StudentTestifiesOn December 10, the New York State Assembly Higher Education Committee held a hearing to discuss the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which for over 40 years has helped more than five million eligible New York residents pay tuition at schools in New York state. Brian Corbin, a Rensselaer senior majoring in computer science and TAP recipient, discussed his experience before the committee and explained how the program helped him to attend Rensselaer.

Corbin, from Warwick, N.Y., said he wanted to attend college for aerospace engineering and that Rensselaer was his first choice. With the help of TAP, he was able to attend Rensselaer, which offered him the flexibility to find the program that best fit with his talents, switching from aerospace engineering, to biomedical engineering, and then to computer science.

According to Corbin, TAP and Rensselaer “helped me get to where I am today and I can tell you that where I am today is somewhere I never thought I would be. I am glad to say that I have accepted a job in San Francisco, I have started my own company, and I have developed mobile applications—and it is largely, in part, from being at RPI, which is again largely, in part, because of TAP.”

“Brian is an outstanding example of how Rensselaer plays a transformative role in the lives of our students,” said Christopher Nolin, director of community and state relations. “Rensselaer offers an environment where our students can succeed, but first we need to get them in the door. The TAP program helped make that possible—as it has helped thousands of other students over the years.”

Following the hearing, Corbin spoke with Assembly member Patricia Fahy (representing parts of Albany County) and met with staff from both the New York State Senate and Assembly, “I didn’t know there was so much passion from people who want to increase the TAP program and help students to be able to succeed,” said Corbin.

The applications Corbin developed while at Rensselaer—Flare, motiv8, and Brewed—helped to prepare him for his next endeavor. He expects to graduate in May and he has accepted a position in San Francisco working for a company in the financial field that provides software for real-time stock market data.