Senator Cooney Champions College Affordability

(Rochester, NY) Today, Senator Jeremy Cooney (Rochester-SD56) hosted a virtual roundtable with Dr. Alissa Karl of SUNY Brockport, Tom Schnurr of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, and Hobart College senior Albright Dwaka to advocate for increased student aid funding and financial aid. Senator Cooney highlighted new legislation that passed the Senate yesterday to champion higher education and make college more accessible to all New Yorkers. One such bill would link Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to the cost of SUNY/CUNY tuition, helping low income New Yorkers access college.

Senator Cooney discussed the challenges colleges and universities are facing at this precarious moment, and cautioned against any budget cuts from higher education.

“Rochester is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. As a former student aid recipient, now member of the Senate’s Higher Education Committee, I am proud to support an increase in TAP funding, which helps thousands of local students afford college and reduce their student loans,” said Senator Cooney. 

"SUNY students and campuses are hurting right now. We must fix the TAP formula so that students can afford the education that SUNY exists to provide," said Dr. Alissa Karl, English Professor at SUNY Brockport.

“TAP has been a program that has been allowed to stagnate. . . Without this aid students do not become college graduates and may continue to struggle without further investment,” said Tom Schnurr, Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities

“Only thanks to financial aid like TAP and other awards was I able to attend college,” said Albright Dwarka, Hobart College Senior. “These are awards more important than ever for me as my father passed away unexpectedly. Without this support I may have had to drop out. For the thousands of students like me TAP and other awards are so important especially with COVID19 and rising tuition costs.”

related legislation