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Legislative Memo

Amber L. Mooney
Manager of Government Affairs
T 518.694.4465
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.7503 / A.9503 (Budget)

Support

SUBJECT:

Elimination of Funding for the Direct Institutional “Bundy” Aid Program

 

DATE:

February 8, 2018

 

The Business Council of New York State strongly opposes the Executive Budget proposal which would eliminate all $35.1 million in funding for the Direct Institutional “Bundy” Aid program (Bundy Aid). Bundy Aid supports private, not-for-profit colleges and universities’ institutional financial aid and scholarship programs, and important programs which support degree completion.

New York is home to world class institutions of higher education, and for 50 years these institutions have used Bundy Aid to provide more New York student’s access to private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. Bundy Aid is used to support student success in college, and is only awarded to campuses when students graduate, so degree completion is a priority.

Over 100 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities across the State receive annual support from Bundy Aid funding, and each college or university that receives the Aid uses it to support student success, whether for grant aid or programs critical to degree completion.

In a time where college affordability and degree completion are top concerns of students and families, the State should continue to support programs that have strong outcomes for student success in college, such as the Bundy Aid program. Programs like this allow students to attend the college or university best suited for their personal and career goals, without being restricted based on family financial status.

Independent colleges and universities in New York are major employers and economic drivers across the State, and in many rural regions of the state, they are the largest employer. The State cannot afford to lose the roughly $80 billion in annual economic activity these campuses generate, and should preserve this valuable program in a time when colleges and universities face significant challenges.

The Executive Budget justifies the elimination of Bundy Aid by replacing it with new funding for the Higher Education Capital (HECap) Matching Grant Program. While HECap funding has importantly supported capital construction projects, it is not a substitute for Bundy Aid which serves students’ academic success. It is misleading to suggest that HECap is an adequate replacement for Bundy Aid, the two programs are distinct, and should not be confused as interchangeable.

The Business Council supports programs which not only help students attend college, but those that also help ensure New York has the qualified workforce needed to further grow our economy.  As such, the Business Council opposes the elimination of the $35.1 million in funding for the Direct Institutional “Bundy” Aid program in the Executive Budget, and requests that it be restored in Assembly and Senate budgets.