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 President Bowen’s full testimony. Read PSC’s statement to press on the Executive Budget.
CUNY’s budget request for FY 2019 called for $158 million in State funding and new tuition revenue to invest in students’ success and completion, but most of the request went unmet in the Executive Budget. After years of underfunding, CUNY needs far more.
- The most immediate step the Legislature can take to begin to restore funding for CUNY this year is to cover the $59 million “TAP gap” caused by the legal requirement that CUNY provide eligible students with a “TAP waiver credit,” covering the difference between the rate of tuition and the maximum TAP award.
- Allocating $16 million to increase the Base Aid rate for CUNY community colleges to $3,000 per FTE student should be the next priority.
- A further priority should be additional funding to improve student success rates for CUNY’s growing student body by increasing the number of full-time faculty positions and counseling staff and increasing support for adjunct instructors.