Thousands of Students & Allies Support Policy Solutions to Fight Student Debt & Make College More Affordable
Reform TAP Rally & News Conference
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM
Steps of City Hall, City Hall Park, Manhattan
New York, NY – The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) will unveil a coalition of over four hundred groups calling on the New York State Legislature and the Governor to reform and expand the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The coalition, made up of student groups, labor leaders, community groups, college financial aid professionals, high school guidance counselors, and immigrant groups represent thousands of students, community members, and professionals who are fighting to strengthen access to college and reduce student loan debt.
TAP is one of the largest need-based grant programs. It serves just over 300,000 students each year with an average award of $3,000 and a maximum award of up to $5,000. The program is 40 years old and in desperate need of an update. Among others, issues include:
* Homeless students are only eligible for the independent student award of $3,025.
* The maximum TAP award of $5,000 hasn’t been updated since 2001. It has not kept pace with inflation and the increasing costs of going to college – fueling student loan debt.
– Aileen Sheil, NYPIRG Chairperson
– Shawn Hall, Undocumented Youth
– Dr. Barbara Bowen, President, Professional Staff Congress – CUNY
– Luis Gutierrez, Vice Chair of Graduate Affairs, University Student Senate – CUNY
– Sue Mead, New York State Financial Aid Administrators Association
– Paula Perez, New York State Disability Services Council
– Bryan Wigfall, Bronx Community College Student with Debt
– Mel Gagarin, Education Inside Out Coalition