We are pleased to learn that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Fiscal Year 201516 Executive Budget provides undocumented students with access to the state funded Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). The proposed allocation of $27 million, that would extend TAP to undocumented students in New York, is an investment in our students, our state, and our future—a future that will demand a highlyeducated and skilled workforce.
During the Fall 2014 semester, the City University of New York (CUNY) enrolled 6,167 undocumented students. According to a report conducted by the Office of The New York State Comptroller in 2012, “a person who earns an associate’s degree would pay more than $35,000 in additional State taxes over his or her lifetime compared to someone with only a high school diploma” and “a person earning a bachelor’s degree would pay more than $60,000 in additional State taxes.” After graduating, most CUNY students remain in New York, therefore helping remove the barriers to higher education will enable undocumented students to obtain a college degree and then return the investment through increased tax contributions over their lifetime.
We urge the legislators of the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate to include the proposed $27 million allocation in their budget and help ensure that all students in New York have equal access to affordable higher education and are provided with the opportunity to fulfill their potential and their dreams.
Joseph Awadjie Lucas Almonte
CUNY Trustee USS Vice Chair for Legislative Affairs