Initiatives that support students and increased access to Higher Education are major standouts in the fiscal year 2025 New York State Budget. An increase to the minimum award amount, capital funding increases, and a major amount of funding allocated to operating support for public colleges will hopefully open the door for more students to pursue degrees in the state.

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Record Investments to State Operating Funding For Higher Ed

Another massive increase to State operating funding for Higher Education is said to 'expand access to higher education and ensure all students get the opportunities they deserve,' according to an announcement earlier this week from Governor Hochul's office.

A record investment in the fiscal year 2025 Budget shows $7.58 billion as the plan for State operating funding next year. This increase is consistent with the past few budget cycles that also included more than $1 billion in higher education funding.

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In addition to the funding increase, the FY 2025 budget also increases the minimum award amount for the Tuition Assistance Program, commonly known as TAP, from $500 to $1000. TAP eligibility has also increased across the board, indicating that an additional 48,000 students are now eligible to receive assistance who previously could not due to income guidelines.

Universal FAFSA in New York State

If you're remotely familiar with federal aid, you have probably heard of all of the issues that people have been having lately when going through the FAFSA submission process. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA, and also refereed to as the New York State Dream Act) will also be a requirement from the Governor's Office, that every high school senior is to fill out the application.

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Hochul's budget report does indicate that 'students who choose not to fill out an application must sign a waiver form indicating that they are aware of the available financial aid but choose not to pursue it.'

Unprecedented SUNY & CUNY Support

Another aspect of the FY 2025 budget to pay attention to is the 'unprecedented level of support' for both SUNY and CUNY. The increase in funding primarily targets enrollment and retention rates, and includes $396 million in new State operating support.

In addition, $1.13 billion has been allocated to SUNY and CUNY campuses to focus on capital projects of both existing and new facilities.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul Holds Covid-19 Update
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To learn more about the full scope of the FY 2025 budget as announced by Governor Hochul, you can view the official press release here.

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