A bill package being pushed by Assembly Republicans would help young adults who are faced with thousands of dollars of student debt.
There were six pieces of legislation unveiled at a recent Albany press conference, each of which is sponsored by either Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci or Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, or both.
Malliotakis sponsors a bill (A.3049/S.2130) that would increase the income limit for financial assistance for the first time since 2000. She proposed to change the cap from $80,000 to $100,000.
On average, New York state graduates are $30,000 in debt after attending a four-year college, which is a drastic increase compared to the average $19,000 debt in 2004.
Lupinacci, the ranking minority member of the Higher Education Committee, proposed a piece of legislation (A.8681) that would call for colleges and universities to give more financial information and statistics to students.
Average tuition for a private college increased from $16,143 in 1980-1981, to $43,921 this school year. The average tuition at public colleges also increased, rising from $7,362 in 1980-1981 to $19,548 in the current school year, according to the College Board.
“College students deserve to have a ride on a train to education and success,” said Assemblyman Mark Johns, a supporter of the bill package.
Malliotakis wants to restore TAP for graduate programs, which she projected in one of the bills she sponsored (A.3051/S.2129). This would allow graduate students to be eligible for TAP for the first time since it was eliminated in 2010.
These proposals aim to help with the burden of debt incurred by many college graduates, encourage more people to attend college, and help young people to more easily succeed in life.
The remaining bills introduced would start a program in New York high schools to provide more career readiness programs, create a tax deduction for student loan payments, and offer the top high school graduates with scholarship money to go to community college.
The Assembly members said these high tuition rates cause hardships for not only students, but their families as well.
“We care about the middle class,” Johns said.