Riverdale, NY - On February 10, 2009, about two dozen students, faculty and staff from the College of Mount Saint Vincent travelled to Albany to protest the New York State’s budget proposal of cutting $75 million in student financial aid. At the Mount, nearly 85% of the student population receives some kind of financial assistance. The students joined a group of over one thousand supporters, the largest number of people in attendance in Student Lobby Day history. They came from private and public colleges from throughout New York State to fight to keep education accessible for all.
Mount students met with Gabriel Paniza, representative for Senator Jeffrey Klein, the Deputy Majority Leader of New York, and Senator Jeffrey Dinowitz. The students addressed a major concern with these representatives - the state proposed increase in the credit requirement for TAP eligibility. The proposed increase would change full-time student status from 12 to 15 credits per semester. This would put the students who are most in need, at the greatest disadvantage. Students with the greatest need tend to work more hours and therefore, sign up for fewer credits.
Students supported Governor David Patterson’s proposed new, low-cost loan program entitled NYHELP (New York Higher Education Loan Program). The program would potentially help thousands of students borrow money for college at lower interest rates than private, alternative loaners are currently offering.
“I was very excited to be part of the process, to hear student stories and to advocate for what I believe in,” says Nikki Measor, Head of the TRIO program at the College.
To learn more about Lobby Day, please visit www.mountsaintvincent.edu/news.php.