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St. Bonaventure University’s Board of Trustees is urging the New York State Legislature to expand tuition assistance for all students rather than endorse supplemental financial aid only for those attending SUNY or CUNY schools.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship proposal provides free SUNY or CUNY tuition to any student from a family making less than $125,000 a year.
Trustees also rejected the governor’s proposal to introduce tuition price controls that would harm the very students it is designed to help by cutting TAP and federal Bundy Aid available to financially needy students.
In a resolution passed unanimously Friday at its March board meeting, St. Bonaventure trustees urged state legislators to raise the minimum and maximum TAP awards; expand income eligibility to include more families; and expand proven opportunity programs such as the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and the Science and Technology Entry Programs, known as STEP/C-STEP.
In addition, the plan could jeopardize the economies of the cities and towns in which private colleges are located.
In 2015, St. Bonaventure had a $141 million impact on the region’s economy. Collectively, New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities directly and indirectly employ more than 406,000 people and generate $79.6 billion in economic activity in all regions of the state.
“We share the goal of making college more affordable for more New York state students, but we don’t want to see student choice eliminated from the equation,” said Dr. Andrew Roth, interim president of St. Bonaventure. “Expanding TAP gives them the freedom to choose which institution – private or public – is the best fit for them.”
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