Higher education remains one of New York State’s most significant economic sectors. A strong percentage of that activity happens right here in Buffalo Niagara as our region is home to a robust offering of first-class public and independent colleges and universities. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership outlined our support for fully funding the state’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in our 2018 Advocacy Agenda as one way to best position our economy to benefit from the impact of local higher education.
According the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York, nearly 25,000 students enroll each year at independent, not-for-profit colleges and universities in Western New York. These campuses directly employ 6,100 people and contribute nearly one and half billion dollars to the New York State economy annually.
The impact of higher education on our state and local economy, however, cannot be taken for granted. “While most all higher education institutions are feeling financial pressures, New York State’s independent colleges and universities have acute concerns in the wake of the Excelsior Scholarship Program,” said Dr. Lorrie Clemo, President of D’Youville College.
“The state’s TAP provides crucial aid that follows the student to the school of their choice,” continued Clemo. “Fully funding TAP will help ensure that we can continue to provide a variety of viable choices for students and keep the economic engine of higher education going strong. By wisely investing public dollars to fully fund the TAP program, we will be able to leverage the largest return for our community in the form of good-paying jobs, additional tax revenue and sustainable economic development.”
To realize the full economic impact of higher education in Buffalo Niagara, the Partnership supports fully funding TAP without restrictions that would make it more difficult for students to qualify. Our 2018 Advocacy Agenda also calls for increasing operational support for the region’s SUNY institutions.
2018 Advocacy Defined Blog Series Table of Contents:
- Tax Relief
- Employer Mandates
- TAP Funding
- Healthcare Costs
- Prevailing Wage/Scaffold Law
- Professional Licensing for Immigrants
- Pell & Perkins