On 2019 Advocacy Day, the Association of Proprietary Colleges Requests State Budget Resources For Continued Support of New York’s Hard-Working Students

More than 85 students and staff from APC colleges arrived at the State Capitol today for their 2019 Advocacy Day. College leaders highlighted the needs of APC students, their success and on-time degree graduation rates, and shared stories of local business executives who rely on these students to fill critical positions every day.

APC member colleges strive to provide their more than 26,000 students the opportunity to achieve educational excellence by delivering access to a range of degrees and ensuring higher education-related debt remains low.

In the 2017-18 academic year, average tuition at APC member colleges increased less than two percent, and provided students more than $95 million in institutional aid. This has supported student success, including 7,670 certificate, associate, bachelor, master and doctorate degrees granted by member colleges in 2017.

Additionally, 26.8 percent of students earning associate degrees at APC member colleges graduated on-time, according to the NYS education Department’s 2016 data. In comparison, just 18 percent of students at independent colleges, 13.1 percent at SUNY schools, and 4.8 percent at CUNY schools graduated on-time.

“Our students’ stories, experiences and successes are proof positive of the dedication APC member colleges have to the personal and professional growth of our students,” said Donna Stelling-Gurnett, APC President and CEO. “We are requesting the State Legislature support their path to higher education achievement, which has been fueling the economic vitality of New York’s diverse business landscape for decades. These students are New York’s next workforce, and it is our responsibility to ensure academic excellence, access, and affordability is provided to all.”

APC commends Governor Cuomo for his efforts to work to improve college access and affordability in New York, including past actions that have allowed students attending APC member colleges to access TAP and ETA.

For a look at APC student demographics, graduation rates, and financial support,  view a Fast Facts one-pager.

The Association of Proprietary Colleges Announces Video Series Highlighting Student Graduates, Their Employment and Achievement in New York State

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. Endorses APC College Graduate Success in Recent Opinion Piece, Available Online Here

The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) today announced a series of videos to be released ahead of 2019 Advocacy Day that highlight stories of local business executives who rely on APC graduates to fill critical positions within their companies. The video series coincides with an opinion piece placed recently by Business Council of New York State President & CEO Heather Briccetti. The piece, which printed in the Westchester Business Journal the week of Monday, March 4, reinforces the importance of APC students, their ability to meet employment needs in communities across New York, and their contributions to the state’s diverse business climate.

APC colleges strive to provide their more than 26,000 students the opportunity to achieve educational excellence by delivering access to a range of degrees and ensuring higher education-related debt remains low.

In turn, these students earn an education through a fulfilling experience at APC member colleges. These colleges leverage relationships with local business communities to help connect students with career opportunities in New York State.

The following are part of APC’s video series:

At LIM College in Midtown Manhattan, students earn degrees in the business of fashion. Recruiters and former students discuss why graduates continue to be hired within the industry in a video available here.

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At the College of Westchester (CW), students graduate with degrees in programs such as business, accounting, digital media and technology. CW graduates, who are now employees of Krasdale Foods, discuss their tenure with the organization and the positive relationship between the Fortune 500 Company and the college in a video available here.

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Krasdale Foods executives discuss the success of College of Westchester graduates and how they play a critical role in filling positions in multiple departments, in a video available here.

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“These stories exemplify the academic success of APC member college students, and how the degrees they earn translate to careers in New York State,” said Donna Stelling-Gurnett, APC President and CEO. “The examples from LIM College and the College of Westchester are just a glimpse at the diversity in what our students learn, the students’ contributions to New York’s economy, and how APC member colleges connect graduates with opportunities in their field of study.”

APC students and staff will visit the Capitol on Wednesday, March 6 to advocate for continued support from the state legislature.

Did you know? Nine in 10 students who have graduated from APC member colleges stay in New York to live and work. For a look at APC student demographics, graduation rates, and financial support,  for a  Fast Facts one-pager.

Donna Gurnett, President of New York’s Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) submitted testimony on Monday, January 28 at the Legislature’s Joint Budget Hearing on the 2019-2020 Executive Budget Proposal on Higher Education.


ALBANY, NY- Donna Stelling-Gurnett, President and CEO of The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) presented testimony today at the Legislature’s Joint Budget Hearing on Higher Education in which she identified the negative impact and consequences of Governor Cuomo’s “For-Profit College Accountability Act” proposal will have on 26,000 students enrolled in the degree-granting proprietary sector.

In her testimony, she noted that if enacted the proposal would decimate the for-profit sector (both degree granting and non-degree) entirely. She additionally highlighted APC member colleges’ strong academic outcomes such as on-time associate degree graduation rates being higher than other sectors, number of degrees conferred, job placement rates and the lower than average student debt.

Among the most problematic elements of the Cuomo accountability proposal are requiring for profit schools to:

  • Report their funding sources and demonstrating that they are not receiving more than 80 percent of their tuition revenues from public sources, including need based student financial aid programs such as TAP, ETA and Pell as well as student loans backed by the federal government; and
  • Spend at least 50 percent of their revenues on student instruction. This does not take into account student academic support programs and personnel wrap around services that help to ensure students successfully graduate on time and find jobs in their field of study.

“These two issues are flawed and unfairly punitive to the students attending APC member colleges, many of whom are first generation college students – such as “dreamers,” of modest-income, single parents or veterans,” Gurnett said. “Pathways and progress toward a college degree for these students will not simply be blunted – but more directly their opportunities and college choices denied.”

“As difficult as this proposal will be for the faculty, staff and communities of our member colleges, the students will be the most severely harmed,” said Gurnett. “These students considered all of their options and chose a college that best met their needs academically, personally and professionally.”

Based on an analysis of the current proposal, colleges failing to meet the metrics will be unable to enroll new students and existing students may lose access to TAP ad ETA awards.

This means students will have to figure out how to transfer, finance their education (without the benefit of $95 million in institutional aid), and for many who struggle, this will result in them not finishing their degree or returning to college. Students unable to complete their degrees also have a higher rate of defaulting on their college loans.

APC commends Governor Cuomo for his efforts to improve college access and affordability in New York. It is that commitment to access and affordability that makes this proposal seem so incongruous with past actions such as allowing students attending APC member colleges to access New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Enhanced Tuition Awards (ETA) initiative.

Link to Testimony HereLink to Testimony Here

Link to Fast Facts Here

Testimony of the association of proprietary colleges for the joint legislative public hearingon the executive budget proposal for sfy 2019 – 2020. January 28, 2019

Introduction and History of Proprietary Education in New York:

The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) represents 12 fully accredited, degree granting colleges operating on 23 college campuses in New York State offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level programs. Our colleges are located across the state from Buffalo to Long Island, Jamestown to Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and the NYC metropolitan area.

The history of proprietary education in New York began in the middle 1800’s and is rooted in the tradition of providing access to a quality education. Six of our twelve member colleges were founded more than 100 years ago and our oldest members, Bryant & Stratton College, founded in 1854 and Jamestown Business College, founded in 1886 are still operating successfully today. Many other proprietary institutions were established in the first half of the 20th century; The College of Westchester was founded in 1915, Plaza College was founded in 1916, Monroe College was founded in 1933 and LIM College was founded in 1939.

In 1971, the New York State Board of Regents created a pathway for select proprietary schools to obtain degree-granting authority. In order to obtain degree granting authority, proprietarycolleges are required to meet all of the same stringent requirements for program registrationand approval as SUNY, CUNY, and private not-for-profit institutions. LIM College and Monroe College were among the first proprietary institutions to receive degree granting authority in 1972 and today continue to successfully educate thousands of students each year.

Read the full testimony.