2018-19 New York State Budget Highlights
Building on seven years of support for higher education, the recently approved 2018-19 New York State Budget invests $1.2 billion for strategic programs to make college more affordable and encourage the best and brightest students to build their future in New York.
The following provides highlights from the 2018-19 State Budget pertaining to higher education.
Excelsior Scholarship Program
For the 2018-19 academic year, the Excelsior Scholarship income eligibility threshold will increase, allowing New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000 to be eligible. To continue this landmark program, the Budget includes $118 million to support an estimated 27,000 students in the Excelsior program. Along with other sources of tuition assistance, including the generous New York State Tuition Assistance Program, the Excelsior Scholarship will allow approximately 53 percent of full-time SUNY and CUNY in-state students, or more than 210,000 New York residents, to attend college tuition-free when fully phased in.
Enhanced Tuition Awards Program
The Budget includes $22.9 million for the second phase of the Enhanced Tuition Awards program, providing up to $6,000 in financial assistance including match funds and a tuition freeze to make college more affordable for residents attending private colleges in New York. For the 2018-19 academic year and thereafter, the program is modified to both serve students attending any in-state degree granting private college, and provide more flexibility in the matching requirement for colleges - including the exemption of colleges whose tuition rates are reduced by more than 15 percent from the rate charged six years prior, and permitting the use of existing institutional aid as the college match.
Prior Year Income Flexibility
The 2018-19 State Budget newly permits the use of prior year income to establish income eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship and Enhanced Tuition Awards programs in the event of the death, disability, divorce or separation of a household member whose income is used in determining program eligibility.
New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive Scholarship Program
The Budget provides $4 million over four years to expand the STEM Incentive Scholarship Program to students attending a private, degree-granting college in New York State. Recipients will be selected by lottery, and will receive awards up to SUNY resident undergraduate tuition or actual tuition, whichever is less.
NYS Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
The 2018-19 Budget establishes the New York State Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program and commits $1 million over four years to provide $5,000 annual awards to teachers serving in high needs school districts or subject areas for which a shortage of teachers exists.