•  Summary 
  •  Actions 
  •  Committee Votes 
  •  Floor Votes 
  •  Memo 
  •  Text 
  •  LFIN 
  •  Chamber Video/Transcript 

S04170 Summary:

Add 239-c, Ed L
Enacts the "fair college admissions act"; prohibits legacy admissions policies at colleges and universities in New York; declares such policies and practices to be discriminatory and inequitable.
Go to top    

S04170 Actions:

06/05/2023PRINT NUMBER 4170A
Go to top

S04170 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    February 3, 2023
        Introduced  by  Sens.  GOUNARDES,  CHU,  CLEARE,  COMRIE,  MYRIE, RAMOS,
          SEPULVEDA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when  printed  to  be
          committed   to   the   Committee  on  Higher  Education  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee

        AN ACT to amend the education law, in  relation  to  prohibiting  legacy
          admission policies at higher education institutions in this state
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act may be known and shall  be  cited  as
     2  the "fair college admissions act".
     3    §  2.  Legislative  intent. a. The legislature hereby finds that there
     4  are significant income gains  associated  with  postsecondary  education
     5  degree  attainment,  with  New  York  state  residents with a bachelor's
     6  degree three times less likely to live in poverty than those with a high
     7  school diploma.
     8    b. The legislature further finds that students who attend and graduate
     9  from a highly selective higher education institution in the state of New
    10  York are much more likely to earn salaries in the  top  income  quintile
    11  than  those  who  graduate  from less selective institutions, furthering
    12  economic and social inequality.
    13    c. The legislature further finds that  within  most  highly  selective
    14  higher education institutions in New York state, degree completion rates
    15  for  students  from  low-income and working class family backgrounds are
    16  comparable to students from upper-income family backgrounds.
    17    d. The legislature further finds that many four-year higher  education
    18  institutions in New York state consider whether a prospective student is
    19  related to alumni as part of the admissions process.
    20    e. The legislature further finds that providing preferential treatment
    21  to  students  related  to  alumni  of  a higher education institution is
    22  discriminatory in nature and disproportionately hurts students who  come
    23  from  working  class  and  low-income families, have parents who did not
    24  earn a bachelor's degree, are  undocumented,  are  immigrants,  and  are
    25  members of historically underrepresented minority groups formerly denied
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 4170--A                          2
     1  entry  into specific higher education institutions either as a matter of
     2  institution policy or the effect of historic underlying law and  govern-
     3  ment practices.
     4    f.  The  legislature further finds that inequitable, unfair admissions
     5  policies and practices such as legacy consideration  are  a  significant
     6  factor  behind  disparities  in  college  enrollment among students from
     7  historically underserved racial and economic subgroups compared to their
     8  more advantaged peers at selective higher education institutions.
     9    g. The legislature hereby declares that a prohibition on legacy admis-
    10  sion policies at degree-granting colleges and universities in the  state
    11  shall  further  the  goals  of educational, economic, and social equity,
    12  helping  to  diversify  highly  selective  institutions  while   closing
    13  achievement  gaps  between  historically  advantaged  and  disadvantaged
    14  groups, and shall commit  to  achieving  the  same  with  the  following
    15  provisions of this act.
    16    §  3.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 239-c to
    17  read as follows:
    18    § 239-c. Prohibition on legacy admission policies. 1.  Definitions. As
    19  used in this section, the following terms shall have the following mean-
    20  ings:
    21    (a) "Consider alumni/ae relation as  a  factor  in  admissions"  shall
    22  refer  to  when  an  admissions  application asks applicants to indicate
    23  where their relatives attended college  and  that  such  information  is
    24  included  among the documents that the higher education institution uses
    25  to consider an applicant for admission.
    26    (b) "Higher education institution" shall mean the state university  of
    27  New  York, as defined in subdivision one of section three hundred fifty-
    28  two of this chapter, the city university of New York, as established  in
    29  section  sixty-two  hundred  three  of  this chapter, or any institution
    30  given the power to confer degrees in this state by the board of  regents
    31  as provided in section two hundred eighteen of this article.
    32    2.  Prohibition.  No  higher education institution in this state shall
    33  consider alumni/ae relation as a factor in admissions.  Such prohibition
    34  shall not apply, however, to a higher education  institution  that  asks
    35  applicants  about  relations  to  alumni/ae of such institution after an
    36  offer of admission and financial aid has been accepted for the  purposes
    37  of data collection and reporting.
    38    3.  Penalty.  A  violation  of  subdivision  two of this section shall
    39  result in a civil penalty of a sum equivalent  to  ten  percent  of  the
    40  number of full-time equivalent first year students enrolled at the high-
    41  er educational institution the year previous to the violation multiplied
    42  by such institution's published tuition and fees.
    43    4.  Dedication of penalty funds. All penalties paid pursuant to subdi-
    44  vision three of this section shall be assessed by the  commissioner  and
    45  deposited into the general fund of the state.  Such monies shall then be
    46  used  for  the  disbursement  of tuition assistance awards by the higher
    47  education services corporation to eligible undergraduate students pursu-
    48  ant to the provisions of sections six  hundred  sixty-six,  six  hundred
    49  sixty-seven, six hundred sixty-seven-a, and six hundred sixty seven-c of
    50  this chapter.
    51    §  4.  This act shall take effect on the first of July next succeeding
    52  the date on which it shall have become a law.  Effective immediately the
    53  addition, amendment, and/or repeal of any rule or  regulation  necessary
    54  for  the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized
    55  to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
Go to top