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March 20th, 2013

Skartados votes to ensure college is affordable for all

Frank Skartados

Assemblyman Frank Skartados (D-Milton) recently announced that increased higher education funding has been included in the 2013-14 Assembly budget proposal (E.182).

"I wouldn’t be where I am today without the quality education I received from SUNY New Paltz," said Assemblyman Skartados. "With this proposed budget, we are making it easier for working families to get ahead with higher education."

SUNY community college base aid would be set at $2,422 per-Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student, an increase of $150 per-FTE student over last year.

In addition to base aid increases, the Assembly budget proposal includes $55 million in capital funding for a third round of NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grants, Assemblyman Skartados added.

The Assembly budget provides a 3 percent increase in funding for college opportunity programs, including:

• Increase of $728,040 to the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);

• Increase of $632,430 to the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP);

• Increase of $551,340 to the Search for Education, Elevation, and Knowledge (SEEK) program;

• Increase of $376,260 to Liberty Partnerships;

• Increase of $324,030 to the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP);

• Increases of $245,520 to the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP);

• Increase of $26,500 to the College Discovery program.

The Assembly budget also sets aside $25 million to create the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. This would, for the first time ever, allow immigrant students to apply for several state tuition-assistance programs to help them pay for their higher education.

"As an immigrant, I have faced many of the challenges that many students from working families face when they try to obtain a college degree," Assemblyman Skartados said. "Between the DREAM Act and the increases we’ve made to keep college affordable, we are opening the American Dream to a whole new group of students who can be the success stories of tomorrow."

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