NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A27
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing persons
over age sixty-five to enroll in a limited number of SUNY or CUNY credit
hours without tuition
This bill will permit the trustees of the State University and the City
University to allow senior citizens to take courses for credit, on a
space-available basis, without charge, at State-operated campuses.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Amends § 355 of the Education Law to add for-credit courses (to a maxi-
mum of nine credit hours per semester) to the existing provisions which
authorize senior citizens to audit courses, on a space available basis,
at no charge.
In 1974, New York State took a giant step forward by adopting Chapter
1002 of the Laws of 1974 permitting senior citizens to audit courses at
the State University without tuition, examination or credit, on a space
available basis. On approving that legislation, the Governor noted that,
"Education can be a major factor in helping older people maintain their
mental alertness, (and) continue active participation in the affairs of
their communities. In many instances, however, financial and formal
educational barriers have rendered such education opportunity inaccessi-
Although the 1974 law began an important step forward, senior citizens
have so far been denied the opportunity to further their education on a
for-credit basis. This bill would extend to persons age 60 and over the
ability to attend courses at no charge at the State University, on a
space-available basis, while receiving credit for their course work.
This is a logical continuation of our efforts to integrate our elderly
collegians fully into the mainstream of academic life. It is now time to
make our students age 60 and over first-class citizens of theĽ Universi-
ty, entitled not only to the privileges of an auditor, but also to the
opportunities of full participation in their course work.
HISTORY OF BILL:
A.943/S.3686 of 2021-2022, A.6380/S.692 of 2019-2020, A.1672-A/S.1110-A
of 2017-2018, A.1587-A/S.3785-A of 2015-2016, A.2323/S.2854 of
2013-2014, A.4360/S.3485 of 2011-2012, S.1388/A.3951 of 2009-2010,
S.2510/A.4820 of 2007-08, S.2481/A.5079 of 2005-06, S.1532/A.3267 of
2003-04, S.2841/A.5383 of 2001-02, 5.1836/A.3165 of 1999-2000,
S.2338/A.3768 of 1997-98, S.1631/A.11268 of 1995-96, S.2191/A.3788 of
1993-94, S.2751/A.4204 of 1991-1992 and S.2052/A.3101 of 1989-1990.
There is no direct fiscal impact, since all attendance would be on a
April 1st next.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
January 4, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. MAGNARELLI -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
COLTON, COOK, DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the Committee on
AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to authorizing persons
over age sixty-five to enroll in a limited number of SUNY or CUNY
credit hours without tuition
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subparagraph 1 of paragraph h of subdivision 2 of section
2 355 of the education law, as separately amended by chapters 552 and 616
3 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
4 (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general, special or
5 local law, rule or regulation, such regulations may permit persons sixty
6 years of age or over to audit courses given therein without tuition,
7 examination, grading or credit therefor upon a space available basis, as
8 determined by the president of each such institution, provided that such
9 audit attendance does not deny course attendance at a state-operated
10 institution by an individual who is otherwise qualified under the regu-
11 lations promulgated pursuant to this section. For purposes of this
12 section, persons sixty-five years of age or over who are residents of
13 the state shall be eligible to take not more than nine credit hours of
14 courses for credit per semester without tuition.
15 § 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 7 of section 6206 of the education
16 law, as added by chapter 344 of the laws of 1995, is amended to read as
18 (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other general, special or
19 local law, rule or regulation, the board of trustees may permit persons
20 sixty years of age or over to audit courses given therein without
21 tuition, examination, grading or credit therefor upon a space available
22 basis, as determined by the president of each such institution, provided
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 27 2
1 that such audit attendance does not deny course attendance at the city
2 university of New York by an individual who is otherwise qualified under
3 this section. For purposes of this section, persons sixty-five years of
4 age or over who are residents of the state shall be eligible to take not
5 more than nine credit hours of courses for credit per semester without
7 § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of April next succeeding
8 the date on which it shall have become a law.