Assembly SFY 2023-24 Budget Makes Higher Education More Affordable and Accessible

Spending Plan Increases the TAP Income Threshold Limit, Eliminates Tuition Increases & Invests in Critical Opportunity Programs

Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Patricia Fahy today announced the Assembly’s State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023-24 Budget ensures that higher education is affordable and accessible to all New Yorkers by making investments that prevent tuition increases at the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) schools, raising the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) income threshold limit and investing in opportunity programs.

“For years, the Assembly Majority has fought to prevent tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY schools and to make higher education more affordable for all New Yorkers,” said Speaker Heastie. “My colleagues and I are committed to ensuring that higher education lifts New Yorkers out of poverty and into the middle class. Ensuring our public colleges and universities are affordable is critical to achieving that goal.”

“This spending plan ensures that New York State’s higher education system remains affordable, competitive, and a national and international pinnacle of postsecondary education,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “As the new chair of the Higher Education Committee this year, I am determined to increase funds for SUNY and CUNY campuses, enabling more students from a wider swath of backgrounds to achieve their dreams of attending college by expanding financial aid, and investing in modern, state-of-the-art facilities on our campuses. I’m proud to work with Speaker Heastie, Senate Higher Education Chair Toby Ann Stavisky, and my legislative colleagues to enact a strong, final spending plan that commits the critical resources necessary to maintain New York’s higher education system’s world-class status.”

Tuition and SUNY & CUNY Operating Funds

The Assembly plan includes no tuition increases for SUNY state-operated schools or CUNY senior colleges. Instead, the budget invests $275 million in new operating funds for SUNY schools, including $100 million in additional operating support and $100 million for a Campus Excellence Fund to make sure that SUNY schools have the resources they need to provide New York students with the high-quality education they deserve.

Additionally, the plan dedicates an additional $200 million for all other SUNY state-operated schools to access SUNY endowment matching funds which will help schools’ long-term financial health. Any school accessing endowment funds would be limited to a maximum of 40 percent of the matching funds. The budget also invests $69 million to forgive the SUNY hospitals’ debt service payments for SFY 2023-24.

For CUNY senior colleges, the Assembly Budget invests $246 million in new operating funds, including:

  • $75 million for a Campus Excellence Fund;
  • $65 million in additional operating support;
  • $56 million for collective bargaining costs; and
  • $50 million for a CUNY Transformation Fund.

The Assembly also includes $470 million in endowment matching funds for CUNY.

Both SUNY and CUNY operating and Campus Excellence Funds can be used to hire professors, help with campus deficits, improve enrollment, create a predominantly diverse institution fund, support students with disabilities, support student hunger programs, and provide academic, mental health and other student support services.

SUNY & CUNY Capital Funding

For SUNY, the Assembly’s proposal would invest a total of $1.5 billion in capital funding, including $200 million for projects of significant scale and $200 million for additional capital for labs and research across the SUNY system.

For CUNY, the Assembly Budget invests $1.1 billion in capital funding, including:

  • $200 million for projects of significant scale;
  • an additional $25 million for CUNY critical maintenance capital funding for a total of $404 million, which is $65 million above last year;
  • $300 million for lab and research space; and
  • $200 million for digital transformation and IT infrastructure.

Community Colleges

The Assembly’s spending plan also increases community college funding by four percent for SUNY and CUNY, an increase of $16 million for SUNY and $8 million for CUNY.

Tuition Assistance Program

The spending plan also increases the TAP income limit threshold from the current $80,000 to $100,000.

Opportunity Programs

The Assembly’s Budget also restores $6 million and adds an additional $10.2 million for opportunity programs for a total of $213 million, including:

  • $50.7 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
  • $45.9 million for the Education Opportunity Program (EOP);
  • $40.1 million for the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program;
  • $26.2 million for Liberty Partnerships;
  • $22.6 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP);
  • $17.1 million for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP);
  • $8.6 million for the Foster Youth Success Initiative; and
  • $1.9 million for College Discovery.

Other Investments

The spending plan also makes other investments in SUNY, including:

  • $2.5 million to help reduce the amount of fees paid by SUNY graduate students;
  • An additional $2 million for ATTAIN for a total of $8 million;
  • $2 million for the SUNY High Needs Nursing Program for a total of $3.7 million; and
  • $500,000 to create the SUNY Black Leadership Institute.

Additional investments for CUNY include:

  • $7 million for CUNY graduate school stipends;
  • $2 million for CUNY Expansion of Nursing Programs for a total of $4 million;
  • $2.25 million for the School of Labor and Urban Studies for a total of $5.9 million; and
  • $500,000 for the CUNY Leadership Institute, which works to diversify the leadership within CUNY.