The Assembly and Senate Fight to Keep Affordable Higher Education
February 9, 2006

Governor Pataki has throughout his tenure proposed every imaginable obstacle to an affordable higher education for New York’s public university students. This year unfortunately is no exception.

His proposed tuition increases, Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) cuts, and future automatic tuition increases will break the back of our already financially starved SUNY and CUNY students. In response to this threat, the Assembly and Senate once again are putting partisan politics aside to keep affordable higher education here in New York.

The governor has proposed a $500 SUNY tuition hike and a $300 CUNY hike in this year’s budget. His administration has already increased tuition by 65% from the beginning of his tenure effectively closing the door of opportunity for higher education to thousands of potential students. This new tuition hike is nothing new for a governor that has consistently shifted the burden of operating costs for SUNY and CUNY institutions away from state funds to the students themselves.

On top of the tuition increases this year for SUNY and CUNY the governor is calling for automatic tuitions increases each and every year. Various models have predicted that SUNY would likely increase more than $1,000 and CUNY would increase more than $750 over the next four years. Miriam Kramer, higher education coordinator for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), said that the governor’s proposals, “Includes an egregious combination of tuition hikes and TAP cuts that will harm the poorest and most vulnerable students.”

Luckily for students the Assembly and Senate are pushing for an on-time budget that will provide students educational opportunities they deserve. Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. has been an integral part of the bipartisan negotiations and is confident that students will not face tuition hikes this year. “We have a governor that wants to increase tuition at our public universities, one that is advocating for TAP cuts to students that need them the most” said Assemblyman Boyland. “Can he really believe these proposals will be beneficial to New York?”

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