Proposed Assembly Budget Makes $19.6 Billion Investment in Higher Education, Including $213.2 Million in Opportunity Program Funding

Spending Plan Proposes Increased TAP Income Threshold Limits and Expansion to Critical SUNY and CUNY Funding

Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Patricia Fahy today announced the Assembly’s State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25 Proposed Budget makes investments to ensure higher education is accessible for all New York students by funding the State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York’s (CUNY) world class educational programs and providing $213.2 million for opportunity programs.

“My colleagues and I remain committed to ensuring all students have access to a high-quality and affordable education in New York,” said Speaker Heastie. “Our proposed budget makes critical investments to keep tuition low and provide a new generation of college students educational access.”

“This year’s Assembly one house budget proposal expands and grows student opportunity, invests in badly needed student aid and tuition assistance, and ensures continued progress on increasing funding for our SUNY and CUNY systems,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “Investments in operating aid, the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), and community college funding will ensure that more students, regardless of background, can achieve their dream of accessing a higher education. I commend Speaker Heastie for his leadership on investments that will help begin transforming the world of higher education in New York. As we grapple with declining population, college closures, and chronic workforce shortages, addressing affordability – especially when more than 70 percent of students cite cost as the major barrier to attending college – is now more critical than ever. I look forward to working with my Senate Higher Education Chair and counterpart, Toby Ann Stavisky, to ensure the final SFY 2024-25 budget makes strong, meaningful investments to #TurnOnTheTAP, fund SUNY and CUNY, and help usher in a new era for higher education in New York State.”


The Assembly's proposed plan includes $186.5 million in additional operating funds for SUNY schools, consisting of $100 million in additional operating support and $86.5 million for collective bargaining costs. The budget also proposes to forgive the SUNY hospitals debt service payment for SFY 2024-25, saving them $79.1 million. In total, the Assembly proposes $2.1 billion for SUNY capital funding, which includes $670 million for expansion capital for a total of $770 million and $150 million for SUNY hospitals capital.

For CUNY senior colleges, the Assembly Budget proposed a $124 million investment in new operating funds, including $75 million in additional operating support and $49 million for collective bargaining costs. The Assembly also provides a total of $976.2 million in capital funding for CUNY.

The Assembly’s proposal would ensure that SUNY and CUNY are included in the governor’s proposed Empire AI Consortium.

Community Colleges

The Assembly’s proposed spending plan also increases community college funding by $100 per student for a total of $11.1 million for SUNY community colleges and $5.3 million for CUNY community colleges.

The Assembly’s proposal would also require the SUNY and CUNY board of trustees to develop and submit to the governor and Legislature recommendations for a new community college funding formula to ensure consistent and predictable funding.

Tuition Assistance Program

The proposed spending plan increases the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) income limit threshold from $80,000 to $125,000 for dependent students, from $40,000 to $60,000 for independent married students with no other tax dependents and from $10,000 to $30,000 for single independent students with no tax dependents. The plan also raises the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000 and expands part-time TAP to proprietary college students. With fewer than half of students graduating in four years or less, the Assembly proposal would also allow students to receive a fifth year of TAP, relieving the financial burden as they work to complete their college education.

Opportunity Programs

The Assembly’s proposed budget also provides an additional $16.1 million for opportunity programs, for a total of $213.2 million. Funding for these programs includes:

  • $50.7 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
  • $45.9 million for the Education Opportunity Program (EOP);
  • $40.1 million for the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program;
  • $26.2 million for Liberty Partnerships;
  • $22.6 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP);
  • $17.1 million for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP);
  • $8.6 million for the Foster Youth College Success Initiative; and
  • $1.9 million for College Discovery.

Other Investments

The Assembly’s proposed budget makes other investments in Higher Education including $1 million for the Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship Program and $2.5 million for Students with Disabilities.

The proposed spending plan also makes other investments in SUNY, including:

  • $1 million for the SUNY High Needs Nursing Program;
  • $1.7 million for Cornell Cooperative Extension; and
  • $1 million for Mental Health Programs.

Additional investments for CUNY include:

  • $2.3 million for the School of Labor and Urban Studies;
  • $1 million for CUNY Expansion of Nursing Programs; and
  • $1 million for Mental Health Programs.

The proposed funding plan restores $13.4 million for Bundy Aid, which provides unrestricted financial support to independent colleges and universities, for a total of $35.1 million and also provides $40 million to fund another round of HECAP for independent schools.