A bill sponsored by New York State Senator Ken LaValle to alleviate the financial burden on New York State counties from having to pay charge back fees to The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) for upper division programs passed the New York State Senate on Thursday.
“Many counties are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to pay the upper level charge back fees,” Senator LaValle said,“and the burden is falling on localities. This bill is necessary to alleviate some of the counties' burden and eliminate their need to charge back the localities but to still fund FIT at appropriate and fair levels.”
FIT provides a very specialized education in a variety of sought after programs.
FIT relies on funding from three sources: a local sponsor's share, state support and student tuition, much like any other community college in the State. However, FIT grants baccalaureate and masters degrees which makes them unique.
Charge back fees are collected as part of an off-set to the local sponsor's share and are paid by counties whose residents choose to attend an out of county community college. Counties may then pass those costs on to cities, towns and villages in such counties.
Senator LaValle’s bill would achieve the goal of fully funding FIT by having the state pick up the charge back costs for the upper division degrees while easing the counties' financial hardships.
It is important to note, that the bill does not provide an unfair advantage to FIT over other community colleges because it keeps in place the counties obligation to pay the lower level charge back fees which are paid to all other community colleges for two year degrees.