ALBANY, NY- Representatives from the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) presented testimony today at the New York State Legislature’s Joint Budget Hearing on Higher Education. Donna Stelling-Gurnett, President and CEO of APC referenced language in the Governor’s State of the State Address calling for greater accountability and transparency for for-profit colleges. This language references findings from a 2012 congressional report that is not NY-specific and refers to Wall Street owned colleges, which no longer exist in New York. Further, she reminded the legislators that APC member colleges are regulated in the same way as the other sectors of higher education in NY “APC and its member colleges are committed to transparency and accountability in education and, most of all, to ensuring the success of our students,” said Stelling-Gurnett. “As to the Governor’s call for greater transparency from proprietary institutions, we remind lawmakers that APC member colleges have already taken steps to increase transparency and share information with students, their families, and the general public. In fact, last year APC voluntarily published on its website financial data and other key information pertaining to its member colleges.” “APC’s member colleges already meet the same rigorous standards imposed on all of New York State’s institutions of higher education,” said Stelling-Gurnett. “State Ed measures every institution – whether it is public, non-profit, or proprietary – by the same yardstick, and each institution across the State is expected to demonstrate high levels of both quality and integrity.” She additionally highlighted APC member colleges’ strong academic outcomes including: • Having the highest on-time graduation rate for full-time students earning associate level degrees across all sectors of higher education. • Devoting the highest percentage (93 percent) of their expenses to educational instruction and student supports and services. • Having the lowest average student loan debt compared to statewide and national averages, ($22,357 for APC members / $30,931 NY average / $28,650 national average). • 85 percent job placement rate for graduates of APC member colleges. Stelling-Gurnett asked members of the higher education committee to consider increasing funding for TAP and ETA so more students could have access to educational opportunities. Other requests included reinstating graduate student TAP, investing in the Office of Higher Education, and supporting NYSED’s request for funding to support students with disabilities.