TAP Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) a New York State funded grant program that helps pay the tuition of eligible full-time and part-time students. If you receive a TAP award, the money comes directly to the college for payment of your tuition.

To be eligible for TAP, you must:

  • Be a legal resident of New York State (that is, you must have lived in the State for at least one year prior to the first term for which you are seeking payment).
  • Be a US citizen, permanent resident or hold an I-94 visa as a refugee, paroled refugee or conditional entrant.
  • Be matriculated (enrolled in a program leading to a degree).
  • Be in good academic standing for New York State financial aid programs by meeting Academic Progress standards and demonstrating Program Pursuit each semester you receive TAP (see the NYS Good Academic Standing Charts).
  • Meet certain income limits.
  • Have a high school diploma from a U.S. high school, a recognized GED certificate, or receive a passing score on an approved ability-to-benefit test.
  • Be free of debt from any defaulted federal student loan.
Dependent Total family NYS net taxable income below $80,001.00
Independent & Single With No Tax Dependents Total family NYS net taxable income below $10,001.00
Independent & Married With No Tax Dependents Total family NYS net taxable income below $40,000.00
Independent With Tax Dependents Total family NYS net taxable income below $80,001.00

Remember that applying for TAP requires that you first file a FAFSA and then a separate NYS TAP application at two different websites.

To be considered for Federal Work-Study (FWS), you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student aid (FAFSA)by an established filing deadline and indicate on it that you are interested in work. CUNY receives a fixed amount of money each academic year to make FWS awards. Once this money is awarded, there is no more for that academic year. FWS is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. You must file your FAFSA early to be considered.If you are awarded Federal Work-Study, the award will be posted to your Financial Aid Award Summary page in CUNYfirst.  To view this page, login to your Student Center in CUNYfirst, and click on “View Financial Aid.” After the college packages you with your financial aid awards, you will also receive an e-mail award letter that will indicate whether or not you have been awarded FWS.

If you don’t receive a Federal Work-Study award as part of your awards package, you may submit an Award Letter Appeal Form to be considered for FWS.  You are welcome to visit the Federal Work Study Placement Office in Rm N370 if you have questions about your award status.

About 4 to 6 weeks after submitting your application, you will receive an email notification of your award from New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC). This notice will indicate the amount of TAP you can expect to receive at BMCC each term. HESC also notifies the college of your TAP award so you don’t have to return anything to the college.

If you have not heard from TAP after 6 to 8 weeks, you may check your application or award status using HESC’s TAP Online Status Check.

Before your TAP award can be credited to your BMCC account for any given semester, the college must first determine whether or not you meet the State’s requirements for full-time or part-time enrollment and good academic standing. If you do not meet one or more of these enrollment and progress criteria for TAP eligibility, you will not be able to use your TAP award for that term.

If you are determined eligible to receive a TAP award, it will be posted to your Financial Aid Award Summary page in CUNYfirst.  To view this page, login to your Student Center in CUNYfirst, and click on “View Financial Aid.”

The amount of TAP you receive depends on your family income, the number of family members attending college full-time, the number of semesters you have received TAP, and the size of the annual appropriation for the program. Maximum TAP awards can be equal to but not greater than the full tuition charge at BMCC. State budgetary restrictions can further limit TAP awards to a portion of your tuition.

A PTAP award will be based on your part-time credit load and will be calculated as a proportional fraction of the normal full-time TAP award.

You may receive TAP for up to 6 semesters (or the equivalent) as an associate degree student. You will be limited to 6 semesters of TAP even if you change majors or transfer to another community college.

When you enroll in a 4 year college program at a senior college, you will become eligible for an additional 2 full-time semesters of TAP bringing your undergraduate total to 8 semesters.

If you are enrolled in a special program, such as College Discovery, you may receive up to 10 semesters (or the equivalent) of TAP as an undergraduate. CD students are not subject to the 6 semester limitation for associate degree students, but must have special program eligibility remaining in order to receive additional TAP payments at BMCC.

Yes, if you meet certain requirements. First, you must file a TAP Application for the new academic year and request payment for the summer term. In order to calculate your award eligibility, all periods of summer attendance will be added together to form a single summer term.

The enrollment requirements for a summer TAP award are relatively stringent (see especially #3 below):

  1. If your combined summer session enrollment totals 12 or more credits (with at least 6 degree credits), you may be considered full-time for TAP enrollment purposes. If you receive a full-time summer TAP award, you will utilize one full semester of your remaining TAP eligibility.
  2. If your combined summer session enrollment totals at least 6 but fewer than 12 equated credits, you may be able to receive a TAP payment for half-time study. You must be registered for at least 3 degree credits as part of your summer course load. If you receive a half-time summer TAP award, you will utlize one-half semester of your remaining TAP eligibility.
  3. You must have earned at least 24 degree credits in the 2 semesters immediately prior to the summer term to qualify for either a full-time or a half-time summer TAP award. These credits could have been earned in any combination (12 + 12, 8 + 16, etc.). Also, only up to three credits of enrollment in each of the two prior semesters may consist of non-credit equated hours.

