With the passage of last year’s State Budget, New York became the nation’s first accessible college program. This year’s Enacted Budget includes $118 million to continue this program, which has so far benefited more than 1,000 UAlbany students. This year the income threshold will increase to $110,000, providing even more UAlbany students access to the extraordinary value of a tuition-free SUNY education. Additional details can be found in the SUNY/NYS Funding section below.
This year’s Enacted Budget continues a predictable tuition plan that allows SUNY to increase resident undergraduate tuition up to $200 a year from 2017/18 to 2020/21. This plan provides SUNY flexibility to ensure UAlbany has the resources to continue our academic expansion with new degree programs and faculty. Predictable tuition helps students and their families plan for the future while ensuring the resources are in place for them to succeed. Maintenance of Effort for the State-operated campuses was also continued. Additional details can be found in the SUNY/NYS Funding section below.
We successfully worked with our colleagues across SUNY to convince the Legislature to restore $200 million in critical maintenance funding to the budget. In total, UAlbany received $22.31 million in critical maintenance money to repair and renovate existing campus buildings – a nearly 43 percent increase over the prior year. These resources are essential to ensuring that our students, faculty and staff have access to the state-of-the-art facilities expected of a modern research University.
While the budget includes no specific appropriation for the interior renovation of the Schuyler Building on our Downtown Campus, the University will work closely with SUNY to determine how UAlbany’s critical maintenance funding can be most effectively used to advance the University’s priorities. Meanwhile, necessary exterior renovations to the Schuyler Building funded through capital appropriated previously will continue throughout the spring, summer and fall. Our efforts to identify a blend of funding opportunities will continue.
For the fourth year, UAlbany’s NYSTAR Center of Excellence in Atmospheric and Environmental Prediction and Innovation will receive $250,000 to continue bringing businesses and researchers together to devise innovative solutions to the problems facing industries at the mercy of the weather. This Center, when fully developed, will be home to the largest concentration of atmospheric, climate, and environmental researchers in New York State and one of the largest in the nation, with more than 70 highly regarded faculty, researchers and research staff. We will continue to advocate for additional state support to reach parity with the other Centers.
The Enacted Budget reappropriated* the $15 million in capital support UAlbany received in the 2014-15 Enacted Budget with its designation as the home to the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC).
*A reappropriation is a legislative enactment that continues any undisbursed balance of an appropriation that would otherwise lapse. It allows the program to keep money that was set aside in previous years but not spent.
- The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at the University at Albany (CARD Albany) is a university-affiliated resource center that brings research and practice together in community settings. The budget funds the Center at $1.74 million, which includes restored funding of $500,000.
- Just for the Kids (Know Your Schools-for NY Kids) within the School of Education is the only New York-focused, evidenced-based school improvement program in the State that compares the performance of equally-resourced and similarly challenged schools, and then identifies the best practices that explain what relates to the "achievement gap" between high-achieving schools and lower-performing schools. This initiative was level-funded at $235,000.
- The School of Social Welfare received $210,000 for evaluating the Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Program, an increase of $40,000 from last year.
- The Center for Women in Government and Civil Society received $100,000 for the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Integration Index that seeks to quantify the moderating effects of nativity status, race/ethnicity and gender in shaping socioeconomic outcomes of Puerto Rican and Hispanic residents of New York State. The first phase of the interactive portal which measured socioeconomic integration of foreign-born New Yorkers is available here.
The following are School of Public Health initiatives included in the Enacted Budget:
- $261,600 in level funding for the Public Health Management Leaders of Tomorrow program (PHLOT), established in 2006, that strengthens the public health infrastructure across New York by providing programs (e.g., tuition awards, internship stipends, leadership training and scholarships) designed to offer novel educational opportunities to state and local public health professionals, as well as to the next generation of public health leaders at the School of Public Health.
- $522,000 for the Cardiac Services Program*, a 20 plus-year, longitudinal research study that provides useful information about cardiac surgery and percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) in New York State.
- $148,000 for the Center for Health Workforce Studies*, a not-for-profit research organization that provides timely, accurate data and policy-relevant research about the health workforce.
- $32,000 for Public Health Live*, a monthly webcast series designed to provide continuing education opportunities on public health issues.
