Assembly Announces SFY 2021-22 Budget Includes $13.7 Billion in Funding for Higher Education

Approved Funding Plan Increases Maximum TAP Award by $500

Spending Plan Includes Almost $180 Million in Funding for Opportunity Programs

Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah J. Glick today announced the approved State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-2022 Budget invests in making higher education accessible for all New York students, funding the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York’s (CUNY) world class educations, and providing almost $180 million for opportunity programs.

“The Assembly Majority is committed to putting college within reach for every New Yorker, and this budget will help do that,” Speaker Heastie said. “The last year has put a financial strain on families and individuals across our state, but we cannot let that be a barrier to higher education. We will continue working to ensure that people from all walks of life have access to the financial aid they need to earn a degree, get a good job and build a successful future.”

“I am committed to ensuring that the cost of higher education is not a barrier, and that New Yorkers will be able to reach their full potential,” Assemblymember Glick said. “It is in the interest of our state that we have an educated workforce and citizenry. This budget makes critical investments in SUNY, CUNY and opportunity programs that will make college a reality for New Yorkers.” 


The Assembly Majority is committed to making college affordable for New York’s families. The approved SFY 2021-22 Budget rejects proposed tuition increases for SUNY and CUNY, including the proposal to allow for certain SUNY and CUNY schools to charge higher tuition than others. In addition the budget restores $46.4 million in operating aid to SUNY and $26.2 million to CUNY. This funding can be used by SUNY and CUNY institutions to improve students’ educational experiences, including hiring professors, advisors and mental health counselors, and will help bring down the costs of higher education for New York students.

The budget includes funding for capital projects that would update and improve campuses. SUNY would receive $100 million and CUNY would receive $100 million for expansion projects to ensure colleges have state of the art facilities that offer current and future students the best possible education. CUNY would also receive $10 million in capital funding to support green power and wind power training programs. The SUNY Education Opportunity Center will receive $10 million in capital funding.

The budget includes funding for SUNY-wide programs, including:

  • $6.6 million for Graduate Diversity Fellowships;
  • $2.7 million for Small Business Development Centers;
  • $1 million total for mental health services;
  • $500,000 for the Cornell Veterinary School;
  • $350,000 for the Hispanic Leadership Institute; and
  • $200,000 for the SUNY Institute for Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion.

Additionally, the spending plan includes $1.5 million restoration for the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies for total funding of $3.7 million, and $250,000 to the CUNY Pipeline Program.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are a critical part of making higher education accessible to all New Yorkers. Currently, community colleges receive state funding on a per pupil basis. With enrollment down, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assembly believes it is critical that these institutions receive the funding necessary to educate their students. Instead of solely basing funding on a per pupil basis, the budget provides a 98 percent college level save harmless floor for the 2021-22 academic year (AY). Community Colleges are an important part of New York’s higher education system, and included in the budget is a $50 per pupil increase in SUNY and CUNY community college base aid, raising it from $2,947 to $2,997.

The budget also includes:

  • $2.5 million in funding for CUNY’s Accelerated Study and Associates Program (ASAP);
  • $1.1 million to SUNY and $902,000 to CUNY community college child care centers;
  • $579,000 for SUNY and $447,000 for CUNY rental aid; and
  • $196,000 restoration for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and an additional $500,000 for total funding of $4.4 million.

TAP Increase

The Assembly Majority knows that grants and scholarships are crucial to students and their families as they budget for higher education. The 2021-22 funding plan would increase the maximum TAP award by $500, bringing it from $5,165 to $5,665. More than 240,000 students across the state utilize TAP grants to make college affordable, and the maximum amount has not been raised in seven years, when it was increased by $165.

Opportunity Programs

The Assembly Majority is committed to ensuring every student in New York has access to higher education, regardless of their family situation. The approved budget provides a $30 million, or 20 percent increase, in funding for all higher education opportunity programs:

  • $42.6 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
  • $38.6 million for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP);
  • $33.7 million for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK);
  • $22 million for the Liberty Partnerships;
  • $19 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP);
  • $14.4 million Collegiate Science and Technology Program (CSTEP);
  • $7.2 million for the Foster Youth College Success Initiative; and
  • $1.6 million for College Discovery.

The funding plan also includes $35 million in Bundy Aid to independent colleges and universities, and $2 million to provide additional support for resident students with disabilities attending college in New York.