Enacted SFY 2024-25 Budget Makes Changes to Cost Planning for Higher Education During High School

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson announced today the Enacted State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25 Budget makes essential changes to high school students and their families’ ability to make financial plans for further education.

“Financial aid programs remain a true equalizer for higher education by allowing students from all communities access to a high-quality education at an affordable price,” said Speaker Heastie. “This requirement will be an essential step in ensuring all our families understand the tools available to make higher education a part of their children’s future.”

“Passing my FAFSA bill in this year’s budget, expands opportunity to all of our students,” said Assemblymember Jacobson. “The biggest obstacle to people wanting to go to college is the high cost. The only way to decrease the cost of college is through grants and scholarships. In order to qualify for grants and scholarships, one has to complete the FAFSA first. By completing the FAFSA, students will know how much money in grants and student aid is available, and many will realize that college is affordable. We shouldn't have another generation of students, or another year, leaving over $200 million annually in financial aid on the table."

“Last year, New York students left more than $200 million in federal student aid in the table – real funds that could’ve put the dream of a higher education in reach for thousands of students,” said Higher Education Committee Chair Patricia Fahy. “I want to encourage all New York students this year to complete the FAFSA and take advantage of the aid that’s out there – aid you can only receive if you apply. I’m thrilled that we’re taking action in this year’s budget to ensure that going forward, no New York student misses out on these financial opportunities. It’s critical now more than ever that we address college affordability when 70 percent of students cite it as the major barrier to accessing higher education, and I commend Speaker Heastie, Governor Hochul and my colleagues on the Assembly Higher Education Committee for making this a top priority.”

The SFY 2024-25 budget requires every school district to ensure verification that each high school senior’s parent or guardian has completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application, Jose Peralta New York State DREAM Act application, or waiver form developed by the State Education Department showing that a student knows what the FAFSA is and is choosing not to file an application. A student would not be penalized or punished if the student’s parent or guardian does not fulfill the requirements.