Gov. Kathy Hochul is calling for "modest" yearly increases for the state's public colleges and universities, a move that is opposed by the organization that represents students.
Hochul's 2023 briefing book proposes indexing the increases to the Higher Education Price Index, or 3% for both the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems.
The increases would help generate revenue for the public higher education systems as costs increase and also aid with "prioritizing the evolving needs of students, ensuring academic excellence and continuing to maintain low-cost and stable tuition rates for in-state residents," Hochul's book stated.
"New York deserves the best public higher education system and Governor Hochul is committed to building world-class, equitable institutions. Governor Hochul's plan for CUNY and SUNY ensures that no student receiving a full TAP award or an Excelsior scholarship will experience additional tuition costs, while also providing for the long-term future and fiscal stability of public higher education in New York," Hochul's office said in a statement.
Hochul's higher education proposals also include efforts to boost enrollment at the schools as the pandemic has led to challenges in recent years. Hochul wants the SUNY system to work with school districts so all graduating high school seniors are automatically accepted at local community colleges in an effort to remove barriers to higher education.
Hochul also proposed a pilot project to link admissions to different campuses so students who are turned down by one school can be considered for admissions at other campuses.
But the plan to increase tuition -- referred to as "flexibility" by Hochul's book -- drew opposition from the SUNY Student Assembly.
“The Student Assembly and I stand in solidarity against tuition increases of any sorts," said the group's president, Alexandria Chun. "In economic crises like today, it is especially important that public higher education remains accessible and affordable for all New Yorkers. We look forward to having a seat at the table with the governor, state Legislature, and SUNY to discuss ways to find a revenue stream supportive of these initiatives in a way that also eases the financial burdens our students face."