Fight for Full State Funding of CUNY

Updated: February 21, 2018
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Testimony on The Executive Budget for CUNY, FY2019

PSC officers were in Albany Tuesday, January 23 to testify before a joint hearing of the State Senate and Assembly finance committees on the Executive Budget for higher education. President Bowen, in her testimony, said, "New York State has invested strongly in student access to higher education through the Excelsior Scholarship and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), but has failed to invest sufficiently in student success. Access is not meaningful without the resources to succeed. As New York invests more in access, it must also increase investment in the personnel and programs needed to educate CUNY’s growing student body so the greater access will be meaningful." Read the full testimony.

PSC Statement On the Executive Budget for CUNY, FY2019

Thanks in part to the promise of the Excelsior Scholarship, applications to The City University of New York (CUNY) were up 11% and CUNY enrolled its largest-ever freshman class in Fall 2017. The increase in students seeking a college degree at CUNY is cause for celebration—but only if the University is funded at a level that enables these students to succeed. Our legislators must improve on the Governor’s Executive Budget by reversing the historic underfunding of CUNY and adding new funding to support the increased enrollment.

The increase in student enrollment exacerbates the longstanding problem of New York State underfunding of CUNY. The underfunding is most visible in CUNY’s crumbling buildings and classrooms. Less visible but equally damaging is the impact on students of inadequate investment in the courses and support they need in order to graduate on time. An increase in enrollment, especially through the Excelsior Scholarship, should be accompanied by an increase in funding. The Excelsior Scholarship makes the need for new resources more critical because recipients must have access to courses in sequence and must receive the advising necessary to stay on pace for graduation. Read more.