Tuition Assistance Program expansion was long overdue

pinterastudio | FreeSVG

pinterastudio | FreeSVG

The Editorial Board

Part-time CUNY and SUNY students now qualify for state tuition assistance following the passage of a $150 million initiative to expand the state’s Tuition Assistance Program.

This move, which allows more part-time students to comfortably foot their tuition bill, is long overdue.

“It doesn’t make sense. This is the group of people we should have invested in first,” Gov. Hochul, who proposed the program’s expansion earlier this year, said.

New York State Tuition Assistance Program provides financial assistance for tuition to New York residents at approved schools in New York State.

In the past, students were required to be enrolled full-time or accumulating at least twelve major-specific credits per semester, to qualify.

There was never any legitimate reason for part-time students to be excluded from TAP. Their status is just as valid as that of a full-time student.

Part-time students typically have commitments outside of school, such as jobs or family, which prevent them from taking on a full-time schedule.

Regardless, part-time students often found themselves enrolling in classes not necessary to their major to satisfy TAP requirements.

This solution, however, was unsustainable. Taking on additional classes might cause part-time students unnecessary stress as well as take away seats from students who need the course.

Enrollment is already a stressful time of the semester for all students. This time around, however, part-time students don’t have to worry about registering for enough credits to maintain their TAP eligibility.