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Young Invincibles Celebrates New York State Budget Wins for Young Adults

June 13, 2024
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 |

Young Invincibles Celebrates New York State Budget Wins for Young Adults

(New York City, NY) –  Last week, the 2024 New York State Legislative session ended with several policy and budget wins investing in young adults.

New York became the 13th state to implement a Universal FAFSA policy, ensuring that every high school senior has support applying for college financial aid regardless of their background. This policy aims to bridge equity gaps in accessing FAFSA completion information and support, particularly benefiting first-generation students, low-income families, and English language learners. Studies show this policy can help increase postsecondary enrollment and narrow degree attainment gaps.

In addition, New York has continued to invest in higher education with the expansion of the Critical Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), which will benefit an estimated 93,000 students. By raising the maximum household income eligibility threshold from $80,000 per year to $125,000, 48,000 students will be newly eligible for TAP. The minimum TAP award was also increased to $1,000. Additionally, SUNY received $10 million to expand mental health services, providing tele-counseling to over 200,000 students across 28 campuses, including several community colleges.

Furthermore, New York passed the Reproductive Justice and Equity Fund Program, creating a sustainable funding mechanism through the New York State Department of Health to provide grants to abortion providers and logistical support funds. The state also enacted a U.S. Department of Health-approved plan to expand New York’s Essential Plan, saving New Yorkers an average of $4,700 per year and extending coverage to 100,000 more people, including DACA recipients.

Young Invincibles celebrates the monumental policy strides New York made this session and is committed to advocating for affordable higher education and accessible health care for all.

In response, Sean Miller, Northeast Regional Director at Young Invincibles, said: 

“Putting money where our priorities are; New York took big steps in this budget to level the playing field for low-income families and first-generation students. These historic expansions in our college financial aid process, like Universal FAFSA and TAP awards, puts postsecondary degrees within reach for millions of current and future students. We worked diligently to uplift young adults’ experiences and inform legislators as they considered these key pieces of legislation. Increased access to financial aid means more students can consider college, attend a university or trade program, complete their degrees, and build prosperous careers. Increased access to mental health care saves and improves lives and increases degree completion.

Nationally, reproductive health care also remains under attack. By enacting the Reproductive Justice and Equity Fund Program, our leaders broadened access to life-saving care and helped ensure that New York is a national safe haven for bodily autonomy. Moreover, by expanding NY Essential Plan coverage we affirm that health care is not a privilege, but a human right.

Young Invincibles is thrilled that New York has given young adults something to cheer for, yet our CUNY schools, especially, are still grappling with devastating cuts to their faculty, facilities, and services. We must keep making progress, especially ensuring sufficient and stable funding for public education, and expanding health care and mental health access and affordability.”

In response, Ariel Clarke, an alum of Young Invincibles’ New York Young Advocates Program and the University of Buffalo, said:

“Throughout my academic career, having access to and support with financial assistance for my schooling was crucial to my success. As a first-generation student of color, having support with my FAFSA from the start to finish of each degree I obtained made my academic experience much more enjoyable and rewarding as it is one less thing to worry about. With Universal FAFSA and increased TAP funding, I was able to complete my degrees on my own terms, unafraid and limited by financial barriers. I’m thrilled to see these legislative wins occur and the contributions they will make towards the prosperity of students like me.”


Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or