Accelerated Study

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Term Definition
Accelerated Study

Education Law permits an additional “accelerated” TAP payment in an award year, over and above the regular annual award, in certain circumstances. 

Prior to the 2006-07 academic year, TAP recipients were eligible for an accelerated award payment if they were enrolled full time in the previous or subsequent term. Students who enrolled for a third full-time semester or fourth full-time quarter or trimester in a calendar year were eligible for a full-time accelerated award payment. A student could also receive a half-time accelerated TAP award (enrollment for at least six but fewer than twelve semester hours) as long as the prior or subsequent full-time enrollment requirement was met. 

However, statutory changes for academic year 2006-07 and thereafter imposed new requirements for accelerated study awards that replace the previous eligibility criteria stated above. To be eligible for an accelerated TAP payment--either a full-time or half-time award--students must still be enrolled full time in the prior term but now must also earn 24 semester hour credits or the equivalent (i.e., 36 quarter credits) in the prior two semesters or the equivalent (i.e., three prior quarters/trimesters). The 24 semester hours must be credits earned at the same institution and applicable to the student’s program of study. Transfer credits cannot be used to meet this requirement. If a student changes programs within an institution, the 24 credits must be applicable to the program in which the student was enrolled when the credits were earned. Therefore, a student changing their major may use the 24 credits from the previous degree program to meet the requirement.

The student must meet the prior study requirement each time an accelerated award is sought. 

Note: a further statutory change, effective April 1, 2007, permits the equivalent of three credits in noncredit remedial hours per semester (2 credit equivalents per trimester) to be included in meeting the 24-prior-credit requirement. While the 24 credits can be earned in a variety of ways in the prior two semesters (e.g., 12 and 12, 15 and 9, etc.), the student must be enrolled full-time in the term immediately preceding the accelerated term. For the student taking remedial courses, three credit equivalents in each semester (2 credit equivalents in each quarter/trimester) is the only permissible configuration.

At institutions where the summer term is not part of the regular academic year (SUNY, CUNY, and most independent colleges and universities), the summer term is always the accelerated term. Summer 2007 was the first term that needed to be evaluated at these institutions to determine eligibility for an accelerated award using the new 24 prior credit requirement. For schools that have continuous enrollment and the regular calendar allows students to attend three semesters or four quarters/trimesters in a calendar year, the accelerated term is the third semester or fourth quarter/trimester. The first accelerated term that needed to be evaluated at these institutions was the third semester of the 2006-07 award year or the fourth quarter/trimester of the 2006-07 award year. Use certification code 7 (previously used for students not enrolled in an approved program) to decertify students who do not meet the requirements to receive payment for accelerated study for a term.

Accelerated study eligibility at registered private business schools

(a) Schools that teach three terms of 15 weeks or more in a year: to be eligible for a third term of TAP within a calendar year (accelerated study), a student must successfully complete a total of 720 clock hours in two consecutive terms. This would generally result in 360 clock hours per term, unless the school receives approval from the State Education Department for an increase in hours per term.

(b) Schools that teach four terms of at least 10 weeks and fewer than 15 weeks in a calendar year: to be eligible for a fourth term of TAP within a calendar year (accelerated study), a student must successfully complete a total of 720 clock hours in three consecutive terms. This would generally be 240 clock hours per term unless the school receives State Education Department approval for an increase in the hours per term.

New York State Scholarships

Requirements for accelerated study apply to all full-time study scholarships that do not allow for part-time study. The following scholarships are not affected by the accelerated study requirements:

  • Veterans Tuition Awards
  • Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship
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