New York State Invests in Higher Education

The FY 2019 New York State Budget provides students and families with additional funding to make college more affordable and encourage all students to build their future right here in New York. This year's State Budget provides $7.6 billion in State support for higher education - an increase of $1.5 billion since FY 2012.

Launching the Second Phase of the Excelsior Free Tuition Program

The Excelsior Scholarship, the first of its kind in the country, enables middle-class SUNY and CUNY two- and four-year college students who are enrolled full-time to attend tuition-free.

The Excelsior Scholarship is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's ongoing effort to make college more affordable for thousands of students. To continue this landmark program, the FY 2019 Budget provides $118 million to support an estimated 27,000 students in the Excelsior program, and expands the income eligibility threshold to New Yorkers with household incomes up to $110,000.

When fully phased in, the Excelsior Scholarship will allow more than 210,000 New York residents to attend a SUNY/CUNY college tuition-free.

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2018-19 academic year for new applicants through July 23, 2018. Click here for the application and more information about the program.

Boosting Funding for SUNY and CUNY

The FY 2019 Budget provides SUNY and CUNY with more than $200 million in new resources to support the operations of the university systems while maintaining low predictable tuition, ensuring access for all to a quality education.

Supporting Students Attending New York's Private Colleges

The Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) program provides up to $6,000 in financial assistance, including matching funds and a tuition freeze, to make college more affordable for resident students attending a private college in New York.

The Budget includes $22.9 million for the ETA program, $4 million to expand the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarship Program for students attending private colleges in New York, and $30 million for competitive grants to support strategic capital investments at independent colleges to improve academic programs, enhance student life and provide economic development benefits to the college community.

Easing the Burden of Student Debt

As student debt continues to rise nationally, New York State is taking steps to ease the burden of student loan debt and help ensure students are able to successfully begin their careers after college.

Coming on the heels of New York's Get on Your Feet Loan Forgiveness Program for recent NYS college graduates, the FY 2019 Budget includes legislation to protect individuals struggling to repay student loans by prohibiting the suspension of professional licenses of individuals behind or in default of their student loans.

This practice, currently allowed in 19 other states, severely limits the ability of people to support themselves and their families, and to ultimately pay back their student loans, creating a further financial downward spiral. By expressly prohibiting this practice, this Budget initiative ensures current and future New Yorkers are protected.

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