Guidance Concerning Ability-to-Benefit Tests to Determine Eligibility for TAP Awards

To: Chief Executive Officers/Presidents of Institutions of Higher Education and Registered Business Schools in New York State

From: Johanna Duncan-Poitier

Subject: Guidance Concerning Administration of Ability-to-Benefit Tests to Determine Eligibility for TAP Awards

On July 6, 2006, I sent you a memorandum regarding the enactment of new State budgetary language concerning the independent administration of ability-to-benefit examinations to determine eligibility for TAP awards for students without high school diplomas (CEO 06-03 enclosed).

In that memorandum, I indicated that, for the winter 2007 semester, the State Education Department would develop regulations defining the requirements for the independent administration of ability-to-benefit examinations and that colleges and registered business schools should follow the federal requirements for the independent administration of these examinations for the fall 2006 semester.

This new requirement was enacted as part of the 2006-07 State appropriation bill (S.6453-6/A.9553-C) rather than in Education Law. Therefore, this requirement, unless renewed, will end in six months, on March 31, 2007. The Department is working with the Governor and Legislature on the continuation of this provision after March 31, 2007. Until a final decision on the long term continuation of this requirement is made, please continue to follow the federal requirements for the independent administration of the ability-to-benefit examination.

The Federal regulations on the independent administration of the ability-to-benefit test can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 668 - Student Assistance General Provisions, Subpart J - Approval of Independently Administered Tests; Specification of Passing Score; Approval of State Process. These regulations can be found at: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov, Title 34 Education, VI 600-699, Office of Postsecondary Education.

If you have any questions, please contact Assistant Commissioner Joseph Frey at the following address:
Joseph P. Frey, Assistant Commissioner
Office of Quality Assurance
New York State Education Department
Room 977, Education Building Annex
Albany, New York 12234
Fax: (518) 486-2254
Email: jfrey@mail.nysed.gov

Last Updated: October 22, 2009