HESC annual report: Excelsior Scholarship numbers continue to climb; decreases in TAP numbers seen

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College graduation debts and money

College graduation debts and money. (QuinceCreative / 254 images / Pixabay)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The latest annual report from N.Y.S. Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) was released on Thursday, highlighting all of N.Y.’s tuition assistance programs including the Excelsior Scholarship, Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), veteran, academic achievement and memorial scholarships and many others.

Overall, the annual report says TAP awarded more than $881.5 million to more than 319,000 students. The average annual award was slightly over $3,000.

However, the number of TAP recipients has continued to decrease since the 2014-15 academic year, with the exception of the 2017-18 academic year where it rose slightly from the previous year. The total amount of TAP money awarded decreased by approximately $40.2 million from the 2017-18 to 2018-19 academic year.

The Excelsior Scholarship, on the other hand, grew by nearly 5,000 recipients from the 2017-18 to 2018-19 academic years. The program also distributed nearly $30 million more in the 2018-19 academic year to N.Y students. It was also the first year families earning up to $110,000 were eligible for the program.

More New Yorkers are also planning ahead for college expenses by taking advantage of the state’s 529 College Savings Program. The number of accounts, as well as the average balance, have both been steadily growing since 2012. There were 1,098,491 accounts with an average balance of $29,603 in 2019, 414,517 more accounts than 2012. The average balance grew by $11,930 from 2012 to 2019.

The amount of students awarded aid for part-time study and the grand total awarded for the program has also steadily decreased in recent years. In the 2014-15 academic year, approximately $12 million was awarded. In the 2018-19 academic year that number dropped to approximately $8.9 million.

The entire report can be found on the HESC website.

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