The cost of college is skyrocketing and there appears to be no end in sight. Now the governor and Assembly Democrats want to offer “free college”; a plan that would cost our taxpayers roughly $163 million and provide no help for those looking to attend private universities or those who are already paying back student loans. This comes on top of their proposed DREAM Act (another $27 million on taxpayers), which would allow children of illegal immigrants access to tuition assistance programs. The funding they are seeking for these proposals would be much more effective in our plan, which is aimed at helping out our middle-class taxpayers.
The Assembly Republican Conference introduced their plan, which addresses the holes in the governor’s proposal. The Affordable College For All Initiative modernizes the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) by increasing the maximum award to $6,470 per student, increases the household income threshold for those eligible to qualify for TAP from $80,000 to $125,000, and provides a personal income tax deduction for both paid interest and principal on student loans.
The TAP program is outdated. The threshold for eligibility of $80,000 hasn’t been updated in 17 years. As the cost of higher education and the cost of living on Long Island has risen greatly during that time, there are now many students and families who are in need of assistance that currently cannot receive it. I’m proud to support legislation that corrects these problems for Long Islanders and aims to benefit all New Yorkers who are looking to further their education.”
Assemblyman Dean Murray