NYS launches tuition assistance for workforce development programs

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By Dan Sears

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Students who are pursuing nondegree programs that lead to jobs in high-demand and growing fields may now qualify for tuition assistance.

New York State has launched eligibility for its Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for students pursuing workforce development studies. The initiative will cover hundreds of nondegree programs at SUNY and CUNY campuses, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“Tuition assistance for workforce development opportunities will help ease a path to rewarding and successful careers for low- and middle-income families,” Hochul said in a written statement.

The TAP expansion aims to give “all New Yorkers the opportunity to obtain good-paying jobs,” she said, adding that the initiative is the commitment to “invest in our future workforce, our economy and a strong and prosperous future for all New Yorkers.”

For the Spring 2024 semester, non-degree seeking students in 283 programs across 32 SUNY campuses may qualify for TAP for the first time. SUNY Chancellor John King, Jr. has provided each campus with a letter to send to all students who may qualify for financial aid.

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CUNY is launching 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.

“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,” King said in written statement.

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez said in a written statement that the “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.”

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He added that in “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.”

Students who qualify for the program may have already filed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and TAP application for the 2023-2024 academic year. For these students, TAP awards, as reported by the student’s campus, will be adjusted based on the number of enrolled credits, according to the state.

Other students interested in non-degree programs can fill out their 2023-24 FAFSA now and link directly from their FAFSA summary page to complete the 2023-24 New York State TAP application. Students who completed their FAFSA can apply by completing the TAP application here.

Eligibility for part-time TAP for nondegree 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.

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