Back to News Mount Students to Participate in New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day

Mount Students to Participate in New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day


Riverdale, N.Y. – College of Mount Saint Vincent students, staff, and administrators will be among the 1,000 New Yorkers assembling in Albany on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 for New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day.

They will speak to legislators about the impact of state student aid programs, including the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP), the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP), and the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP).

Additionally, the College operates one of the largest HEOP programs in the state, with more than 100 participating students.

Their advocacy efforts will be especially significant this year against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s harmful budget proposal—most notably its plan for free tuition at SUNY and CUNY for students from families with incomes up to $125,000 a year.

Mount Saint Vincent President Charles L. Flynn, Jr. stands against the proposal because of its negative impact on independent schools as well as its effect on students and their ability to choose the college that best fits their needs.

New York has a good system of state colleges and the largest, most vibrant independent sector in the country. ​​The underlying costs of education at independent and state colleges are roughly the same. Whether a family’s income is a $1,000,000 or $80,000 a year, New York State heavily subsidizes every student’s education​ at state schools by an average of almost $9,000 per year. The state also subsidizes students who attend independent colleges. That subsidy averages less than $900. Most financial aid for students attending independent colleges comes from the independent colleges themselves.

Tuition rates and subsidies at state schools affect choice. Average family income at SUNY schools is higher than average family income at independent colleges. Rates of upward mobility for students at both independent and state schools are excellent, but state flagship schools are overfull and have been serving fewer and fewer students from modest means. If current patterns of enrollment continue, the governor’s proposal would not help most families that need it.  If students from working and middle class families are to receive help, the governor’s proposal would foreclose the independent college option.

Notably, in a comprehensive new study on student economic mobility by UC Berkeley and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the College of Mount Saint Vincent shares third place among 578 selective independent colleges and universities nationwide. Mount students experience greater upward mobility than those of all but two colleges and universities across the country.

Expanding eligibility for and increasing the size of TAP Grants would assist working and middle class families and expand student choice. For those same reasons, New Yorkers should advocate expanded eligibility for and increases in the size of Pell Grants.

Mount students, staff, and administrators will be available to the media on Monday, February 13 to discuss their participation in New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day.

About New York Student Aid Alliance
The New York Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of New York State private, not-for-profit, and public campuses, their students and stakeholder organizations who support funding vital student aid programs for students in New York State.

About The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York
Founded in 1956, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) represents more than 100 private, not-for-profit colleges and universities located here in New York State. Together, Independent Sector campuses educate nearly 500,000 students and are responsible for more than 400,000 jobs statewide.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.