News Release
Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie
April 2, 2018

Enacted Budget Expands Paths to Higher Education

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah Glick today announced that the enacted State Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget expands the Higher Education Road to Success initiative and promotes college affordability in New York. The budget commits $7.6 billion in state support for higher education including a $23.8 million restoration for opportunity programs, an increase in base aid at SUNY and CUNY and $1.2 billion for strategic programs to help students and families reach their higher education goals.

"The Assembly Majority's Road to Success Initiative is a key part of our promise to put New York's Families First," said Heastie. "Building bridges to higher education for middle and low-income households is an investment that will ensure the continued growth of our state and local economies."

"It is our duty to provide investments and solutions that will support New York's students on their paths to higher education and sustainable careers," said Assemblymember Glick. "We are committed to getting as many students as possible on the Road to Success, and with the increases in base aid and opportunity programs as well as new enhancements to the Excelsior scholarship, this budget delivers on that promise."

New York's SUNY and CUNY systems are a cornerstone of the Assembly Majority's mission to grow opportunities for all New Yorkers. These institutions are an invaluable asset for families across the state looking to secure an affordable, high quality college education for their students. The enacted budget commits a $200 million restoration of critical maintenace for SUNY and makes a range of investments to support opportunity programs in both the SUNY and CUNY systems as follows:

The final budget provides a community college base aid rate of $2,847, reflecting a $100 per full-time student increase. CUNY's Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) receives a $2.5 million restoration and in an effort to support parents who are continuing their education, the budget restores funding for child care centers at SUNY and CUNY with $1.1 million and $902,000, respectively. For SFY 2018-19 the Foster Youth College Success Initiative will receive $6 million in state support as well as a new authorization for SUNY to provide supplemental housing and meals to those foster students who are not enrolled in an opportunity program.

The enacted budget continues support for longstanding Assembly priorities, including $60.04 million for the Educational Opportunity Centers (EOC); $35 million for Bundy Aid; $250,000 for the CUNY Pipeline at the Graduate Center; and $6.5 million for Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN) Labs within SUNY. Other budget actions include:

The enacted budget also establishes the New York State Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and commits $1 million in support to provide an award of $5,000 per year to certified teachers who meet required criteria in high needs school districts. Under a new directive, the status of an individual's student loan debt could no longer be used as a factor in determining approval for a new professional license application or the suspension of an existing license, certificate or registration.

For the 2019 Academic year, the Excelsior Scholarship income eligibility threshold will increase to include New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000 and will support an additional 27,000 students. Additionally, the final budget expands eligibility for Enhanced Tuition Awards to students at proprietary colleges and contains other provisions to allow the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to change a student's determination of eligibility for these programs under certain circumstances.