed to be in a program approved by the Commissioner for remedial study if he/she:

  • Is enrolled in the Higher Education Opportunity Program  (HEOP), the Education Opportunity Program (EOP), The Search for Education, Elevation and  Knowledge (SEEK) program or the College Discovery (CD) program; or
  • Takes six credit hours of remedial instruction the first semester and at least nine credit hours of remedial instruction in the first year; or
  • Takes three credit hours of remedial instruction in the first semester and six credit hours of remedial instruction in the second semester.
  • Remedial courses taken in the summer session preceding the first academic year may count towards the required nine or more credits of remedial instruction for the purpose of program approval by the Commissioner for remedial study.
  • For the 2010-11 academic year only, a student who first received an award prior to the 2010-2011 academic year and does not meet the eligibility requirements to be certified for TAP under the 2010-2011 SAP shall be deemed to be in an approved program of remedial study for the 2010-11 academic year solely for the purpose of defining which standards of academic progress apply for the 2010-11 academic year.

This proposed definition should not be construed as a position of the Board of Regents. The Department will notify all institutions on the action of the Board of Regents on September 14, 2010.

cc:        New York State Board of Regents
Commissioner Steiner
Elsa Magee, President, HESC
Valerie Grey

Last Updated: April 19, 2012