[Albany, New York] — Today, Kevin Stump, Northeast Director of Young Invincibles, delivered testimony at the New York State Legislative Higher Education Hearing. Please find his full testimony here. It highlights the need for policies that reach young people in New York with the least access and means for making it through the state’s higher education system. He discusses how current proposals in the FY-2018 plan, particularly the Excelsior Scholarship, show strong committment to higher education but currently exclude and penalize part-time, working, low-income students. Moreover, the Governor has not included any Maintenance of Effort funding to ensure institutions can maintain high quality education without being crushed by costs increases (like inflation or energy).
He also discusses shortfalls of New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and urges the legislature to increase maximum TAP. The current FY-2018 budget proposes five more years of annual $250 tuition hikes and does not increase TAP awards. It also force New York’s public universities to pay for the unfunded tuition credit mandate, which has cost CUNY more than $180 million since 2012.
In New York, student loan debt more than doubled during the last decade, growing to $82 billion from $39 billion, an increase of 112 percent with an average debt holder owing $32,200, $2,000 more than the national average. We are pleased that legislators on both sides of the aisle have a lot of questions around full-time criteria, part-time students, and contradictory tuition hikes.