Statements by CICU Leadership on Governor Cuomo’s Proposed Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program

News Date: 12/4/2014

Laura L. Anglin, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), a statewide association for more than 100 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities in New York State, said: “Governor Cuomo's proposed loan forgiveness program is a win for students across the state and a model for the country. New York already boasts some of the world's best colleges and universities and most talented graduates in a diverse array of fields. This creative plan will support our alumni as they launch their careers in the Empire State.”

Todd S. Hutton, president of Utica College and chair of the CICU Board of Trustees, said: “Governor Cuomo’s loan forgiveness program is a stroke of genius that will allow a greater number of students to pursue their first job out of college in social service and related fields without fear of financial hardship. This innovative program would set a standard for other states that seek to cushion the burden for students whose first jobs and career choices do not earn them top-tier salaries. The independent colleges and universities of New York applaud Governor Cuomo for his vision in making a college education affordable for all students, and we pledge to join him in our efforts to provide access to students from all economic backgrounds and walks of life through our concerted efforts to make our colleges and universities affordable to all.”

Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University and vice-chair of the CICU Board of Trustees, said: “Governor Cuomo should be commended for his proposal to alleviate college debt for New York graduates. This program acknowledges the role our students play in the economic strength and continued growth of New York.”

Shirley A. Mullen, president of Houghton College and secretary of the CICU Board of Trustees, said: “Governor Cuomo's loan forgiveness plan directly addresses the fear factor that makes families reluctant to invest in the kind of educational preparation that will truly prepare their sons and daughters for long term productivity in an ever changing New York state economy.”

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University and treasurer of the CICU Board of Trustees, said: “New York’s colleges and universities have always encouraged their students to devote themselves to the service of others. Sadly, worried by debt, many of the most civic-minded of our recent graduates have not been able to listen to their hearts, hearts that call them to devote their talents and energy to the service of the poor and the building up of distressed communities. The Governor's proposal will change all that. By lifting the burden of debt from their shoulders, he will allow many of our most idealistic graduates to change the world, transform New York and to spark hope in the lives of the most vulnerable citizens of the state.”

About the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU)

Founded in 1956, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer most of the bachelor’s degrees (51%), master’s degrees (71%), and doctoral and first-professional degrees (80%) earned in New York State.

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Contact: Jennifer Miller, Director of Communications (jennifer@cicu.org; office: 518-436-4781) or Terri Standish-Kuon, Vice President, Public Affairs (terri@cicu.org; cell: 518-527-8946; office: 518-436-4781)