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President's Message: CUNY's Board of Trustees Approves $3.4 Billion Budget Request

December 8, 2015

Providing quality higher education at an affordable price is a top priority for us here at Borough Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and across the City University of New York (CUNY). I am happy to report that CUNY’s Board of Trustees is taking further steps to carry out its mission of providing access and opportunity for New Yorkers, with their approval of a $3.4 billion budget request on November 23 for its 24 community colleges, senior colleges, graduate and professional schools that includes a plan for no increase in community college tuition rates for next year.

For senior colleges, the budget seeks a continuation of authority of the state’s “predictable tuition policy,” which allows for modest annual increases of up to $300 a year. Approximately two-thirds of CUNY’s full-time undergraduates today receive sufficient federal, state, city and private financial aid to cover their entire tuition charges.

The budget request seeks $167 million in additional funding for CUNY over the current year in order to ensure the investment necessary to “meet the economic and educational needs of New York State and New York City,” according to the adopted resolution.

At the meeting, Chancellor James B. Milliken told the Trustees: “We have a lot of work ahead of us. We must do our best to convince the Governor and Legislature to invest more in CUNY because of the incredible return on investment it provides. We will make difficult decisions on tuition later, depending on the level of state support.”

The University’s proposed budget includes a $50.4 million increase for mandatory costs and $116.6 million for programmatic investments over its current $3.2 billion spending plan. The additional $167 million requested includes $124.1 million for the senior colleges and $42.9 million for the community colleges.

The budget request also encourages a greater investment in CUNY’s community colleges, including the proposal for a new Community College Graduate Scholarship Program and the expansion of the ASAP, CUNY Start programs and related support services for community college students.

I applaud Chancellor Milliken and the CUNY Board of Trustees for their continued leadership and support of our students and their education.

Our slogan, “Start Here. Go Anywhere” reflects the ambition and tenacity of our students who are earning their degrees. And now, more than ever, we can say “BMCC — Save Here, Go Anywhere.”

President Perez

Antonio Pérez, President
Borough Manhattan Community College

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