Authorizes tuition assistance to be paid to students attending educational institutions for which Pell grants may be awarded.
BILL NUMBER: S2845
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the education law, in relation to eligibility requirements for student financial aid
PURPOSE : The purpose of the bill is to enable New York students who meet the stringent eligibility requirements for Federal Pell grants and whom attend bona fide non-profit institutions of higher education in New York State to be able to participate in the New York Tuition Assistance Program.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : The bill amends Section 661(4) of the Education Law to include in the definition of "approved program" for purposes of determining a student's eligibility for the Tuition Assistance Program "any program at a non-profit educational institution, enrollment in which would render a student eligible to receive Federal Pell grants."
JUSTIFICATION : It is in the public interest to enable all New York students who wish to receive higher education to be able to do so. New York has a Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) that helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Each year, TAP helps many thousands of New Yorkers who meet the income qualifications to be able to afford to attend the educational institution of their choice. However, there are some income-eligible students who attend bona fide, nonprofit institutions of higher education that currently are not eligible to receive TAP, solely because their schools, although authorized by the State Education Department to offer postsecondary education, are not under SED's direct supervision. This bill would correct this inequity by enabling those students to apply for TAP. In order to ensure that only students who attend bona fide, federally recognized postsecondary institutions are included, the bill restricts eligibility to those students enrolled in schools that meet the stringent eligibility requirements for Federal pell grants. This will enable these needy students to afford the high and rising costs of a postsecondary education.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : 12.3 million annually.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to academic year 2010-2011 and all subsequent years.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2845 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 4, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to eligibility require- ments for student financial aid THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 661 of the education law, as amended by chapter 309 of the laws of 1996, paragraph a as amended by section 1 and paragraph c as amended, paragraphs d and e as added and paragraph f as relettered by section 2 of part E1 of chapter 57 of the laws of 2007, and paragraph f as added by chapter 332 of the laws of 1998, is amended to read as follows: 4. Attendance in approved courses of study in approved institutions. To be eligible to receive payments from the president a student: a. Must be matriculated in an approved program, as defined by the commissioner pursuant to article thirteen OF THIS CHAPTER, OR PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH B OF THIS SUBDIVISION, in an institution situated in the state, which has been approved and operating in this state for at least one year, and has been approved for participation in federal student financial aid programs authorized by Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude payment of an award to a recipient who receives instruction outside the state, which instruction is conducted by an institution situated in the state, and is part of the student's program of study at such institu- tion; provided, however, that nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the receipt of a loan pursuant to section six hundred eighty of this article; provided, further, that students not attending institutions eligible for participating in federal Title IV financial aid programs on or before July first, two thousand seven: (i) who received their first award under this article before the two thousand six--two thousand seven academic year shall be eligible for payments until the end of the twoEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07039-02-9 S. 2845 2
thousand nine--two thousand ten academic year; or (ii) who received their first award under this article for the two thousand six--two thou- sand seven academic year through and including the two thousand nine-- two thousand ten academic year shall be eligible for payments until the end of the two thousand fourteen--two thousand fifteen academic year. b. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE AND THE RULES AND REGULATIONS PROMULGATED PURSUANT THERETO, THE PRESIDENT SHALL MAKE TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AWARDS AVAILABLE TO ALL OTHERWISE ELIGIBLE STUDENTS WHO ARE ATTENDING AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION IN THIS STATE THAT: (I) IS EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL TAXATION UNDER SECTION 501(C)(3) OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE; AND (II) IS ACCREDITED BY AN AGENCY RECOGNIZED BY THE UNITED STATES SECRE- TARY OF EDUCATION, OR BY A SUCCESSOR FEDERAL AGENCY; AND (III) ENROLLMENT IN WHICH INSTITUTION WOULD RENDER THE STUDENT ELIGI- BLE TO RECEIVE A FEDERAL PELL GRANT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION ONE THOU- SAND SEVENTY OF TITLE TWENTY OF THE UNITED STATES CODE, ET. SEQ. AND THE REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER; AND (IV) PROVIDES A PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION LASTING AT LEAST THREE YEARS. C. Must be in full-time attendance, as defined by the commissioner, except as otherwise specifically provided in article fourteen, and, for a student having completed his or her second academic year, must have a cumulative C average or its equivalent. The president may waive the requirement that the student have a cumulative C average or its equiv- alent for undue hardship based on: (i) the death of a relative of the student; (ii) the personal injury or illness of the student; or (iii) other extenuating circumstances; and
[c.]D. For students who first receive aid pursuant to this chapter in academic year nineteen hundred ninety-six--nineteen hundred ninety-seven to academic year two thousand six--two thousand seven, must have a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate; or have achieved a passing score, as determined by the United States secretary of educa- tion, on a federally approved examination which demonstrates that the student can benefit from the education being offered; [d.]E. For students who first receive aid pursuant to this chapter in academic year two thousand six--two thousand seven, must have a certif- icate of graduation from a recognized school providing secondary educa- tion within the United States, or the recognized equivalent of such certificate, or have been admitted to such institution after receiving a passing score on a federally approved ability to benefit test that has been independently administered and evaluated, as provided by the commissioner; [e.]F. For students who first receive aid pursuant to this chapter in academic year two thousand seven--two thousand eight or thereafter, must have (i) a certificate of graduation from a school providing secondary education from a state within the United States; or (ii) the recognized equivalent of such certificate; or (iii) received a passing score on a federally approved ability to benefit test that has been identified by the board of regents as satisfying the eligibility requirements of this section and has been independently administered and evaluated as defined by the commissioner [.]; [f. for]G. FOR students who are disabled as defined by the Americans With Disability Act of 1990, 42 USC 12101, the full-time attendance requirement is eliminated. Such disabled students may be in part-timeS. 2845 3
attendance, as defined by the commissioner in order to be eligible to receive payments from the president. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to academ- ic year 2010-2011 and to all subsequent academic years.