Senate Democratic Majority Secures Historic Funding for Higher Education Budget

ALBANY- This week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law an historic budget that included record funding for higher education. Led by Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Senate Democrats prioritized CUNY’s and SUNY’s needs, securing significantly increased funding for both institutions. Despite the Executive’s cuts in the initial budget proposal, which called for an increase in tuition by up to 9% for the public colleges and universities, Senator Stavisky and her majority colleagues were able to ensure that tuition will not increase for in-state students. Since assuming the majority in 2019, Senate Democrats have made sure New York’s students have not seen a tuition hike.

“Prior to the Democrats winning the majority, the State consistently neglected funding for SUNY and CUNY while passing the financial burdens of a quality higher education onto our students,” said Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-11th District). “That is not the way we should be funding our State’s higher education system, especially in the face of declining enrollment. Increasing tuition is not the solution.

In this budget, we were able to increase operating aid, phased in over a three year period, rollback fees for graduate working students, secure increased capital funding, restore funding for opportunity programs and avoid cuts to our public community colleges. In addition, we restored cuts to the non-profit independent colleges. This budget is truly an investment in our students.”

Higher Education highlights in the 2023-24 fiscal year budget include:

  • No tuition increase for SUNY or CUNY in-state students
  • Increased operating aid for CUNY:
    • $53 million in 2023-24
    • $89 million in 2024-25
    • $125 million in 2025-26
  • $50 million in transformational initiatives for CUNY
  • $1 million for CUNY mental health services
  • $500,000 first time funding for the CUNY Black Male Initiative, focused on increasing matriculation, retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students
  • $2.25 million for the CUNY School of Labor
  • Increased operating aid for SUNY:
    • $103 million in 2023-24
    • $157 million in 2024-25
    • $211 million in 2025-26
  • $1 million for SUNY mental health services
  • $2 million for higher education students with disabilities
  • $1 million for the Nursing Program Expansion
  • Removal of appropriation language that would potentially withhold up to 20% of funding for the community colleges
  • Private, non-profit independent colleges
    • $35 million in scholarship (Bundy) aid
    • $40 million in capital construction (HeCap). State provides $1 for every $3 the colleges raises (a 3:1 matching grant)