Lopez Proposes Steps To Make College Affordable For More Families

February 13, 2017
Today New York State Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie), along with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua) proposed new initiatives to help struggling families send their children to college.

“As someone who worked odd jobs to help pay for college, I understand the importance of investing in a college education and pursuing other paths for helping individuals reach their full potential,” said Assemblyman Lopez. “We’ve heard so much about providing free college to illegal immigrants, but not enough about the dreams of residents in our community and the struggle they face in paying for higher education. The governor’s notion of ‘free tuition’ isn’t free and it neglects too many families. The measures we have proposed today will open the door to a college education for many families here in our district who will not be afforded the same opportunity under the governor’s plan.”

At a cost of $163 million, the governor’s plan helps only those students wishing to attend SUNY or CUNY schools. Those attending private colleges and universities are not included.

Specific measures proposed today include:

  • Increasing the TAP household income threshold from $80,000 to $125,000;
  • Increasing the maximum TAP award from $5,165 to $6,470 over five years;
  • Providing an increase of $500 to every TAP award recipient;
  • Making graduate students eligible to receive TAP awards; and
  • Providing an income tax deduction to those paying on student loans for both principal and interest amounts.

This will cost an estimated $164.7 million, while providing aid to more families with a higher household income threshold and considerations for graduate students.