New York State Assemblyman Brian Curran (Lynbrook-21st A.D.) along with Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C,I,Ref-Canandaigua) and Assembly members Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) and Chad Lupinacci (R,C,I-South Huntington) called for an overhaul to the Tuition Assistance Program in New York State.
“Our proposal is more comprehensive and fairer than the plan announced by the governor earlier this year,” said Curran. “More people will benefit as it will help New York residents attending both public and private schools within the state. It will also provide assistance to graduate students, while benefiting those who have already graduated and are paying on their loans. This is a real attempt to help our students with burdensome student loan debt as opposed to the governor’s ill-conceived attempt at a splashy headline.”
Specific measures include:
- Increasing the TAP household income threshold from $80,000 to $125,000;
- Increasing the maximum TAP award from $5,165 to $6,470 over five years;
- Providing an increase of $500 to every TAP award recipient;
- Making graduate students eligible to receive TAP awards; and
- Providing an income tax deduction to those paying on student loans for both principal and interest amounts.
Gov. Cuomo’s proposed “free-tuition” plan will cost taxpayers $163 million. That plan does not help those currently paying student loans, excludes hard-working college students at private institutions and does not include provisions for those wishing to attain an advanced degree who need financial assistance.
“As I have stated before, Gov. Cuomo’s proposal would not assist the majority of hardworking, middle-class families struggling to live in Nassau County because they earn ‘too much’ income under his plan,” said Curran. “Our proposal helps all middle-class families struggling to pay for college tuition.”
This plan proposed by the Assembly Minority will cost an estimated $164.7 million, while helping a great number more people.