Proprietary schools join call for more tuition assistance

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Like their counterparts in the State University of New York and City University of New York, students, faculty and administrators from degree-granting proprietary colleges are asking lawmakers to increase Tuition Assistance Program awards and strengthen financial aid.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2012-13 state budget would maintain TAP at current levels, according to the state Association of Proprietary Colleges. But in 2010, students in colleges that offer two-year degrees had their awards cut by 20 percent. The maximum grant dropped from $5,000 to $4,000 as a result, the group said. TAP helps students who are economically disadvantaged attend college.

“APC college students earn associate degrees at a rate that is 55.4 percent higher than the statewide average for students completing their degrees in two years,” Stephen Jerome, Association of Proprietary Colleges board chairman and president of Monroe College in the Bronx and New Rochelle.

“We are asking lawmakers to consider reversing the reductions they approved in 2010 because of its negative impact on many of the state’s neediest students,” he said.

The association represents 27 degree-granting colleges on 41 campuses across the state, including Berkeley College in White Plains, Westchester County; Bryant & Stratton College in Amherst, Buffalo and Orchard Park, Erie County, and Greece and Henrietta, Monroe County; College of Westchester in White Plains; Elmira Business Institute in Elmira and Vestal, Broome County; Everest Institute in Rochester; ITT Technical Institute in Getzville, Erie County;

SUNY and CUNY students and faculty lobbied lawmakers Monday and Tuesday on increasing TAP. The SUNY Student Assembly wants the maximum TAP award kept above tuition and for TAP to be reinstated for graduate students.

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  1. Many students will be affected adversely due to the cut back in financial aid and award money. It’s encouraging to see the schools lobby on their behalf.