Information about summer TAP awards may not always be available in time for summer term registration/bill payment. In the event that this information is not available, you may have to pay your tuition from other resources and receive a refund from the College at a later time.

All use of TAP during the summer counts against your remaining TAP eligibility. You may receive no more than 6 full semester TAP payments at a community college.

A repeated course that you previously failed may be counted towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes, as long as you are meeting the TAP Good Academic Standing requirements.

If you repeat a course that you previously passed, you may not count the repeated course towards full-time enrollment for TAP purposes. This means that in order to receive TAP in a semester where you may be repeating a course you passed previously, you must have, in addition to the repeated course, at least 12 credits or equated credits of non-repeated courses.

Remember that for TAP purposes all courses that make up your minimum 12 credit full-time enrollment status must count for your degree. [see TAP enrollment requirements]

Remedial courses may be counted towards either full-time or part time enrollment for TAP purposes. However, to qualify for TAP, you must always register for the minimum number of credit bearing courses.  Learn more about the minimum TAP enrollment requirements.

One of the eligibility requirements for receiving TAP and other forms of NYS tuition assistance is that you remain in good academic standing according to state guidelines. If you do not meet the New York State Good Academic Standing requirements in any semester you receive TAP, you will lose your eligibility for TAP, PTAP, APTS and other New York State award programs. Further payments of these awards to you will be stopped.

If you have lost eligibility for TAP due to not meeting the good academic requirement, you can regain good academic standing and restore your eligibility for New York State award programs by any one of the following procedures:

  • Combine two or more semesters’ work, provided that only one of those semesters is paid for through New York State support.
  • Be readmitted to BMCC after a leave of absence of at least one calendar year.
  • Transfer to another college. There, you will be eligible to receive New York State awards your first semester.
  • Apply to the Committee on Academic Standing for a one-time TAP/APTS waiver. If the waiver is approved, you may continue your studies without interruption of New York State program assistance.

If you feel you may be eligible for a TAP/APTS waiver, you must follow these instructions:

  1. Obtain a TAP/APTS Waiver Request Form from the Bursar’s Office.
  2. Provide an explanation of your circumstances on the request form. You should attempt to document all pertinent facts related to your case. The final decision will be based on the documentation received.
  3. See a Student Life Counselor to help you fill out the form and advise you on what documentation you may need. Make sure the counselor signs and dates the form.
  4. Obtain faculty statements, if necessary, and attach them to the request. Faculty statements should be submitted by persons whom you feel will help the Committee on Academic Standing better understand your case.
  5. Sign, date and return your request, with all supporting documentation, to the Registrar’s Office.
  6. After your request has been acted upon by the Committee, you will be notified of the action taken on your case by means of a letter to your home address.

The following criteria are the possible reasons for being considered for a TAP/APTS waiver:

Personal Criteria

  • Personal illness involving either hospitalization or extended home confinement under a physician’s supervision.
  • Illness in the immediate family (of origin or generation) forcing you to be absent from class for an extended period.
  • Emotionally disabling conditions which force you to miss class for an extended period.
  • Changing work conditions beyond your control and upon which you or your family must depend forcing you to leave classes.
  • Inability to attend classes because of military duty orders, temporary incarceration, or other involvement with agencies of government (local, state or federal).

Academic Criteria

  • A change in major causes you to fall behind in the pursuit of program requirement although prior to this your academic performance was sound.
  • You have consistently met the minimum academic performance standards but, for one semester, do not meet them. An assessment of your academic record indicates that granting you a waiver will be to your benefit.

If you are granted a TAP/APTS waiver, you can continue to be eligible for New York State tuition assistance for that semester only. In order to continue to be eligible in any following semester, you must again begin to meet the Academic Progress and Program Pursuit requirements as stated in the NYS Good Academic Standing Charts for the payment indicated. Remember: you may be granted a waiver from the New York State academic standing requirements only once!

Yes. Your prior use of TAP at another college can affect your eligibility at BMCC in the following ways:

  1. You cannot receive more than 6 semesters of TAP as an associate degree student regardless of the number of schools you attend.
  2. If you received TAP previously at any other college or post-secondary institution, you must have at least 6 degree credits as part of your full-time course load at BMCC. If you must take remedial courses at BMCC after having used TAP elsewhere, you must plan your program carefully to meet the TAP 6 degree credit enrollment requirement.
  3. You will be evaluated for the NYS Good Academic Standing requirements either by the number of credits BMCC has accepted or by the number of TAP payments you have already received, whichever option would most benefit you.