ALBANY, NY - Donna Stelling-Gurnett, President and CEO of The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) presented testimony today at the Legislature’s Joint Budget Hearing on Higher Education. She asked legislators to expand the Enhanced Tuition Assistance (ETA) program to include the 50,000 students attending the State’s proprietary colleges.

APC members appreciate the unwavering support from the Legislature regarding the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and are extremely grateful there were no proposed cuts to TAP this year. However, as the cost of higher education continues to increase, more students from low-and middle-income families could benefit from the assistance offered through the TAP program if it were expanded.

Under last year’s budget, the Legislature appropriated funding and created the Enhanced Tuition Assistance Program (ETA) that would provide additional financial support for students attending the State’s private colleges. APC enthusiastically supported the ETA, but a drafting error in the final budget language excluded their students from the crucial funding. Legislation was quickly drafted and passed to fix the error, but Governor Cuomo vetoed the measure and the ETA was implemented without including students attending the state’s private proprietary colleges. This year, Stelling-Gurnett is respectfully asking the Legislature for their support in allowing their students to benefit from the program.

“By barring students attending proprietary colleges from receiving ETA awards, New York State is denying educational opportunities for thousands of people who are working to better themselves, build careers, and support their families,” she said.

With 90 percent of the students enrolled in proprietary colleges residing in New York and choosing to stay here after graduation, the state can’t afford to miss the opportunity to make the changes necessary to include these students in the ETA.

View APC Testimony.

Statement from Donna Gurnett, President and CEO of the Association of Proprietary Colleges.

“Today Governor Cuomo turned his back on nearly 40,000 New York college students who are earning associate, bachelor’s master’s and doctoral degrees at state Board of Regents certified proprietary colleges by vetoing a measure that would have allowed them to apply for the state’s new Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA).

Excluding these students is extremely shortsighted as they are exactly the type of student New York needs and should be empowering. At APC member institutions across the state, nearly 70 percent of students are women; and 41 percent are black or Hispanic. More than 2,000 of the students currently attending APC member colleges are veterans.

They often work long hours in addition to taking on full-time course loads. Ninety percent of students attending APC institutions are from New York and more than 90 percent of these students stay in New York after graduation to live and work.

APC members remain committed to their students; and to working with the Governor and legislative leaders to keep college affordable and to achieve parity for all New York students.”

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The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents 12 fully accredited, degree granting colleges operating on 23 college campuses in New York State offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.  Regulated by the New York State Department of Education and Board of Regents, APC member institutions are located across the state from Buffalo, to Long Island, Jamestown to Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and the entire NYC metropolitan area. There are more than 50,000 students enrolled in proprietary colleges throughout New York State and APC member colleges serve more than 35,000 of these students. 

Please visit www.apc-colleges.org and follow us on Twitter @APCColleges and Facebook @ APCColleges

Statement: Donna Gurnett, President and CEO of the Association of Proprietary Colleges Testifies Before the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.

“Members of New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) are pleased that the New York State Senate and Assembly passed measure S.5891/A.7697 (Klein/Pichardo), amending the definition of private degree granting intuitions and expanding the Enhanced Tuition Award (ETA) program eligibility to include students attending APC member colleges.

“New York’s final budget disadvantaged nearly 40,000 students attending the state’s private degree-granting proprietary colleges by not allowing them to apply for the new ETA award. This measure corrects this oversight. The APC membership now calls on the Governor to sign this bill into law.

“New York is a leader in higher education. In the early 1970s, the state recognized the ability of New York’s proprietary college sector to educate non-traditional students and granted select institutions degree-granting authority. Since that time, the state has empowered each of the four sectors of higher education, comprised of SUNY, CUNY, private not-for-profit and proprietary colleges, to increase college access and ensure degree completion. If the state is to continue to lead the nation in higher education, all New York students deserve the same opportunity to reduce their student loan debt as the students who attend SUNY, CUNY or private/not-for-profit colleges.”

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The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents 14 fully accredited, degree granting colleges operating on 25 college campuses in New York State offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.  Our colleges are located across the state from Buffalo, to Long Island, Jamestown to Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany and the entire NYC metropolitan area. There are more than 50,000 students enrolled in proprietary colleges throughout New York State and APC member colleges serve more than 35,000 of these students. 

Please visit www.apc-colleges.org and follow us on Twitter @APCColleges and Facebook @ APCColleges