Empowering New York’s Asian American Community Since 1989

Asian American Federation’s Statement on Governor Cuomo’s Tuition-Free Proposal for Middle- and Low-Income Families

New York City: Yesterday, Governor Cuomo pledged to make SUNY and CUNY colleges, including two-year community colleges, accessible to New York’s working families earning $125,000 or less a year by covering all tuition costs for eligible students. The Governor’s proposal, called the Excelsior Scholarship, makes New York the first state to offer such comprehensive access to higher education for middle- and low-income families.

Governor Cuomo has put forward the strongest proposal in the nation to help young people go to college. A college education is critical to closing the opportunity gap, but the mounting costs present a major barrier for low- and middle-income families. For Asian American New Yorkers, the Excelsior Scholarship is a chance to access quality public university education that develops the skills they need to contribute to our state’s economy, as well as to get a firm footing up the economic ladder.

We know a proposal of this magnitude will require many allies. The Asian American Federation and our networks are committed to working with the Governor, State senators, and Assembly members to ensure that this opportunity includes all those who aspire to higher learning but cannot attain it for various reasons, including immigration status and economic situation.

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