For financial aid purposes, there are two types of five-year programs that can entitle an undergraduate student to an additional year of State financial assistance.
According to section 661 of the Education Law, an undergraduate student is eligible for up to four years of undergraduate assistance unless the student is enrolled in an approved five-year program, in which case the student is eligible for five years of undergraduate assistance.
This section of the Law is implemented by section 145-2.7 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education A student enrolled in an academic program that requires five years to complete and that the State Education Department has registered as a five-year program is eligible for a fifth year of undergraduate assistance. Examples are certain architecture or engineering programs. “Three Plus Two” programs that combine three years of liberal arts plus two years of a specialization are not considered five-year programs but rather a five-year pathway to a degree that normally takes four years to complete.
The second type of eligible five-year program is one that is an organized program of remedial study approved by the Commissioner. These include the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program, and the College Discovery (CD) program. Students accepted in an opportunity program are considered matriculated on that basis and are eligible for TAP but, in accordance with statute, are not eligible for STAP. An opportunity program student who is enrolled in a second bachelor's degree program is not eligible for a fifth year of TAP.
Commissioner’s approval for the fifth year of payments applies to all academic performance and general purpose awards for which a fifth-year payment is authorized.
Note: A fifth year of undergraduate assistance reduces a student’s statutory eligibility for four years of graduate award eligibility to three years.(Effective with the 2010-11 award year, graduate TAP funds have been eliminated. Graduate awards for the Veterans Tuition Award and the Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty scholarship continue to be funded)