222017Mar

New York Colleges React To Assembly and Senate One-House Budgets

The New York State Senate and Assembly have each released legislation amending Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget Proposal, setting forth their own budget priorities. In response to these proposals, the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) issued the following reaction:

Excelsior Scholarship Program:

APC is pleased that the legislature is committed to improving access to higher education for New Yorkers. However, the membership is concerned with the Assembly’s commitment to the Excelsior Scholarship program. All New York’s students, including those attending an APC institution, should be allowed to participate in this program.  Student choice across all sectors of higher education in New York must be maintained and should be part of the Excelsior Scholarships Program.  Ninety percent of students attending APC member colleges are from New York and more than 90 percent of those students stay in the state after graduation to live and work.  These students deserve the same opportunity to reduce their student loan debt as the proposal outlines.

Expanded TAP Awards:

APC supports the Assembly proposal for additional funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).   The proposal to adjust the TAP schedule and increase TAP awards will ensure that college remains a possibility for thousands of New Yorkers.  APC member colleges provided more than $92 million in grants, scholarships and institutional aid in the 2015-2016 academic year.  This financial aid combined with TAP awards will help students reach their goal of an affordable, relevant degree that will lead to employment.

Enhanced TAP:

APC supports the Senate’s proposal for the Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program (E-TAP).   This additional funding will ensure that college remains a possibility for thousands of New Yorkers.  APC member colleges provided more than $92 million in grants, scholarships and institutional aid in the 2015-2016 academic year.  This financial aid combined with TAP and E-TAP awards will help students reach their goal of an affordable, relevant degree that will lead to employment.

Student Loan Debt Refinancing:

APC member colleges are committed to keeping college affordable and student loan debt low. The Assembly’s Student Debt Refinancing proposal is in line with the association’s objectives and APC’s membership stands ready to assist with the implementation of this program.  According to recently released College Scorecard data, students graduating from APC member colleges accumulate an average of just $21,900 in student loan debt.  This is significantly lower than the average student loan debt of New York residents of $32,200 and the national average of $29,700.

College Affordability:

APC member colleges are committed to keeping college affordable and so in recent years, our member colleges have either held tuition flat, instituted small tuition increases (between 1 and 1.5 percent), or decreased tuition. APC members would be happy to work with the Senate and provide information on how member colleges have been able to maintain costs and keep tuition increases to a minimum.

“APC is pleased the legislature is working toward enacting meaningful legislation that will help more New Yorkers achieve the dream of obtaining a degree,” said Donna Gurnett, president and CEO of APC. “We look forward to working with lawmakers on the priorities outlined above.”

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The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents 14 fully accredited, degree granting colleges operating on 25 college campuses in New York State offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Our colleges are located across the state from Buffalo, to Long Island, Jamestown to Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and the entire NYC metropolitan area. There are more than 50,000 students enrolled in proprietary colleges throughout New York State and APC member colleges serve more than 35,000 of these students.

Please visit www.apc-colleges.org and follow us on Twitter @APCColleges and Facebook @ APCColleges .