As we noted on the Home page, New York’s final budget disadvantaged more than 40,000 students attending APC member colleges by not allowing them to apply for the new Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA).
Join us in support of legislation (S5891, sponsored by Senator Klein and A7697 sponsored by Assemblymember Pichardo) that would amend the definition of private degree granting institutions. This would expand the ETA to include the more than 40,000 students who choose to attend private APC colleges.
The next few weeks are critical for our students and member colleges. Here’s how you can help:
Contact Your State Legislators
To find your local Assembly person and Senator:
They need to know that APC member colleges and their students are in support of legislation expanding the new Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA). The following is an example telephone script for your use.
Sample Telephone Script
My name is ____ and I am ____ at (insert college name) which is located ____. Provide a sentence as background about your institution (keep it simple).
I am calling today about Senate Bill 5891 (or Assembly Bill 7697). The bill would amend the Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program to clarify that students attending private degree granting institutions could participate in the program.
Students attending (insert college name) are not currently able to participate in this new program that was enacted in the budget. Students who choose to attend APC member colleges deserve the same opportunity to reduce their student loan debt as the students who choose to attend a SUNY, CUNY or private not-for-profit college.
We ask the Senator (or Assemblymember) to vote in favor of Senate Bill 5891 (or Assembly Bill 7697), and keep college affordable for an additional 40,000 students.
2017-18 New York State Legislative Agenda
Increase the Maximum TAP Award to $6,500
Since its creation in 1974, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) has enabled more than five million New Yorkers to go to college. In 2014, the state showed its continued support of the program by increasing the maximum TAP award for the first time in more than a decade. We must build on this increase and raise the maximum TAP award to $6,500 annually.
Expand the TAP Income Threshold to $100,000
Expanding the maximum income threshold for TAP recipients from $80,000 to $100,000 would open to door to a college degree for many students from middle class families. The maximum income threshold has not been adjusted in more than 17 years.
Reinstate TAP for Graduate Students
Occupations requiring master’s degrees are growing faster than those that do not. The state must consider making TAP funding available for students enrolled in graduate level programs. Realizing this need, APC member colleges, such as Monroe College and LIM College, have invested in master’s level programs to meet the demands of employers.
Expanding Eligibility to the Proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program
The governor’s proposed Excelsior Scholarship Program seeks to create affordable opportunities for many students in New York. However, as currently proposed, its limited scope will leave countless students behind. Students attending APC member colleges who seek to better their futures by attending classes while working full-time, those pursuing a degree after starting a family, and students looking to improve their skills to compete in today’s job market deserve the same opportunity to reduce their student loan debt as students attending state-funded colleges.
APC Student Advocacy Day
More than 70 APC students, faculty and administrators visited Albany yesterday to encourage lawmakers to increase funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), making it available to more New York students.