Mount Advocates for Critical Student Aid Funding
Hundreds of student aid supporters gather in Albany
Riverdale, N.Y. – More than 1,000 high school and college students from across New York gathered in Albany to advocate for student aid funding during the annual New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day.
Bundy Aid, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP), and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) saw proposed funding cuts of a combined $50 million in this year’s Executive Budget. On Tuesday, students met with lawmakers from across the state to urge them to restore critical student aid funding.
During a student “speak-out,” high school and college students shared their personal stories about the value of student aid programs and opportunity programs like Bundy Aid, the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Science and Technology Entry programs (STEP/C-STEP), the Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) and the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
“HEOP helped me even before getting into college,” said Quincy Tyler ’19, a Communication major. “It has also given me a head-start for the career field that I want to go into and better myself as a person. One thing that I have come to love is that HEOP is a family and we are always there for one another. I am very grateful for HEOP, because without it I’d just be another statistic.”
Students from about 65 public and private, not-for-profit campuses attended the rally to show their support for student aid programs and urge lawmakers to restore student aid funding. A virtual Advocacy Day was held simultaneously on Twitter with students and supporters from across the state sharing stories about what student aid and opportunity programs have meant to them using the hashtag #StandUp4StudentAid.
“These programs make possible higher education for a group of people who could never even dream of higher education without the various New York State financial aid programs,” said Ronald Pecci, Mount Saint Vincent HEOP counselor. “The testimonies of the students during the recent Advocacy Day in Albany were impressive. Most of them are first in their families to attend college and they excel in their classes. At CMSV, we have an academically excellent student body. However, hundreds of students wouldn’t be able to become the future teachers, nurses, healthcare professionals, law enforcement personnel, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, government officials without financial aid programs.”
Students across New York rely on student aid programs to enable them to achieve their college dreams. For example, Bundy Aid, a 50-year-old state aid program that provides funds for student aid and other student assistance at private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. Bundy Aid benefits nearly 500,000 students on those campuses across the state. The Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) serves more than 300,000 New Yorkers attending college, providing them with more than $900 million in student aid.
The New York Student Aid Alliance is a coalition of colleges and universities and other stakeholder organizations that support funding vital student aid programs for students in New York. This is the 10th year the organization has hosted an Advocacy Day in Albany.
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.