Major legislation was passed Tuesday to improve student aid in the higher education institutions of New York schools.
The bills advanced will provide support to veteran students through campus resources and academic credit opportunities. It also standardizes the award schedule of the Tuition Assistance Program for dependent and independent students, creates a task force to study refinance options for private student loans, protects the privacy rights of immigrant students on campus and helps provide the community and state college systems of New York the support they deserve.
“Our higher education system must always prioritize the best interests of the students it’s intended to serve,” said state Senator Alessandra Biaggi. “I am glad to join my colleagues in passing important legislation to expand financial accessibility to degree programs and create additional protections for immigrant students at SUNY and CUNY institutions. I extend my gratitude to the bill sponsors for their leadership to move these bills forward.”
The bills advanced by the Senate Majority include:
Helping Veterans in our Colleges: This bill S.2291 sponsored by Senator James Sanders Jr. will require the State University of New York and the City University of New York to examine and conduct a study on the availability of campus services, programs and resources for veteran students.
SUNY/CUNY Veteran Credit: This bill S.2680A sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo will allow state operated institutions to grant academic credit to veterans based on their military experiences.
Immigrant Student Privacy Protections: This bill S.2778 sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky prohibit any employee or officer of a CUNY or SUNY university to request the specific details of a student’s immigration status except when required by federal law, pursuant to court order, or as required in connection with tuition or financial aid eligibility.
Help Returning Students and Update their TAP Award Amounts: These two bills S.2764/S.2765 sponsored by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky will update the tuition assistance program, to increase award amounts to current day rates for dependent and independent students at degree-granting colleges in the state. This will incentivize students to continue their education.
Standing up for Borrowers and creating the Student Loan Refinance Task Force: This bill S.2767 sponsored by Senator Tim Kennedy will establish a private student loan refinance task force, made of various lending experts, legislative, and state representatives to come up with solutions to benefit borrowers.