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109th Assembly District – Albany, Bethlehem, Guilderland, New Scotland
For Immediate Release May 1, 2014
FAHY TO CO-SPONSOR TUITION-FREE NY LEGISLATION
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 1, 2014) --- Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy (D-Albany) will co-sponsor legislation that would provide for free tuition to select, qualifying students at the State University of New York (SUNY) and the City University of New York (CUNY). The bill (A.8585) would provide for tuition at all two-year and four-year SUNY and CUNY institutions to be free should qualifying students meet a number of conditions, including community service and retaining New York State residency after graduation for at least five years. SUNY and CUNY institutional fees, as well as room and board, would not be covered by Tuition-Free NY. “For some families, college has become unaffordable and a huge financial burden for others. As the first generation in my family to attend college, I know first-hand the challenges of paying for college. Tuition-Free NY would provide an incredible opportunity for students for whom a college education is increasingly out of reach. Considering today is National College Decision Day for those entering college, I’m pleased to join my colleagues in sponsoring this bill to keep higher education affordable and accessible to ensure New York remains competitive in a rapidly changing global economy,” said Assemblymember Fahy. Colleges and universities in New York State provide a substantial economic impact to local communities. For example, the University at Albany estimates its economic impact to New York’s Capital Region is over $1 billion. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government also notes that for each dollar in state support SUNY receives, it returns at least $5 in economic activity. With Tuition-Free NY, tuition funds that would have gone to financial institutions offering student loan financing could go back into the state’s overall economy. By requiring graduates to remain and work in New York State for a minimum of five years, the state’s economy will be strengthened and any "brain drain" of college graduates is reversed. If passed, New York State would lead the country with such a program that abates tuition for its students. Assemblymember James Skoufis (D-Orange/Rockland) introduced the bill, with Assemblymembers Gottfried, Abinanti, Benedetto, Braunstein, Brindisi, Colton, Gunther, Jacobs, Jaffee, Kim, Lifton, Miller, Mosley, Peoples-Stokes, Pichardo, Raia, Robinson, Rodriguez, Rosa, Skartados, Steck, Clark, Hennessey, Santabarbara, Lopez, Mayer, and Ramos as co-sponsors. ###