Mary Beth Labate, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, testified Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, during a Joint Legislative Public Hearing on Higher Education convened by the New York State Senate Committee on Finance and the New York State Assembly Committee on Ways & Means.
Labate urged committee members to maintain New York’s historic support for private, not-for-profit colleges and universities and their 500,000 students statewide.
Below is an excerpt from Labate’s testimony:
“A college degree is the embodiment of the audacious belief that today’s hard work and sacrifice will pay off tomorrow. New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities are in the business of helping our students prepare for a better tomorrow. For as long as any of us have been New Yorkers, and long before that, the state has believed in, and supported, this mission. One of the most meaningful testaments to New York’s support for the mission of its private colleges has been Bundy Aid.
“Making the college dreams of all students achievable is at the heart of the mission of every one of our schools. That is why Independent Sector colleges and universities contribute $5.4 billion from their own resources every year for student aid, an amount that has more than doubled over the past decade. In a shining example of public-private partnership, New York has long supported private, not-for-profit colleges by funding student aid programs that provide needy and talented students with support that complements the aid our schools provide.
“With just five percent of the state’s higher education funding, Independent Sector campuses enroll 39 percent of all college students in New York and confer 60 percent of the bachelor’s and graduate degrees awarded in the state. That’s an impressive return on investment for the state’s taxpayers.”