“On behalf the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC), we are deeply disappointed in the lack of support for our students, and private education overall in the recently enacted New York State Budget. In a year of record revenue and Federal support, the Governor and members of the Legislature missed an excellent opportunity to help ALL low-income students in New York State achieve a college degree more affordably.

New York State has a long standing history of treating public and private institutions of higher education equally and this parity has created a robust educational system that benefits all students.  However, this year’s budget represents a significant deviation from that long-standing tradition of equitable support. By excluding the proprietary sector from part-time TAP some 2800 low-income students will be at a tremendous disadvantage. While we appreciate the support of the Legislature in years past, including raising the maximum award in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in 2022, we struggle to understand why they would not build on that commitment in this year’s budget.

As we move forward, APC will continue to fight for access to financial aid for the 26,000 students our member colleges serve.  The first generation, low-income and minority students attending APC member colleges deserve our support and should not be left behind simply because of the type of institution they choose to attend.   We look forward to working with the legislature on making New York State’s commitment to ALL low-income students a top priority.”

“New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) calls on the New York State Legislature to prioritize financial assistance for low income students rather than providing debt assistance to graduates. There are several proposals in the budget that would make significant strides toward helping low-income and underrepresented students attend college and obtain a degree more affordably. Among these initiatives are:

  • Increase the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000 and/or the maximum TAP award from $5,665 to $6,000 annually.
  • Increase the maximum net taxable income (NTI) threshold to receive a TAP award from $80,000 to $110,000 annually.
  • Expanding TAP to all part-time students and eliminating the burdens to accessing that funding.

No one questions the burden of student loans; however, the Federal Government is the provider of those loans and already working on plans to help. New York State should be focused on using its resources to make college more affordable, which is another way to reduce the burden of college debt. Additionally, providing funds to New York Students, attending New York colleges will help alleviate the workforce skills gap issues affecting New York State employers.  

On behalf of the 26,000 students across New York State who attend APC member colleges, please focus on student aid before focusing on student debt relief.

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New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) congratulates Governor Kathy Hochul on her first State of the State address. Governor Hochul has laid out an ambitious agenda for 2022 at a time when New York faces significant challenges from the ongoing pandemic to shifts in the economy and an overall labor shortage.

One of the key ways to ensure that New York continues to have a strong economic recovery is through investment into higher education and workforce-training initiatives that create a pipeline of qualified New Yorkers aligned to local jobs and industry. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have achieved their academic and professional aspirations with support from the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). We are encouraged by the Governor’s investment in students, by proposing critical changes to the TAP program that would expand access for part-time students.

Keeping college affordable is a priority for APC members.  Proposals for loan forgiveness or scholarship opportunities in teaching, health care or emerging industries are positive ways to encourage working adults or paraprofessionals to re-enter higher education with a goal of advancing their career.  It is also a proven way to improve diversity and equity for those who are historically under-represented. 

We urge the Governor to expand part-time TAP and state supported grant and scholarship programs to students at ALL New York colleges. 

On behalf of all of the APC member institutions, we wish Governor Hochul great success in the coming year, and look forward to being active and engaged partners in support of her higher education and workforce agenda.

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“The most recent update to the President’s “Build Back Better” agenda includes text that completely excludes an entire group of low-income students from accessing the proposed $550 increase in the Pell Grant program simply because they chose to attend a college that is proprietary. As it currently stands, the Build Back Better bill has the intolerable consequence of restricting low income and disadvantaged students from having access to increases in Pell Grants needed to pursue higher education or complete their program.

The Pell Grant program – and the Build Back Better package - is not the appropriate place for some Democrats to pursue their personal policy objectives regarding proprietary institutions. Further, targeting proprietary institution students is a red herring for a much larger problem. Data shows that poor outcomes for low-income and minority students is endemic across all sectors of higher education. Nationally, of the 200 institutions with the lowest graduation rates for Pell Grant students, over 90% are public or non-profit institutions – only 10% are proprietary institutions. The best place to address these concerns is through long overdue changes to the institutional eligibility and accountability provisions in the Higher Education Act.

In New York, our colleges are fully accredited and regulated exactly the same as our peers in the other sectors of higher education. Congress, and in particular the New York State delegation should reject this proposal and any proposal that excludes students from need-based programs based solely on their decision to attend a proprietary college.

Moreover, there is a critical need for qualified workers, especially in healthcare, technology, and business. The Build Back Better agenda should be supporting all students and helping to alleviate the current workforce crisis and creating a pipeline for the future to help bring back our economies. APC members are aligned with industry partners and are working with them to meet local demand by providing quality graduates with the skills to enter the workforce. Excluding students attending proprietary colleges not only hurts the student but also the ability to meet workforce demand.

Many of the 26,000 students attending our member colleges come from underrepresented groups including first-generation college students as well as communities of color. Pell grants represent an essential lifeline to these students and an increase of $550 would make a significant difference in their lives. Congress, and in particular the New York State delegation should reject this proposal and any proposal that excludes students who choose to attend a proprietary college.

We look forward to working with leadership to improve the Build Back Better agenda so the neediest students in all sectors are eligible for the expanded Pell Grant.”

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“New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges represents 11 degree-granting colleges in New York which support the higher education and career pursuits of 26,000 students on their campuses across New York State.

We are disappointed that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a press release this week unfairly maligning 70 for-profit colleges for what they claim are “certain marketing activities in the for-profit education sector (that) are deceptive or unfair.” However, they go on to admit that the “notice is not an indication of any wrongdoing” on the part of the institutions named. 

The FTC’s actions were reckless and irresponsible, as they arbitrarily named 70 colleges as so-called “bad actors” and in the same breath noted that “A school’s presence on this list does not reflect any assessment as to whether they have engaged in deceptive or unfair conduct.”

The members of the Association of Proprietary Colleges meet the same rigorous standards imposed on all of New York’s higher education institutions, and have graduation rates that equal or exceeds those of public sector alternatives such as the SUNY and CUNY systems.

Until the playing field is leveled and the FTC holds all institutions of higher education to the same standards, it is very difficult to take announcements like this seriously.  Despite this distraction, our members will continue to work hard on behalf of their students.”  

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