Gov. Hochul increases CUNY funding and tuition


Flickr | Governor Hochul

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Editor-In-Chief

Gov. Kathy Hochul increased funding for CUNY in her recent budgeting proposal, but her 2023 briefing book proposes indexing the increases to the Higher Education Price Index, or 3% for both SUNY and CUNY.

CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez commended the governor for her expansion of public support resources in a statement.

“Her proposals include many that will benefit CUNY students who face issues such as housing insecurity, mental health challenges and child care needs that can hinder their academic success and career prospects,” he said.

He also praised the proposal for helping the city’s disadvantaged populations.

“All these proposals complement and build on last year’s historic state investment in higher education, which provided funding to upgrade infrastructure, tuition assistance to part-time students, an increase in full-time faculty and expanded mental health services for students,” Matos Rodríguez said. “The governor’s vision balances the needs of underserved communities and the financial realities of public education.”

In her first budget, Hochul included funding for new faculty, financial aid reforms, expanded access to student loan forgiveness, additional campus child care, capital improvements and other investments.

“After years of public disinvestment, she committed last year to increase CUNY and SUNY funding by $1.5 billion over five years,” the Professional Staff Congress said in a statement. “This funding is critical to improving student access and educational quality.”

They also praised the governor for investing in student support services.

“The Governor’s plan to invest $1 billion to improve mental health services also aligns with the New Deal for CUNY, which would ensure at least one mental health counselor for every 1,000 students,” it said.

However, they criticized the proposal’s tuition hikes.

“Unfortunately, the proposal to increase tuition is a move in the wrong direction, especially when colleges are struggling to recruit and retain students at pre-pandemic levels and household budgets are strained by record inflation,” the PSC said. “CUNY was free for more than a century. It should be free once more.”

The increases would help expand revenue and help with “prioritizing the evolving needs of students, ensuring academic excellence and continuing to maintain low-cost and stable tuition rates for in-state residents,” Hochul’s book stated.

Hochul also opened applications for the Excelsior Scholarship program.

“Excelsior has given thousands of CUNY students the opportunity to attend college tuition-free, opening the door to educational achievement, career success and, ultimately, economic and social advancement,” Matos Rodríguez said. “We thank Governor. Hochul for her continued recognition of the unmatched value and importance of higher education for all New Yorkers.”