2010-2011 Executive Budget – Briefing Book

Higher Education

I. Overview

New York State’s higher education institutions educate more than 1.2 million students. The State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY) administer 51 four-year colleges and graduate schools that provide over 400,000 students with a wide array of undergraduate, graduate degree, and first professional educational opportunities. SUNY and CUNY also support 36 community colleges, which serve more than 330,000 students. More than 520,000 students attend one of the more than 100 private colleges and universities across New York State.

In order to help make higher education financially attainable for college students, the Higher Education Service Corporation (HESC) provides a broad range of financial aid services. HESC administers and guarantees more than 700,000 loans made annually under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program, and oversees a variety of State-funded financial assistance programs, including the Tuition Assistance Program (the largest and most generous need-based program in the country), the New York Higher Education Loan Program (NYHELPs), the Aid for Part Time Study program, and 16 different scholarship and award programs. HESC also partners with the Office of the State Comptroller in administering the College Choice Tuition Savings Program.

II. History/Context

Enrollment at both SUNY and CUNY has shown steady growth, increasing 12.5 percent since 2003, at four-year and graduate colleges. Community college enrollment has increased 26 percent during this same period. Concurrently, State support has increased 40 percent for four-year and graduate colleges and 33 percent for community colleges. Additionally, the State has devoted substantial support to SUNY's and CUNY’s physical infrastructure, providing $11.8 billion in new capital project funding for senior and community colleges since 2003-04.

III. Proposed 2010-11 Budget Actions

The 2010-11 Executive Budget proposes the most significant overhaul of New York’s public higher education system in a generation. The New York State Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act will establish a new tuition policy that allows for predictable and modest annual tuition increases; authorizes differential tuition that will take into account the unique mission, cost structure and needs of an individual campus; moves revenue from tuition and self-supporting programs off-budget in order to remove it from the budget process; and provides operational flexibility similar to that given to other public higher education systems by streamlining the procurement of goods and services, the procurement and financing of construction services, and the leasing of campus property. A separate section of this briefing book outlines this proposal.

With these reforms, SUNY and CUNY senior colleges can better plan and manage the actions proposed in the Executive Budget, which would reduce overall 2010-11 General Fund support by $212 million on a State Fiscal Year (SFY) basis and $254 million on an Academic Fiscal Year (AFY) basis.

IV. Summary of Spending (All Funds)

Category 2009-10
($ in millions)
($ in millions)
(in millions)
Higher Education 3,278 3,087 (191) (5.8)
SUNY 1,567 1,495 (72) (4.6)
CUNY* 780 748 (32) (4.1)
HESC 931 844 (87) (9.3)
* Excludes directly appropriated fringe benefit funding

V. Major Initiatives

Gap Closing Actions

Proposal 2010-11
($ in millions)
($ in millions)
Reduce Support for SUNY/CUNY Senior Colleges 143 182
Reduce Support for SUNY Statutory Colleges at Cornell and Alfred Universities 15 18
Reduce Base Aid for SUNY/CUNY Community Colleges 57 76
Use Federal ARRA Funds to Support Community College Base Aid 50 0
Reduce Maximum TAP Award for Two-Year Degree Programs 20 28
Reduce TAP Awards by $75 17 24
Include All Private Pension and Annuity Income in TAP Eligibility Determinations 1 2
Increase Academic Standards for Continued TAP Award Eligibility 6 8
Eliminate New Merit Award Scholarships 5 10
Establish Default Parity for TAP 3 4
Eliminate TAP for Graduate Students 2 3
Create New TAP Award Schedules for Certain Financially Independent Students 1 2
Provide TAP to Students Attending Certain Institutions
Not Under the State Education Department’s Direct Supervision
(13) (18)
Other Higher Education Savings Actions 14 10
Total 321 349



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