State boosting TAP grants for college students

Apr 30, 2014

Education advocates are praising the state's decision to increase the TAP grants for college-bound students.

While the grant for next year will only rise $165, David Rust, executive director of Say Yes to Education,  says it's the increase in 14 years.

The increase raises the TAP ceiling to $5,165. There can be more than $2,000 above that for those with the highest needs. Rust say the TAP increase is another piece of the financial aid puzzle.

"We're a last-dollar scholarship so we fully take advantage of the federal Pell grants and the New York State TAP grants for families before we plug that remaining gap for a student's tuition," Rust explained.

"And, those are great because the best type of money is scholarships or grants because it's free. So, those federal Pell and New York State TAP grants are free scholarship money. And, we are certainly take advantage of those and support any increase that the state has considered."

Rust says the entire financial aid process is complicated but family interest is there because they have seen the first group of Say Yes graduates head off to college. That's why they are willing to struggle through the financial aid forms. A group of professors and students at UB are helping with the FAFSA form.