On Monday, January 8, 2024, the Chairs of the Higher Education Committees in the New York State Legislature, Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy, announced a package of legislation to #TurnOnTheTAP to expand and fund the Tuition Assistance Program’s (TAP). The proposed package of bills raises TAP’s income thresholds, award amounts, and expands the number of students eligible for TAP.

CICU President Lola W. Brabham was invited to give remarks in support of “TurnOnTheTAP”:

We’re happy to be here today, representing the voice of the Independent Sector of Higher Education. CICU represents over 100 independent colleges and universities, and almost 500,000 students across New York. Two-thirds of our students on our campuses are from families who earn less than $125,000 annually. Almost 90% of our students receive financial assistance – and 89% of that support, approximately $7 billion, is provided by our member institutions. 
We have dedicated ourselves to building futures by providing wider opportunities through higher education. As we mark the 50th anniversary of New York’s signature student aid program, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) has helped over six million New Yorkers achieve that dream. We thank HESC for all the great work they do to administer such an important program.  
TAP is unmatched in its simplicity, efficacy, and reach. Unfortunately, the program has stagnated in the last 20 years. For instance, New York’s TAP award is less than half of the maximum award in California and New Jersey, states with equally robust higher education sectors. TAP is crucial to ensuring that New York’s students can attend and graduate from college.  
The Independent Sector applauds and supports the Senate and Assembly Higher Education Committees’ #TurnOnTheTAP campaign to ensure that TAP continues to be transformational for millions of students and their families. 
Fortunately, we have a governor and a legislature who value higher education. We look forward to working together to ensure that higher education is accessible to all who wish to pursue it, and to make sure that students know that the dream of earning a college degree is within their reach.”

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