Approved SFY 2024-25 Budget Will Make a $20.7 Billion Investment in Higher Education with Expansion to Tuition Assistance and Opportunity Programs

Enacted Budget Will Provide $100 Million in Additional Funding to SUNY and CUNY

Speaker Carl Heastie and Higher Education Committee Chair Patricia Fahy today announced the State Fiscal Year (SFY) Budget will continue the Assembly’s critical investment in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and other opportunity programs to provide higher education access to all. The budget will also include $1.3 billion in funding to the State University of New York (SUNY) and $858 million in funding to the City University of New York’s (CUNY) to support their efforts to provide a world class education at an affordable cost to students across the state.

“Higher education remains our country’s great equalizer and it’s imperative that we make it accessible and affordable for all,” said Speaker Heastie. “This year my colleagues and I fought hard to expand TAP and opportunity programs so that any student – from any walk of life – has the opportunity to dream of a brighter future.”

“This year’s enacted budget makes significant investments necessary in New York’s higher education programs; keeping our colleges and universities nationally and internationally competitive, transforming student affordability and TAP for the first time in a quarter century, and continuing our progress on ushering in a new era for Higher Education,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “As I’ve said before, nearly 70 percent of students report cost as the most significant barrier to higher education. With New Yorkers citing affordability as their number one concern, this year’s investments in our community colleges, TAP, and opportunity programs like EOP will allow a new generation of students the opportunity to pursue their dream of a higher education. Thank you to Speaker Carl Heastie, Senator Stavisky, and Governor Hochul for working to make these investments and recognizing the need to invest wisely in our future via our higher education system.”

Tuition Assistance Program

The Enacted SFY 2024-25 Budget will also provide an additional $55.7 million to increase the TAP income limit threshold:

  • From $80,000 to $125,000 for dependent students, certain independent students, and students who qualify as an orphan, foster child, or ward of the court;
  • From $40,000 to $60,000 for independent married students who have no other tax dependents; and
  • From $10,000 to $30,000 for single independent students who have no tax dependents.

The plan will also raise the minimum TAP award from $500 to $1,000 and expands part-time TAP to proprietary college students.


The budget will provide $1.3 billion to SUNY, including $277 in operating funds and $60 million in additional capital. The budget will also provide $858 million to CUNY, including $169 million in operating funds and $40 million in additional capital.

Community Colleges

The Enacted Budget will also make critical investments in the community college system with $8 million for SUNY Community Colleges and $5.3 million for CUNY Community Colleges.

Opportunity Programs

The Assembly’s proposed budget will also provide an additional $3 million over 2023-24 for opportunity programs, for a total of $206 million. Funding for these programs includes:

  • $49 million for the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP);
  • $44.4 million for the Education Opportunity Program (EOP);
  • $38.7 million for the Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) program;
  • $25.3 million for Liberty Partnerships;
  • $21.8 million for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP);
  • $16.5 million for the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP);
  • $8.3 million for the Foster Youth College Success Initiative; and
  • $1.9 million for College Discovery.

Other Investments

The proposed spending plan is also set to make other investments in SUNY, including:

  • $1.7 million for Cornell Cooperative Extension;
  • $1 million for High Needs Nursing Programs; and
  • $1 million for Mental Health Programs.

Additional investments for CUNY include:

  • $4 million for the CUNY School of Medicine;
  • $2.3 million for the School of Labor and Urban Studies;
  • $1 million for CUNY Expansion of Nursing Programs; and
  • $1 million for Mental Health Programs.

In addition, the budget will now require project labor agreements for large scale SUNY construction fund projects that would cost $10 million or more.

Empire AI Consortium

The Enacted SFY 2024-25 Budget will also establishe the Empire AI Consortium as a non-profit corporation to operate and manage a state-owned research and computing facility out of the University at Buffalo. In addition to SUNY and CUNY schools, the consortium includes various private colleges and organizations including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Cornell University, Columbia University, New York University and the Simons Foundation.