Hundreds of Student Aid Supporters Gather in Albany; Student Aid Advocates Rally for Funding for Critical Student Aid Programs
Iona students and faculty participated in New York Student Aid Alliance Advocacy Day in Albany on February 13.
ALBANY, 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).
"Programs such as CSTEP helps students reach their fullest potential. Attending Advocacy Day was such an empowering opportunity to speak on behalf of those students and programs," said Iona student Angel Pierre '18. "Our legislators, some even whom graduated from Iona, took the time to listen to students and parents stress the importance of TAP and Bundy awards. It was amazing to not only witness but take part in such advocacy as a member of the Iona community."
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.
"It was a wonderful experience for the participants from Iona College to see government in action," said Paul Sutera, senior vice president for Advancement & External Affairs. "I am proud of our faculty and students that represented the College in Albany on such a critical issue."
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.