*Reduced funding of 20% for these three SPH initiatives, along with 27 other statewide public health programs, was recommended in the Executive Budget for cost savings. Funding was restored by both the Senate and Assembly in their one-house budgets to last year’s levels and this was maintained in the Enacted Budget.
Excelsior Scholarship Program
- Subject to appropriation and based on availability of funds, the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) is provided authority to establish application procedures and a method of selecting recipients to eligible students for a last dollar award of up to $5,500 (or actual tuition)
- The second phase of the Excelsior Scholarship Program includes $118 million to support an estimated 27,000 students in the program
- An applicant must:
- be a resident of NYS and have resided in NYS for 12 continuous months prior to the beginning of the term;
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
- have either graduated from high school in the United States, earned a high school equivalency diploma, or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test, as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department;
- have a combined federal adjusted gross income of $110,000 or less;
- be pursuing an undergraduate degree at a SUNY or CUNY college, including community colleges and the statutory colleges at Cornell University and Alfred University;
- be enrolled in at least 12 credits per term and complete at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program;
- if attended college prior to the 2018-19 academic year, have earned at least 30 credits each year (successively), applicable toward his or her degree program prior to applying for an Excelsior Scholarship;
- be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or on the repayment of any NYS award;
- be in compliance with the terms of the service condition(s) imposed by a NYS award that you have previously received; and
- execute a Contract agreeing to reside in NYS for the length of time the award was received, and, if employed during such time, be employed in NYS.
Predictable Tuition/Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
- The SUNY Board of Trustees is authorized to increase Resident Undergraduate tuition by a maximum of $200/year from 2017/18 to 2020/21
- The Maintenance of Effort (MOE) provision Enacted with the 2011/12 budget, stipulating that State shall provide funding at a level equal to or greater than the amount of funding provided in the 2011/12 state fiscal year, has been restored starting in 2017/18 and ending in 2020/21
- State responsibility to repay SUNY for paying the Excelsior Scholarship Program Tuition Credit has also been added to this MOE, and funding has been provided in Transfer Language to effectuate the payment up to $20.0M
- Campuses continue to be responsible for the SUNY TAP Gap/Tuition Credit, which requires campuses to cover the difference between SUNY's current Resident Undergraduate Tuition Rate and $5,000
- UAlbany is expected to receive approximately $56.4 million in direct State tax support for State-operated campuses, similar to last year’s level
- $18 million for a fourth round of the SUNY Performance Fund
- $7 million for the Educational Opportunity Centers/ATTAIN labs
- Restoration of $1.5 million for the Small Business Development Centers
- Restoration of $600,000 for Graduate Diversity Fellowships
- $600,000 for Mental Health Services/Tele-counseling Network, an increase of $300,000 from last year
- Funding was restored to $550 million for SUNY-wide critical maintenance, with a $196.6 million lump sum for high priority critical maintenance projects to be distributed by the Construction Fund
- $200 million will be allocated to each campus via formula
- $22.31 million in critical maintenance funding is allocated for UAlbany, an increase of $6.7 million from last year
Student Financial Aid and Support
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
- TAP is funded at $1.1 billion, same as in last year’s Enacted Budget
- Restoration of $5.4 million for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), for a total of $32.2 million
- Restoration of $2.6 million for the STEP program, for a total of $15.8 million
- Restoration of $2 million for the C-STEP program, for a total of $12 million
- Restoration of $3 million for the Liberty Partnership Program, for total of $18.4 million
The following economic development programs were also included in the Enacted Budget:
- $150 million for an eighth round of Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) funding for investment in innovative plans for regional job creation and community development;
- $100 million for a third round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative;
- $11.9 million for the Centers of Excellence (COE), including $250,000 for UAlbany’s COE
- $13.8 million for the Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT) program, same as last year’s level;
- $600 million in funding to support construction of a state-of-the-art life sciences public health laboratory in the Capital District that will promote collaborative, public/private research and development partnerships (this is in addition to $150 million provided last year);
- $5 million for the Innovation Hot Spots and Incubators Program; and
- $44.8 million for the Stem Cell and Innovation Fund
Note: There is no new funding for NYSUNY 2020.