Statement from Donna Gurnett, President and CEO of the Association of Proprietary Colleges, on Governor Cuomo’s Proposal Regarding Free College Tuition

“Members of New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) are committed to creating opportunities for all students to receive a quality, affordable education from a college of their choosing. This includes students who seek to better their futures by attending classes while working full-time jobs, students who enroll in college to enhance their education after being in the workforce for many years, students looking to improving their skills to compete in today’s job market, and students pursuing a degree after starting a family. 

“Governor Cuomo’s proposal seeks to support many of these students, however as it is currently proposed some students, may be inadvertently left behind. Student choice across all sectors of higher education in New York must be maintained and it too 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 loan debt as the Governor’s proposal outlines.

“We are proud of our students and our long standing record of achievement. APC member colleges:

  • Provide a timely path to a college degree, with on-time graduation rates exceeding the statewide averages for Associate and Bachelor degrees;
  • Report 72 percent of their graduates find jobs in their field of study within six months of graduation;
  • Employ more than 6,000 people and are strong economic drivers in their local communities; and
  • Offer grants, scholarships and institutional aid, more than $90 million in 2015.

“We look forward to working with New York policymakers to ensure all students are granted the opportunity to succeed.”


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 .