Statement from Commission on Independent Colleges & Universities President, Lola W. Brabham, on FY 2023 Enacted State Budget

News Date: 4/12/2022

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 10, 2022) – The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York (CICU), in response to the FY 2023 Enacted Budget, has released the following statement and key takeaways that will provide much-needed aid to New York’s Independent Higher Education sector and their more than 450,000 students. 

“On behalf of New York’s 100-plus independent colleges and universities, this year’s state budget incorporated a number of priorities that CICU advocated for such as reopening eligibility for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to incarcerated students, eliminating onerous requirements for part-time learners to utilize TAP, and increasing funding for opportunity programs, the Higher Education Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program, Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs), and Centers of Excellence (CoEs),” said Lola W. Brabham, President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York (CICU). “We appreciate the diligence and hard work of Governor Hochul and the Legislature in delivering a budget in support of New York’s independent sector. These investments will help support the over 450,000 students who attend private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York.” 

President Brabham also added, “While we are disappointed TAP awards were not increased, nor was the income eligibility raised to $110,000 – which would have allowed an additional 24,000 New York families to be eligible for TAP – we understand the many priorities that required the Governor’s and the Legislature’s attention. We will continue to work with them to ensure all students have access to the higher education they deserve.” 

Key takeaways: 

Expanding TAP access 

  • TAP for incarcerated students: The state overturned a 28-year ban on TAP eligibility for incarcerated students.  

  • Part-Time TAP: The state eliminated the requirement that part-time students take a full 12 credits in each of the prior two semesters. This will make more students eligible for Part-Time TAP and allow them to use Part-Time TAP for longer. 

 Increased Opportunity Program Funding    

  • The budget includes a 13 percent funding increase for all educational opportunity programs as well as some additional flexibility for STEP/CSTEP to target funding to increase existing programs or to establish new programs- depending upon where it’s needed most. The breakdown is as follows:    

  • Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) — $48.32M   

  • Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP) — $21.51M   

  • Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) — $15.82M   

  • Liberty Partnerships Program — $24.98M    

   New Higher Education Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program Funding   

  • CICU proposed and strongly advocated for a new Green HECap program as an enhancement to the existing program funded at $30M. The enacted budget increases funding for HECap to $45M but does not specifically establish Green HECap.  

   Increased Funding for Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs) and Centers of Excellence (CoEs)    

  • Funding for each of the state’s CATs and CoEs was increased to $1M (most were previously funded at $895,000).    

  Continued Funding for Students with Disabilities    

  • The state continued funding for Post-Secondary Success for Students with Disabilities at $2M.   

   HESC Scholarship Programs Level-Funded   

  • HESC Scholarship programs, including the Nursing Faculty Loan Forgiveness Program and the Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program, were continued at $54.15M.   

   Nursing Financial Aid Programs Expanded   

  • The budget creates a new $2.5M Nurses Across New York Loan Forgiveness program for nurses working in underserved areas of the state. In order to be eligible, nurses must work in underserved areas for three consecutive years.    

  • Funding for the Patricia McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship was increased by $2M to $5.93M.   

   Loan Forgiveness Programs Non-Taxable   

  • The budget amended Section 612 of New York State tax law to ensure that all HESC loan forgiveness awards are not subject to state tax.   

For more about CICU, its member institutions, and its mission, visit CICU.org