Lawmakers look to increase funding for tuition assistance
ALBANY, NY (WENY)--AS THE STATE’S TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM REACHES ITS 50th ANNIVERSARY, SOME LAWMAKERS ARE FIGHTING TO INCREASE SPENDING FOR THE PROGRAM IN THE FINAL STATE BUDGET.
THE GOVERNOR PROPOSES FUNDING THE TUITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ALSO KNOWN AS TAP AT $764 MILLION.
SOME LAWMAKERS SAID THIS IS NOT ENOUGH.
“About 600,000 students receive those moneys each year. It was created fifty years ago to help the middle class as well as low-income families afford college. We are losing decades of ground and that's why we’re seeing less enrollment around the country,” said Assembly Member Patricia Fahy (D-Assembly District 109).
ASSEMBLY MEMBER FAHY SAid THEY ARE ASKING FOR $400 MILLION MORE FOR THIS PROGRAM.
THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK OR SUNY CHANCELLOR JOHN KING Jr. SAid HE IS ALSO HOPING TO SEE INCREASES TO TAP PROGRAM IN THE FINAL BUDGET.
“The TAP income threshold the cap is eighty thousand dollars; it's been that way since 2000. If that had gone up with inflation it would be one hundred and forty-five thousand. So, I do hope there will be more conversation about how we grow TAP to ensure college is affordable for more New Yorkers,” he said.
SOME LAWMAKERS ALSO RAISED CONCERN ABOUT THE TAP PROGRAM NOT COVERING ALL SUNY TUITION AFTER IT WAS decoupled OR SEPARATED IN 2011.
ASSEMBLY MEMBER ED RA (R-Assembly District 19) SAid THIS SEPARATION ALLOWED A GAP TO GROW.
“So, I think that’s a problem not only for the students but for the campuses because it becomes a bigger cost for each of the campuses and that takes away from being able to invest in full time faculty and those types of issues,” he said.
LAWMAKERS ARE HOPING IN ADDITION TO POTENTIAL INCREASES IN THE TAP PROGRAM THEY CAN RE-COUPLE THE PROGRAM TO SUNY TUITION.