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Kathy Hochul Is Hoping to Bring a Major Change to SUNY and CUNY Schools

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

In a move that was as predictable as any, New York's Democrat Governor Kathy Hochul wants to raise the cost to attend colleges and universities in the Empire State in the wake of President Joe Biden's attempted student loan bailout that would have burdened all taxpayers with the debts incurred by a just a fraction of the U.S. population.


Hochul's desire to raise tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools was proposed in her "Achieving the New York Dream" plan that was included in her 2023 State of the State book.

As the Binghamton University Pipe Dream explains:

If instated, the suggested 3 percent tuition increase will occur alongside a 6 percent in-state tuition increase each year for five years. According to Hochul’s proposal, the increase-rate is based on the Higher Education Price Index (HEPI), which measures the inflation rate of higher-learning institutions such as Binghamton University, the University at Buffalo, Stony Brook University and the University at Albany.

Hochul proposed that the extra funds secured from the tuition increase would be used to “[ensure] academic excellence” for SUNY and CUNY schools. Hochul plans to accomplish this while continuing to grant aid to lower-income students.

“To ensure that institutions of higher learning at both [SUNY] and [CUNY] can reliably invest in their long-term futures as costs rise, while 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 proposal reads.


But Hochul — and other Democrats lamenting the high cost of higher education — miss or willfully ignore the reason tuition has gotten more expensive: Democrat policies and bureaucratic bloat at the U.S. Department of Education. It's basic math that is apparently a foreign concept for Hochul and other tax-and-spend Democrats. If it costs "x" to educate a student per year, but the federal government will contribute "y" to the average student, then the university will charge x+y for tuition to get as many federal dollars-per-student as possible. 

And now, even though Biden and his party say colleges were too expensive for students to be able to pay back the debts they knowingly incurred, they're going to raise tuition even more — and it's unlikely that Hochul will be the only state executive seeking to raise the cost to attend colleges and universities under state control. 

Never mind, of course, that the CUNY and SUNY schools have endowments totaling in the billions of dollars — money that Hochul apparently doesn't see fit to put toward investments to ensure "academic success" and instead must charge students, and their loan officers, more for an education. 


Hochul has made the increases part of her "New York Dream" plan, but students are taking the news as a nightmare. As Gothamist outlined:

In-state tuition at SUNY schools is currently $7,070 a year and $5,130 for the system’s community colleges, while CUNY students pay $6,930 a year or $4,800 at community colleges.

The increases proposed by Hochul — the first since the pandemic began — would mean students would pay roughly $144 to $424 more for tuition next year.

“The pandemic has made things hard for students already,” said Salimatou Doumbouya, an architecture major at New York City College of Technology and chair of the CUNY University Student Senate. “A tuition hike does not help at all.”

Alexandria Chun, president of SUNY's Student Assembly, said the group stands “in solidarity against tuition increases of any sorts.”

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