Assembly Majority Higher Education Plan

In February, the Assembly Democrats released their Higher Education budget proposal. The proposal, aimed at the state’s public college and university system, is meant to increase funding and reject further tuition increases. The proposal also includes provisions that would provide more funding for non-tuition expenses, more funding for community colleges, and increasing scholarships at SUNY and CUNY. One of the largest parts of the proposal is a provision aimed at ending the “TAP gap”, which is the cost differential between the maximum award under the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and the cost of tuition. The provision includes language that would add $50 million to end the “TAP gap”. To increase funding for non-tuition costs, such as room and board, fees, transportation and textbooks, the proposal would create a $20 million Martin Luther King Jr. Fund to off-set those costs for low-income students who receive TAP awards. Regarding the proposal, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said, “The Assembly Majority has long recognized that higher education is critical to establishing a pathway to the middle class for New Yorkers. This year marks five years since we created the Higher Education Road to Success Initiative, and since then we have continued to build on that promise. Our proposed budget will reflect our unwavering commitment to higher education by breaking down even more barriers and putting our students on the path to success.”